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Oddball pre-anniversary... an Irving Jacobson special?

 
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Deuce



Joined: 12 Jun 2024
Posts: 2
Location: Ada, MI, USA

PostPosted: Wed Jun 12, 2024 5:33 pm    Post subject: Oddball pre-anniversary... an Irving Jacobson special? Reply with quote

So, I've just purchased a pre-anniversary Speed from eBay, and there's some weird bits that I just wanted to make sure I am interpreting correctly.

Serial number is 238677, and it came with an Ektar 127mm that has the exact solenoid pictured in patent #2151355 attached, and labeled "IRVING MFG CO". There's an extra arm brazed (or maybe just soldered) onto the release lever to allow the solenoid to push it down.

It also appears that the focal plane shutter has been modified as in patent #2406691 and has a connector beside the optical viewfinder also labeled IRVING MFG CO. The contacts are normally open, but when the winder knob is in one of two specific positions, the contacts are closed. I haven't taken the plate off to see what it looks like inside though.

The cables that came with it are hardened and destroyed, but the male bipin with the Irving label is in decent shape and held together with a screw and nut, so I think it can be reused.

Some other interesting things about it are that the location of the focal plane shutter info plate is different (on top), and I don't see an indication that it was ever on the side (no effort seems to have been make to cover old holes when modifications were made). The focal plane winder at the top actually rests against the rangefinder eyepiece tube thing and can't be wound when it's screwed in. There's also an extra mounting bracket behind the Focuspot under the viewfinder.

I actually bought the whole package to get the lenses, and removed the Ektar before I realized it may be "special". I still have all the parts and the lensboard though and the solenoid does work. I also have the bayonet cable that connects to the solenoid (no special markings), but it's also in unusable condition.

I guess my main question is, since I haven't seen pictures of this setup anywhere online, should I put the lens back on the "original" lensboard and try to trade it to a collector for a regular lens? I don't really value the solenoid and brazed extension arm at all (no plans to do electric shutter release or use a flash - certainly not a flashbulb setup), but I would hate to throw it out and discover someone's been hunting for one for years. The camera body I don't have any specific plans to use, but will likely snap a few pictures with it at some point, so I could certainly be convinced to let it go to a better home as well (it's not in danger of being thrown out though).

Here's a gallery of quick cell phone images I snapped of these parts. Happy to hear any interesting notes about them!
https://1drv.ms/a/s%21As1wu6G89QtTkMdQzJmIpzTEpBT_Yg?e=o8itwi
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William Hallett



Joined: 07 Jan 2012
Posts: 97

PostPosted: Thu Jun 13, 2024 6:12 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Two comments:
1. If you're trying to decide between the lens and the camera, note that the 127 Ektar is very common and easily obtainable (try for example Igor Camera in Cleveland). (It's also a very good lens.)

2. I also have a pre-Anniversary with the shutter speed plate on top, except that mine is on the left hand side of the top facing forward, where you can read it easily when you are composing and focussing. I also have a 1940 vintage Anniversary with the same configuration, so this may have simply been the standard placement at the time.
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Deuce



Joined: 12 Jun 2024
Posts: 2
Location: Ada, MI, USA

PostPosted: Thu Jun 13, 2024 6:53 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

William Hallett wrote:
Two comments:
1. If you're trying to decide between the lens and the camera, note that the 127 Ektar is very common and easily obtainable (try for example Igor Camera in Cleveland). (It's also a very good lens.)


Heh, that decision has been made... the reason I bid on the lot was specifically to get the Ektar 127mm and the Anastigmat 203mm. The 25 or so Graflex film holders are gravy as is the Protar V 3" (but with no shutter, and at f/18, not a huge one). The camera isn't at all what I want from a 45 camera, but it's neat so I'll at least keep it on a shelf somewhere and play with it occasionally.

The decision I'm trying to make is if I should go ahead and grind off the extra tab from the shutter release and toss the solenoid in the trash, or if doing that would make a collector somewhere weep for humanity.

If it's some important historical artifact, I don't want to be the one to destroy it.

William Hallett wrote:
2. I also have a pre-Anniversary with the shutter speed plate on top, except that mine is on the left hand side of the top facing forward, where you can read it easily when you are composing and focussing. I also have a 1940 vintage Anniversary with the same configuration, so this may have simply been the standard placement at the time.


Yeah, I've seen a number of them with the plate on the left-hand side, but don't think I've seen another with it on the right. Just part of the list of the "oh, that's different" list about the camera. Since I really have no idea what collectors care about, I just kinda jumbled it all in together.

Given just how many obvious modifications have been made to the camera (it has a Graflok back added as well), I doubt it's important in the history of Graflex, but figured I may as well toss those details in at the same time in case the lens and body combination makes some super-special collecting full house or something.
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Dan Fromm



Joined: 14 May 2001
Posts: 2131
Location: New Jersey

PostPosted: Sat Jun 15, 2024 8:37 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Re the retrofit Graflok, surely someone will want it to use.
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