ROC Snappa, 1902
Detail of side of sliding back. This back is for plates as noted on the label.
Snappa camera with the magazine extended for exposing a plate or film.
The Marvel Camera of the Age Simplicity and ease of use was not a virtue of folding plate (self-casing) cameras. Amateur photographers were burdened with loading and carrying lots of plate holders, then keeping track of which were exposed.

By the mid-1890s, self-casing magazine cameras with automated plate changing capabilities were being offered. High quality images could be produced with nearly point-and-shoot ease through the use of an automated mechanism that moved fresh plates and films into position after each successive exposure.
In 1902, the Rochester Optical and Camera Company expanded its Premo line with the introduction of the Snappa Camera. While there were numerous "magazine" cameras available at the time, the Snappa Camera was heralded in advertisements as, "the crowning achievement of creative genius in camera construction."

The Snappa, a small camera only offered in the 3¼ x 4¼ inch format, distinguished itself by offering interchangeable magazines preloaded with either 10 plates or 24 sheets of film. Preparing for a new exposure was simple; pull out the telescoping part of the magazine to position a fresh plate or film. After taking a picture, the telescoping back was pushed back in. This process was repeated until all plates or films in the magazine were exposed.

Changing magazines was also easy and could be done in the daylight, "by simply unlocking the key at the head of the magazine, withdrawing the latter from the camera, and substituting another magazine loaded with unexposed plates or films."

Although advertised and marketed to "people who have avoided photography on account of its technicalities and complexities, to enjoy the rare pleasures of this fascinating art," the public must not have embraced the innovative little $25 camera. The Snappa lasted barely one year and did not appear in the 1903 catalogue.
Snappa, 1902
Rochester Optical Co. Rochester, NY.
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Detail of side of sliding back. The label indicates if the magazine back is for plates or films.