Show and Tell Night 2002

Robert Wilson, co-ordinator

Our December meeting began with a door prize draw followed by our annual Christmas gift exchange, and then the latest of the very popular Show and Tell sessions. These shows demonstrate the wide ranging interests of our members. Once again the evening program was coordinated by Robert Wilson and is reported here in chronological order. Be sure to click on the thumbnails to see an enlarged view.

Bill Kantymir. Our President had a single item to show us this year, but it was exceptional - an 1899 Pocket Kozy Camera. This attractive item turned up at our recent fall fair. Three versions were manufactured of which only examples of versions two and three are known to have survived. Bill's camera is a version three. Check McKeown's for details. The cameras were sold factory direct for initially $10 and later $6 - even time payments were possible. Advertisements were placed in magazines and newspapers. The camera makes six 3.5 inch square negatives on roll film. Loading the camera was overly complex which may have led to its short life in the marketplace.

1899 Kozy Camera Type 3
1899 Kozy Camera Type 3
Home made projector

Larry Boccioletti. Our fall Fair Chairman showed the homemade projector that was part of his "50 Years of Collecting" talk a year ago last September. The device uses a sewing machine motor to run the cooling fan and a modified Zeiss Folder for the lens assembly. This time, he had the projector running so we could see how well it worked. Larry's second show and tell was an immaculate 5x7 Long Focus Premo camera made by Rochester Optical in the late 1890s. The camera sat in a closet for about 70 years according to the lady who offered it to Larry. It was purchased by her great grandfather who quit taking pictures in the 1920s. The camera is complete with a certificate dated November 8, 1899 attesting to the quality of its lens (the camera was advertised in our journal for sometime).

1899 Certificate for Premo Lens
Long Focus Premo  5x7 Camera Premo Lens and Shutter Premo Rear Adjustments Premo Back View

Everett Roseborough. Our Editor Emeritus began his show and tell with a number of c1930s print processing envelopes from local processors (H.C. Tugwell, Leggett's, Tamblyn, etc.). His piece de resistance was a replica of the famous Leeuwenhoek single-lens microscope. This model was made by Gerald Cranham of Parksville BC. Like Everett (and me), Gerald is a member of the Historical Microscopical Society of Canada.

Antony van Leeuwenhoek was a draper in Delft, Holland in the mid to late 1600s. He is believed to be the first person to see and describe bacteria. Each of his little instruments was created to view a specific subject - usually permanently attached to the microscope. He donated some of his instruments and specimens to The Royal Society of England complete with an explanation written in old Dutch. Between the language barrier and the novelty of his discoveries, the honourable members of the Royal Society were at a loss to understand Leeuwenhoek's work and its significance, delaying the golden age of optical microscopy and its benefits to mankind for many years.

Everett showing how to use the microscope
Leeuwenhoek Replica
Leeuwenhoek Microscope Close-up

Mark Singer. The spring Fair Chairman offered two Bolex movie cameras of remarkably similar design. Mark noted that Bolex was a high end maker of 16mm movie cameras in the mid 1900s. When the 8mm cameras began eating into its market, Bolex responded by offering an 8mm version of its camera (1956-65). Other than lenses, the two models shared accessories. Both used 16mm film. In the 8mm model, exposures were recorded on half of the film, then the roll was flipped over and exposure continued on the second half. The film was slit during processing and the two halves were spliced to make a single 8mm reel ready for projection.

Bolex H16 and H8 Front View Bolex H16 and H8 Side View Bolex H16 Bolex H8

Mike Robinson. Our Vice President is a pre-eminent modern-day daguerreotypist. His show and tell consisted of four daguerreotype images.
The first two were 1840s French images in the European style (uncased but glass covered and matted). The image of the lady is c1844 and is a very early example of an indoor portrait using a painted backdrop. The photographer, Louis August Bisson, was a contemporary of Louis Daguerre.
The second image, also 1840s French is an occupational portrait taken by Sabatier Blot. His subject is a French Artillery Officer in Paris. (Does anyone know why so many officers wore a single epaulette?). Based on the date of the image and the officer's age, he may well have fought the British at Waterloo. George Eastman House in Rochester has a portrait of Louis Daguerre taken by Sabatier Blot.
The third image, this time American, is a picture-perfect photograph of a house. Taken around 1858/9, it is remarkable in its precision. There were no perspective controls on cameras at the time, so the image was shot by direct elevation - camera positioned so the sides of the house are absolutely parallel. The blue dot on the thumbnail highlights a person looking out of the window of the building next to the house. The photographer was J.D. Wells of North Hampton, Mass.
The fourth image is a modern one taken by Mike. The subject is his 20 month old daughter. Mike tells us she practised sitting still for the 13 second exposure and asked for her doll. You can see how well she succeeded in the enlarged image.

Reverse of Bisson Image c1844
Bisson Daguerreotype Lady 1844 Sabatier Blot Daguerreotype of Military Officer
J.D. Wells Daguerreotype of a House Detail from J.D. Wells Daguerreotype
Daguerreotype of Mike Robinson's Daughter

McKeown's First Edition 1974
Harry Gross - Antique and Classic Cameras Pentax Gallery of Cameras (Japanese Text)

Ron Anger, Past President and Past Fair Chairman showed three rare books. He began with a first edition of the now famous McKeown's guide. Dated 1974, it is a simple list of camera models and prices, no images. The second book, Antique and Classic Cameras by Harry Gross was published by Chilton in 1965. It is considered to be the first book published on camera collecting. Ron's third example was a Japanese book, Pentax Gallery of Cameras featuring the history of Pentax with illustrations of its various cameras. Ron acquired the book from a Japanese collector as a part of a swap deal for an Ermanox camera lens. Ron explained that Ernemann lenses had none-standard mounts and as soon as he confirmed his lens matched the other collector's camera body, the deal was completed.

Robert Wilson, Past President and Past Membership Secretary closed out this session with a tale about the virtues of networking. Bob, who collects images, especially stereo, related how periodic visits to a nearby antique store resulted in the information that the owner had recently acquired a box of photography stuff which was sitting on his kitchen table. When Bob dropped by later to check it out, he was initially disappointed, opening the box and seeing only a bunch of camera parts - until he spotted a lens board with two lenses mounted side by side. STEREO. More investigation brought forth a camera body with a lens board and single lens. It was a convertible Century Stereo camera (you took mono images by replacing the lens board and removing the sternum). The camera was made after 1900 (patent date on the body) and before 1907 when the company became part of Eastman Kodak.

Century Stereo Convertible Camera
Century Stereo Convertible Camera
Century Stereo Convertible Camera

Well that's it for this Show and Tell. If you want more information on any of the items shown, send an email to and we will forward it to the right person. The images were taken with Nikon 990 digital camera and adjusted in Photoshop. Thanks to the member who suggested that I could take a reflection-free flash shot by framing the subject off-centre and correcting the perspective later. Thanks also to Bob Lansdale who suggested a better way to shoot the daguerreotypes and dutifully held a black case as a backdrop to bring out the contrast in the images. Please note that all images are ©2002 by the Photographic Historical Society of Canada and may be used if the source is mentioned, except the daguerreotype image four which is ©2002 Mike Robinson and may not be reproduced without his permission.

Bob Carter

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