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Crown dating

 
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William Hallett



Joined: 07 Jan 2012
Posts: 18

PostPosted: Sat Jan 07, 2012 10:31 pm    Post subject: Crown dating Reply with quote

I've recently acquired a 4x5 Crown which appears to have an anomalous serial number/date. The serial number on the bed is 963429, which according to information posted at www.southbristolviews.org and elsewhere would appear to date it around 1962. However, some features suggest an earlier date:
(a) it has a side-mounted Kalart rangefinder, which I understand is pre-1955
(b) the serial number plate says "Crown Graphic". I have a 1948 Speed which likewise specifies "Speed Graphic", but 1950 and later ones I've seen say only "Graphic". Is this a reliable indicator of date?
(c) the body appears to be covered in real leather rather than leatherette, as evidenced by the brown colour and leather-like texture where it has worn. Again, based on others I have seen, 1950-51 appears to be the changeover date.
The camera came with a 1949 Ektar, but this may not be a reliable indicator of date. The rangefinder is set up for this lens, but the scale on the bed is for a 135 mm lens rather than a 127.

Any ideas as to the real date of my Crown?
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Dan Fromm



Joined: 14 May 2001
Posts: 1883
Location: New Jersey

PostPosted: Sun Jan 08, 2012 3:56 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Are you sure the s/n is 963429? I ask because I've looked for 963429 in the serial number book that doesn't exist and it isn't there.

There is no block of 4x5 Graphic serial numbers that includes 963xxx. The last block before 963xxx ended at 951676, the first block after started at 968409 and ended at 970908. This one was assigned 9/17/62, is followed by 970909 - 973408 assigned 4/29/63

Not all serial numbers that were assigned had to have been used.
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45PSS



Joined: 28 Sep 2001
Posts: 3206
Location: Mid Peninsula, Ca.

PostPosted: Sun Jan 08, 2012 4:30 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Serial numbers were not assigned in numerical order. Block 950500-963942 assigned in 1947?, 1948, or 1949, the book is not clear. Being 963429 is near the end of this block and the next block beginning at 963943 is early 1950 it is a safe bet its a 1949 camera.
All Pacemakers are covered in leatherette.
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Dan Fromm



Joined: 14 May 2001
Posts: 1883
Location: New Jersey

PostPosted: Sun Jan 08, 2012 2:51 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Charles, Bruce Thomas sent me a PM raising your issue.

There's no job number associated with the block of serial numbers 950,000 - 963,942 that contains 963423. There are job numbers associated with the next blocks of numbers (963943 - 964743, 964744 - 966244, ..., 967747-968408) that follow 950,000-963,942. But and however, these numbers are all assigned to 4x5 Crowns.

I looked a page down, found blocks of serial numbers assigned to 4x5 Pacemakers -- Crowns and Speeds alike -- in the ranges I quoted. In particular, 949177-951676 overlaps the eariler 950,000-963,942 and the next block 968409-970408 follows it.
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45PSS



Joined: 28 Sep 2001
Posts: 3206
Location: Mid Peninsula, Ca.

PostPosted: Sun Jan 08, 2012 8:26 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

If you look back several pages you will find the same for the 2 1/4 and 3 1/4 speeds and crowns. Numbers assigned to the camera type, first block of the assigned numbers listed, then the next in sequence has the job number. Looks like the person listing the numbers in the book did just that, listed the numbers only.

There are footnotes on page 61, 69, and 71.
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William Hallett



Joined: 07 Jan 2012
Posts: 18

PostPosted: Sun Jan 08, 2012 8:31 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thank you both - the information is very helpful. Sounds as if I'm the proud owner of a machine that shouldn't exist! I can confirm that the serial number really is 963429 - I didn't make a mistake copying it, and it is very clearly stamped on the plate, no corrosion or anything.

Regarding the leather/leatherette question: this camera and my 1948 Speed have body coverings that look identical to those on my Pre-Anni and Anni's, which is why I concluded that they were leather. Newer (i.e. post-1950) Graphics that I've seen have something that appears different - it looks more regular, more "artificial", if you like.
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