Chase Folding Magazine cameras were offered
in only two sizes; 4 x 5 inch and 5 x 7 inch formats.
Our mechanism NEVER fails to work accurately. (1900
The Chase Folding Magazine Camera is somewhat obscure in the
pantheon of American red-bellows self-casing cameras, having
appeared briefly from 1899 to 1901. It is fascinating because the
design was an attempt to make shooting glass plates almost as easy
as roll film.
Roll film had the benefit of being easy to use; just take a picture and
turn a knob. Plate cameras were cumbersome. So for a very short
time, some makers built and sold models with mechanically integrated
'magazines'. Before shooting, magazines were preloaded with glass
plates set into tin sheaths. Changing plates after an exposure was a
little easier. However, the changing mechanisms tended to wear and
break rather quickly.
Magazine cameras were sold in solid body box and folding bellows
forms. There were a number of folding variations in which magazines
moved in all possible directions: upwards, sideways (Snappa), and
backwards (Bullard Folding Magazine Camera), and downwards. Jacob
J. Chase's camera was a drop magazine design with rack and pinion
gearing. And as the other cameras, it was clumsy to use.
The few Chase cameras in collections all have working magazine
changing mechanisms and are intact, so the advertising was truthful.
This might be in part to using a geared rack and pinion design instead
This is a 4 x 5 inch pre-patent model with 'patent pending' markings
and matches the January 1900 patent (#641,268) illustrations. For
whatever reason it was redesigned in 1901 to be a bit more refined in
appearance, yet still wasn't successful.
Chase Folding Magazine Camera, c.1899 Kozy Camera Company, Boston, Mass.