Premo Long Focus view camera manufactured by the Rochester Optical Company in Rochester, N.Y., U.S.A., circa 1900.
It has a Rapid Rectilinear lens with a Bausch & Lomb shutter. The camera takes 5 x 7 inch, full plate glass negatives. It has triple extension bellows allowing for telephoto or 'long focus' extension.

Rochester Optical Company was founded by W. F. Carlton in 1883 when he took over the holdings of William H. Walker, camera maker. The 'Premo' line of view cameras was the linchpin product of Rochester Optical Company. However the company went through an unsuccessful merger in 1899 resulting in it being taken over by Eastman Kodak. The Premo was so successful that Kodak continued marketing the camera.

The camera in the Museum's collection was acquired from Herbert Smalls Camera Centre Pty Ltd - Melbourne. The photographic supply business of Messrs J.W. Small & Co., Little Collins Street, Melbourne, was established in 1860 and by 1897 had been taken over by Herbert Small, although it continued to trade under the name 'J.W. Small & Co.' until at least 1915. During the late 1890s the firm had been an agent for "Kodak" cameras and photographic products.

Physical Description

Black large format folding camera for plate glass negatives. Self encased when closed in a black leather-covered mahogany box with leather hand-carry strap on top of the camera box. The front forms the folding bed when open. Red leather, accordion-pleated, triple extension bellows to allow use of telephoto lenses.

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