During the first weekend of August my wife and I attended Jamboree, an annual gathering of wet plate photographers on John Coffer’s farm in Dundee, NY.  Several of the photographers at Jamboree had wet plate cameras made by Ray Morgenweck of The Star Camera Company.  Coffer owns several of Morgenweck’s cameras, which I used during the workshop back in May, and recommends them in his wet plate manual, “The Doer’s Guide.”

 

Anthony Style Tailboard Camera - Ray Morgenweck

Anthony Style Tailboard Camera - Ray Morgenweck

 

A week before Jamboree, I had contacted Morgenweck and ordered an 8 x 10 Anthony Tailboard Style Bellows Camera, a reproduction of one of the most widely used field cameras of the 19th century.  It will be made of Honduras mahogany and will include a tripod.  

Ray is making whole plate, 1/2 plate and 1/4 plate kits for my camera back so that I have a range of options; and he kindly offered to make a lens cap for my Dallmeyer Rapid Rectilinear lens in addition to waterhouse stops.  I expect that my equipment will be completed around the end of August.

 

The following description is taken from The Star Camera Company website:

During the Nineteenth Century, the E. and H.T. Anthony Company of New York City were the Worlds Largest supplier of Cameras and equipment. Unfortunatly for modern Wet Plate photographers, they are no longer in business. But, the design and solid reliability of their Cameras lives on in the offerings of The Star Camera Company. Very popular with both Historic Photographers and Fine Arts Photographers is our Anthony Style Tailboard Bellows Camera. We build this camera in a wide range of formats, from Half Plate to 11X14. The most versitile format by far is the square format 8X10, which gives you the ability to make large format Ambrotypes, Ferrotypes and Collodion Negatives. The camera is designed to accept interchangable lensboards, and three are supplied. You will have the ability to do a wide range of photographic work, depending on the lens you choose to use. These cameras have the solid frame and weight to support any Petzval Portrait Lens as well as the bellows extension to allow long focus landscape lenses. As with all our cameras, the Anthony Style Bellows Camera is priced without the lens, as this is a variable cost. While we prefer to build a camera using a lens supplied by the customer, we can source lenses to suit the needs of the buyer with little difficulty. Please note that this camera is available in either Honduras Mahogany or Cherry (at additional cost). For those desiring something different and unique, rare woods such as Purpleheart and Teak can also be used at additonal cost.