Lewis Half Plate Daguerreotype Camera with Jamin/Darlot Lens
Half plate, Lewis-type daguerreotype camera with rosewood veneer body, blackened tailboard, and top-loading single trap door. The bellows disappear into the box when closed. The firm of W. & W.H. Lewis, in New Windsor, NY, was the first to incorporate bellows into an American camera. The bellows look to be original. With rear box slid on bed by means of grooved rail running the length of tailboard on the left side of the focusing track. The chamfered front used in the first Lewis daguerreotype camera is gone, indicating that this was made ca 1855-1857. With ground glass frame and original, cast focusing knob included. Lacking a maker's mark. 19.75 x 7.5 x 8.5 in. high.
The camera is fitted with a brass lens engraved M.on Jamin-Darlot S.r / Paris, and it is accompanied by the lens cap. Alphonse Darlot apprenticed for the French lens maker, Jamin, and the two partnered in 1860, working together over a period of 3 years. Until 1862, both names appeared on the lens barrels they produced, and based on the style of engraving, this lens was made ca 1862, near the end of Jamin and Darlot's partnership.
Found at a Baden, PA Estate.
Our sincere thanks to Ken Nelson for providing information regarding this camera.