no. 10 Ansco folding pocket camera (circa 1906)

by | Aug 26, 2021 | Antiques, Favorite Finds | 9 comments

One thing I’ve learned after years of shopping for antiques is to always open up boxes and cases.  Sometimes, the most delightful things are hidden away in a case that doesn’t look very impressive.  Typewriters, binoculars, sets of silver flatware, and cameras are just some of the things you can find in boxes and cases.  I opened a beat-up old leather camera case when I was at Gold Rush Days and found this beautiful antique camera from 1906 – the no. 10 folding pocket Ansco camera for just $20…

no. 10 Ansco Folding Camera Circa 1906 | miss mustard seed

I found a description of the no, 10 Ansco camera from THIS website –

“The No. 10 Folding Pocket Ansco was manufactured by Ansco in circa 1906. This model was similar to the No. 9 Folding Pocket Ansco except that it featured rising-falling and swing front. Like the No. 9 it produced a large negative for landscapes and panel portrait work and making postcards. The camera was made of well-seasoned mahogany wood polished and covered in black seal grain leather. The metal parts are heavily nickel-plated and polished. It was fitted with a Rapid Symmetrical lens with a 6 1/2 inch focal length and an Ansco Automatic time and instantaneous shutter. Other features included a brilliant reversible finder, noiseless key winding, rack and pinion focusing, an improved spool-holding arrangement, the front allowed rising-falling and swing adjustments, and two tripod sockets. The camera was capable of capturing six or ten 3 1/2 x 5 1/2 inch exposures on Ansco no. 18A and 18B film or equivalent Kodak no. 122 roll film. An Ansco dry plate attachment holder was available as an option. The camera measures 2 1/2 x 4 3/4 x 9 3/4 inches and weighs 38 1/2 ounces. The No. 10 Folding Pocket Ansco camera was originally priced at around $25.00.”

It needs to be cleaned up a little bit, but it is a beautiful example of an antique folding camera. The shutter button even still works!  After looking at other pictures of this model, I realized the front of the camera was twisted a little, so I turned it upright.

no. 10 Ansco Folding Camera Circa 1906 | miss mustard seed

I think these old cameras are just so clever and are designed so beautifully.  Of course, I’m thankful for the marvel that is an iPhone, but they can’t compare with the design aesthetic of these antique beauties.

no. 10 Ansco Folding Camera Circa 1906 | miss mustard seed

My favorite part of this particular no. 10 Ansco camera is that the viewfinder still works!  Can you see my easel through there?  Most of the old cameras I’ve purchased over the years have had cloudy viewfinders, but this one is nice and clear.  I find it fascinating to look through and think about all of the scenes that were framed in that viewfinder over 100 years ago.

no. 10 Ansco Folding Camera Circa 1906 | miss mustard seed

I’ll get this cleaned up and then I plan on using it as decor in the basement family room.

If you’re in the market for an antique folding camera, I sourced a few nice ones on Etsy

 

9 Comments

  1. Amy

    You find the coolest stuff. And I loved the vintage collars you featured yesterday. Can’t wait to see the finished ‘man cave’.

    Reply
  2. Babs

    I had similar to this but it must have been “gotten rid of” somewhere along the way. Great idea to use as a decoration and conversation starter. Your interests are so many and so varied…you revive some of my long lost interests for which I am grateful. I adore how you love so many things and your enthusiasm is contagious.

    Reply
  3. Teresa C.

    I agree that the beauty & craftsmanship of cameras from “bygone days” are unique, clever and beautiful. This one is a real FIND!
    I am also fascinated with all types of old instruments and gauges,etc.in ALL categories, like nautical, medical, surveying, musical,etc. The durability and quality with brass, copper and other beautiful metals just speak to me, as well as those old wooden boxes that housed them. My mother had a passion for those old wooden boxes, so luckily, I inherited a few! They are not only so beautiful to display, but are wonderful for storage!

    Reply
  4. linda o

    I have a camera similar to yours, but mine is an Eastman Kodak. It was my grandparents, then my folks used it up until they got a Kodak Brownie Hawk Eye in the 50’s. It is the camera with a big flash attachment, and the blue flash bulb. Years ago I found a box of the flash bulbs and snatched it up. I have somehow accumulated 3 other old cameras. I display them in our bookcase. Have fun with your new treasures.

    Reply
  5. Lisa P

    Now I have something else to keep a lookout for on my junk store excursions. It’s beautiful and fascinating!

    Reply
  6. Cheryl

    So cool! A couple of years ago we were at the beach and a woman was taking pictures with one of these. I asked her a bunch of questions about it, not something you see every day! Cool find!

    Reply
  7. Crystal Brown

    What a great find! It’s really a sweet little camera! I love old cameras and have but a few, and have purchased several for my middle granddaughter. I have a Kodak pocket camera that is probably my favorite. $12.00, purchased in Denver at an antiques mall on the way to visit Old Glory shop. The gentleman who “owned” the booth had dozens of cameras from different eras but was closing his booth. Boy, if I’d had room in my bag to take more home I sure would have! I think yours will be a great addition to the basement family room which is quickly becoming my favorite room in your home!

    Reply
  8. Mary Creighton

    I think the camera will be a great add for your basement room. I always enjoy seeing things like that peeking out from a shelf at other people’s houses. And you’re so right about looking in the boxes. I found a box at a junk shop that turned out to be a silverware box. It had half of the set of silver plate in it. I had already bought the other half at a different shop a month or so before!

    Reply
  9. Fenne

    That camera is so beautiful!

    Reply

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Marian Parsons - Miss Mustard Seed

I’m Marian, aka Miss Mustard Seed, a wife, mother, paint enthusiast, lover of all things home and an entrepreneur, author, artist, designer, freelance writer & photographer.  READ MORE to learn more about me, my blog and my business…

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