Graflex.org Forum Index Graflex.org
Get help with your Graflex questions here
 
 FAQFAQ   SearchSearch   MemberlistMemberlist   UsergroupsUsergroups   RegisterRegister 
 ProfileProfile   Log in to check your private messagesLog in to check your private messages   Log inLog in 

Dating a Crown Graphic

 
Post new topic   Reply to topic    Graflex.org Forum Index -> Other Graflex Camera Help
View previous topic :: View next topic  
Author Message
fatsodoctor



Joined: 05 Mar 2019
Posts: 2
Location: Memphis

PostPosted: Wed Mar 06, 2019 4:21 am    Post subject: Dating a Crown Graphic Reply with quote

I'm trying to date a Crown Graphic camera as surely and precisely as possible. Trying to build a case that the camera in question took a particular photograph that was important to the Civil Rights Movement in the USA.

I've seen the various versions of the Graflex serial number catalogs. They invariably have a gap that does not account, with certainty, for the serial number range in which 880052 would fall.

The serial number on the Crown Graphic body is 880052. The serial number on the camera's 135mm Wollensak Optar lens is 905460. I don't have any reason to believe that this lens was not OEM. My best estimate at this point is that this camera was produced in the second half of 1952.

I've reached the limit of my own competence and I'm hoping that folks with real expertise might be able either to confirm or deny my hypothesis. Any information that would more certainly confirm the date of this camera's manufacture would be appreciated.

Thanks.
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
45PSS



Joined: 28 Sep 2001
Posts: 3710
Location: Mid Peninsula, Ca.

PostPosted: Wed Mar 06, 2019 8:35 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Quote:
I'm trying to date a Crown Graphic camera as surely and precisely as possible.

You're looking for the impossible. Geaflex started out as Folmer and Schwing in the 1890's. They serial numbered their products but kept no record of them. https://graflex.org/articles/kingslake/ Kodak bought the company in 1905. They started keeping a record of the serial numbers between 1910 and 1915. In 1923 the date the entry was made into the record was added.
Around late 1946 or early 1947 the record becomes confusing then straightens out by 1950. In 1960 they started putting a date code https://graflex.org/helpboard/viewtopic.php?t=3321 on each piece from which one can determine the month and year of manufacture.
Prior to the date code only the batch entry date was listed and cameras were built on demand. Crown and Speed Graphic 4x5 camera batches were 1,000 to 3,000 with as little as 2 weeks between batch entries.

Now a list of serial numbers dated by a member with access to the record and posted on this site was compiled and distributed to several other members. That list shows 879936 as a Speed in 1952 and 880105 as a Crown in 1953. Its likely your camera is in the same batch as 880105 and was probably made in January or February 1953.

Others have asked in the past but no record of Wollensak serial numbers have surfaced. Wollensak made Optar lens (Raptar rebadged).
https://graflex.org/helpboard/viewtopic.php?t=4666

Another member may post the date the batch was posted and its size but that is as close as you will get.
_________________
The best camera ever made is the one that YOU enjoy using and produces the image quality that satifies YOU.
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
fatsodoctor



Joined: 05 Mar 2019
Posts: 2
Location: Memphis

PostPosted: Wed Mar 06, 2019 11:46 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks for the response. Knowing that Graflex was producing batches of 1k to 3k helps a bit. I take it that your considered opinion is that a Crown with the s/n 880052 is more likely to have produced in early 1953, rather than late 1952.
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
45PSS



Joined: 28 Sep 2001
Posts: 3710
Location: Mid Peninsula, Ca.

PostPosted: Thu Mar 07, 2019 12:32 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Quote:
I take it that your considered opinion is that a Crown with the s/n 880052 is more likely to have produced in early 1953, rather than late 1952.

https://graflex.org/helpboard/viewtopic.php?t=6948
Yes.


One needs to account for the time from DOM to the retailer then to the sell date. Finding the sales receipt or warranty registration with DOP with the serial number listed will be the best. These documents have been found when the camera comes from the original purchaser or their family but it is rare.
_________________
The best camera ever made is the one that YOU enjoy using and produces the image quality that satifies YOU.
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
Display posts from previous:   
Post new topic   Reply to topic    Graflex.org Forum Index -> Other Graflex Camera Help All times are GMT
Page 1 of 1

 
Jump to:  
You cannot post new topics in this forum
You cannot reply to topics in this forum
You cannot edit your posts in this forum
You cannot delete your posts in this forum
You cannot vote in polls in this forum


Powered by phpBB © 2001, 2005 phpBB Group