Rear of Blair Folding Hawk-Eye No.2
Blair Folding Hawk-Eye No.1, c.1892
Focusing scale on the Folding Hawk-Eye No.1
Blari Folding Hawk-Eye No.2
The Blair Camera Company introduced the 5x7 Folding Hawk-Eye No.1 and No.2 in 1892; probably in response to George Eastman's 1890 No.4 Folding Kodaks and the 1891 Henry Clay Camera.

These early self-casing cameras were pioneering designs that paved the way for inexpensive folding cameras of the 1890s. The 5x7 Folding Hawk-Eyes were large cameras with ebony finished wood, brass hardware, and front standard mounted reflex finders. As with the Kodak and Henry Clay, Folding Hawk-Eyes used glass plates and rollfilm.

The No.1 Folding Hawk-Eye may also represent one of the first self-casing cameras to incorporate a concealed shutter. A wire tensioning device cocks the single speed shutter while a lever on the shutter face adjusts the aperture (three settings).
Folding Hawk-Eye Cameras, c.1892
The Blair Camera Company, Boston
The Folding Hawk-Eye No.1 has a focusing scale with two sets of measures. The front scale is used for plates while the rear scale is for rollfilm. Two scales are required because glass plates are thicker than rollfilm, thereby having a different focal plane.
Copyright ©2001 by Rob Niederman - ALL RIGHTS RESERVED
Visit the Blair Hawk-Eye No.1 Reference page
Return to the Self-Casing Cameras page
Multi-Lens Cameras | View Cameras | Self-Casing Cameras | Solid Body Cameras | References & Advertisements
Home | What's New | Show Schedule | Wanted | For Sale | Links | Site Map | Email
The No.1 shown here is missing most of it's outer body leather, but the interior wood and bellows are nearly perfect. Normally, apparatus in this condition is not included in the collection, however the 5x7 Folding Hawk-Eye is historically interesting and very rare. Even in less than ideal condition, this particular example has the aura of a "working" camera and was acquired with its original ground glass frame, plateholders and bits of darkroom equipment. As such, the camera is a worthy candidate for restoration ... or should it be left alone as a representation of a working camera? Feel free to e-mail with your opinion.
The No.2 Folding Hawk-eye is basically the same camera as the No.1, having an ebonized wood interior and brass hardware, but with a traditional front standard and external B&L brass shutter.
This example has a morocco leather covered body with embossing that is characteristic of many Blair cameras.