Anthony's Victor Camera (4x5), c.1889-97
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Anthony's Victor camera is a traditional front focusing field view made of polished mahogany with either lacquered brass or nickel hardware. Victor cameras appeared in Anthony’s “amateur equipment” catalogues and sold in outfits that included a canvas bag, plateholder and tripod.

During the 1890s, 4-1/4 x 6-1/2 inch versions were offered as premiums by the Youth's Companion magazine for new subscriptions -- a surprisingly nice give-away item.

This is a 4x5 inch example (the smallest model offered) with polished mahogany body and brass hardware with draw file finish. The brass hardware on this camera indicates it is an early model because later versions often had nickel plated hardware.

Unlike the camera, the Anthony marked lens is quite rare and merits a comment or two. It is sometimes improperly referred to as a semi-rectilinear (a really awful asymmetrical rapid rectilinear design) that combines achromatic and rectilinear formulas. Okay ... that might be a bit esoteric but it appeals to my desire for early photographic oddities.

In summary, the lens was an effort to be good at landscapes and portraits. But overall it pretty much stinks at everything it does. Yet the concept is bizarre and cool. I’m unsure if the lens is original to the camera, yet here it is - making the camera as a whole so dang cute.

A complete outfit including the camera, dry plate holder, lens, tripod and canvas case sold for $16.00 (about $408 in 2013 currency).
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Anthony's Victor Camera, c.1889-97
E. & H.T. Anthony & Company, NY.