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…
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.
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.
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.
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…