Rare Vintage Conley Stereo Camera And Film Holder - Early 1900's, Gorgeous For Sale
For sale is a beautiful piece of "stereo camera" history. This is a Conley Stereo Camera that we have had as part of our collection for quite some time. This camera was built in the early 1900's by the Conley Camera Company of Rochester Minnesota. I do not have a model number for this camera, but from the literature found, it looks like the Model XIX. This camera was designed to take 5 x 7 images on plates.The condition of the camera is as follows:
The cosmetic appearance I would call "good" - there is major wear and tear on the leather exterior (the leather was originally black, but it does show wear and tear and discoloration)There is a leather handle on top, but I would not use it. The overall measurement of the camera when closed is 9 x 9 x 5 inches. The camera case does not latch closed - on top, under the leather, there is a small button you can push, but when closed, it does not catch (see Pictures #9 and 10).
There is a film plate/holder included. It is in good condition. Along the edges, the text is "Made by Graflex USA for Eastman Kodak Company" and "5x7 Eastman Film" on the opposite edge. There is wear and tear on the black tape, and the metal handles. It was not manufactured by Conley, but it does fit intothe camera so I am assuming that it would work with this camera (and it was purchased together at the time). Picture #12 shows it extended.
When opened, the overall length of the camera is between 12-13 inches, and this is when you notice that this really is a gorgeous camera and craftsmanship was still important back then. The lenses on the camera are by Wollensak Optical Co. from Rochester NY. One lens has the information "4 x 5 Rapid Symmetrical"stamped on it (Picture # 5). The brass and metalon the front does show some is an interesting "design" on the center plate - wavy lines have been added to the plate. I do not know how this camera operates, or exactly what the top and bottom dials relate to. The camera extends by pulling on a small lever in front of the "Conley" name plate, and to retract, you push on the two extension hinges inside the box. The metal on the front could use polishing. The wood itself still has the original finish and is in great condition.
The bellow on the camera seems fragile - I do not know what the material is. There are are a few places whereit needs to be reattached (along the side). Overall they are in very good condition - some discoloration and fading of the burgundy color in places.
The back of the camera has a "door" that lifts up, and the glass plate underneath is intactand I do not see any cracks. It does need a good cleaning.To add the film plate, the back is gently pulled from the camera, and the plate inserted from the side (it is in the camera in Pictures #3 and 7) - there appear to be springs that hold the back onto the camera.
If you collect stereo cameras, then this camera is perfect - it displays beautifully.
If you have any questions, or would like more information, please ask before placing a offer. I have tried to describe this camera as best as I can. I only accept PayPal, and payment is to be made at the end of the sale. I do not ship overseas. Shipping will be via UPS Ground, and calculated based on your zipcode, with insurance included. Thank you!
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