Pony Premo E, c.1898
Close-up of shutter.
Turning the brass knob below the lens to either the right or left tensions the shutter. The shutter blade has a small "L" or "R" engraved on it to remind the photographer which direction to turn the shutter tensioning knob for the next exposure.
The Pony Premo E is a leather covered 4 x 5 inch format, folding-plate camera made of polished mahogany. Like the Sears Plate Camera, it is interesting because the shutter is "concealed" inside a carefully crafted wood lens board. The concealed-shutter lens board does not have a high gloss polish but has a nice decorative window-pane look. According to an 1898 Rochester Optical Company catalogue listing, the camera sold for $8, or about $164 in year 2000 currency.

Concealed-shutter folding-plate cameras are somewhat scarce compared to others with external lens/shutter assemblies. This was possibly due to the amount of laborious "hand-fitting" required to assemble the shutter inside the polished lensboard and that the shutter was very limited; having only one speed. (Also refer to the Sears Folding Plate Camera.)

This camera was purchased in 1898 for family photos. The owner was a long shoreman who worked at the Jersey City docks in Secacus, NJ.
Pony Premo E, c.1898
Rochester Optical Company. Rochester, NY.
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