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Dating 4x5 RB series B

 
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zmanphotog



Joined: 04 Jan 2003
Posts: 27
Location: Oklahoma

PostPosted: Thu Dec 14, 2017 3:35 am    Post subject: Dating 4x5 RB series B Reply with quote

I was hoping to date a graflex RB series B 4x5 camera I bought a few years ago. The serial number is 155084
Thanks,

Mark
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Dan Fromm



Joined: 14 May 2001
Posts: 2008
Location: New Jersey

PostPosted: Thu Dec 14, 2017 12:34 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

1926
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zmanphotog



Joined: 04 Jan 2003
Posts: 27
Location: Oklahoma

PostPosted: Thu Dec 14, 2017 10:28 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks Dan. Just curious how you date them? No month?
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shutterfinger



Joined: 09 Mar 2007
Posts: 45

PostPosted: Fri Dec 15, 2017 1:02 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

The company was founded as the Folmer and Schwing Manufacturing Company in New York City in 1887 by William F. Folmer and William E. Schwing as a metal working factory. They may have made cameras earlier than this. They put a serial number on their products but did not maintain a record of the serial numbers.
Kodak bought the company in 1905 and moved them to Rochester. In 1907 Kodak merged Folmer and Schwing with Century to make the Folmer and Schwing Division of Eastman Kodak. At some point in time the serial numbers were recorded in a single entry accounting ledger but no dates were included until Kodak was sued for Monopolizing then the date the entry was enter into the book was added. When the company ceased operation an administrator kept the serial number book, made a digital copy and gave it to a few select people. We, the ones with access to the book have strict requirements about its use.
The date the serial number block was entered was not consistently listed until 1927 or 1928.
The earliest serial numbers are from 1915.
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zmanphotog



Joined: 04 Jan 2003
Posts: 27
Location: Oklahoma

PostPosted: Fri Dec 15, 2017 2:34 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Interesting story! Thank you for posting. I am fascinated by these Graflex cameras , but this is the oldest one I have. Hoping to shoot with it soon. Only 1 slotted holder. Have talked to someone who will install a graflok back for me.

Take care,

Mark
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