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Serial number help please?

 
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JayMay



Joined: 07 Dec 2023
Posts: 9
Location: Sydney,Aus

PostPosted: Fri Dec 29, 2023 1:05 am    Post subject: Serial number help please? Reply with quote

Hi there,
Members were very kind and helpful, with the identity of my two cameras.
One still eludes me. It is a speed graphic, and possibly a Pre Anniversary speed graphic.

I have FINALLY located it's serial number, 84555. It was located on the inside of the camera's case when I turned it upside down and looked at the 'bottom of the top'. It's stamped in larger letters into the painted mahogany surface. As yet I have found no other markings, except a plate which I now know goes on the side which says 'Speed Graphic Curtain Aperture' etc...

I still believe it could be a Pre Anniversary.
In particular, if someone could give me a date for that serial number, or any other information on it I would be very pleased.
Thanks! Pictures at the url below.

[url]https://1drv.ms/f/s!AsoE5OIWQ07rjYJfjpu4Oiz4kqBqPw?e=JCsowi[/url]
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Jenny
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hsandler



Joined: 27 Apr 2016
Posts: 35
Location: Ottawa, Canada

PostPosted: Fri Dec 29, 2023 1:35 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Maybe about 1917?

http://graflex.coffsbiz.com/serials.html
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JayMay



Joined: 07 Dec 2023
Posts: 9
Location: Sydney,Aus

PostPosted: Fri Dec 29, 2023 2:03 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Yes, I saw shutterfinger's not list.
It's just...could it be that early? it doesn't LOOK like it is.
it has a speed graphic plate, and appears more like a 20s-30s one.

It's a real conundrum.
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Jenny
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Dan Fromm



Joined: 14 May 2001
Posts: 2117
Location: New Jersey

PostPosted: Fri Dec 29, 2023 1:57 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Per the non-book it is a 3x4 Speed Graphic made in 1917. This is the original Speed Graphic and the company called it simply Speed Graphic. It is also known as the "Top Handle" model, but that's not an official designation. The camera has a Graflex back and has been modified.
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JayMay



Joined: 07 Dec 2023
Posts: 9
Location: Sydney,Aus

PostPosted: Sat Dec 30, 2023 3:11 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks Dan and SHandeler, Yes, I saw the list and note that the serial number LOOKS like it's from 1917. But the camera doesn't.
It also does not have a top handle, the handle is on the side.
The only part of the camera I think has been changed is the sight. This one was a press camera for the Sun Newspaper in Sydney (the magazine has the logo on it from the 1920s and 30s). So I'm still confused as to why it has a 1917 serial no. I'm pretty sure it's not.

Dan you said it had been modified. In what way?
Could this not be a Miniature speed Graphic? The magazine at the back measures around 3 7/8" high and between 4.5" and 5.5" wide. The entire camera (without the magazine) is 2.75" x 6.75" x 5.75" wide. BUT it doesn't seem to have the right cross hair sight for the miniature. It also has the curved wire sight.

I don't seem to be having much luck using the Img tab, as I wanted to embed the photo. But anyway, there is the url.

[img]https://onedrive.live.com/embed?resid=EB4E4316E2E404CA%21213330&authkey=%21AIr-jAMx0BBEKsI&width=4032&height=3024[/img]

perhaps you can give me a quick tutorial on how to show photos in the post. I'm choosing img then putting in the created embed url from a photo I have online, and then closing with img again. Obviously that's wrong.[/url]
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Jenny
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Dan Fromm



Joined: 14 May 2001
Posts: 2117
Location: New Jersey

PostPosted: Sat Dec 30, 2023 2:41 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hmm. For the second time, there's a hard-to-find book of serial numbers. Your camera's s/n is in it. 1917, end of discussion. If the camera is a Speed Graphic. More on that below.

I said that the camera had been modified. A press photographer would have a hard time working with a top handle Graphic unless it shot only in portrait orientation. Moving the handle to the side makes using the camera in landscape orientation easy.

As they came from the factory, original Speed Graphics did not have a wire frame finder and a peep sight. Your camera's frame finder and peep sight are wrong for all Speed Graphics.

It is, according to the book, a 3x4 camera. The Mini is 2x3.

I took it for an original because the slot for the focusing knob on the RHS of the box is straight and because of the s/n. On second thought, some of the details are completely wrong for all Speed Graphics. There's no shutter speed plate on the RHS. The plate under the winding knob is wrong wrong wrong. The shutter release is in the wrong place.

Why do you think the camera is a Speed Graphic? OZ is a Commonwealth country, the Sun may well have bought cameras from the UK.
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JayMay



Joined: 07 Dec 2023
Posts: 9
Location: Sydney,Aus

PostPosted: Sun Dec 31, 2023 5:08 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hi Dan,

Thanks again for the reply, and in no way am I disputing what you're saying, and respect your opinion - it's so great to be able to ask you, and yes...I know the serial no. is in it, it's just that it doesn't look like a 1917 camera, so I could hardly believe it. However, after scouring catalogues, I think it is.

I think it is a Speed Graphic because it has that little plate which I recently found floating around inside the case, it had come loose and someone has slotted it in the case to keep it safe. It's the speed graphic plate of apertures.
I feel like the handle has been moved, I'm not familiar with these cameras, but there are two screw holes unused in the top, at an oblique angle. It looks like a place for a handle. So I looked in the 1917 catalogue and found the Speed Graphic. It's exactly the same. The top handle has been removed to the side (for the reasons you stated no doubt). There are holes where it used to be.

The wire frame finder looks genuine, but it also has that 'hump' in it, the hump is slightly smaller than others I've seen, but not odd enough to make in not real for the camera. It may have been added as you said. The ground glass sight is exactly right for the 1917 speed graphic, but the peep sight is definitely wrong, and it's not entirely straight to boot, so I'm saying it is definitely a ring in.

I'm sure you are 100% right about the 3x4. That would fit in the magazine perfectly.

Yes, I can see how it could have been bought via the UK.

So here is the page of the catalogue that shows two versions of the same 1917 Speed Graphic. It's the second, smaller picture on page 48 of the 'closed' Speed Graphic that mine looks identical to. It has the same shaped plates, winders, holes and cross hairs sight. It has added the peep sight and frame finder. It has the Speed graphic brass aperture plate, come off, but at least I have it.

https://piercevaubel.com/cam/catalogs/1917graflexlp638.htm#pages%2046-47

Success!!! Thankyou so much for all your input. So helpful.
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Dan Fromm



Joined: 14 May 2001
Posts: 2117
Location: New Jersey

PostPosted: Sun Dec 31, 2023 10:25 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks for the piercevauble link. So I was mistaken about the plate under the winding screw. Live and learn.
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