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Century Graphic serial number check please :)
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Akki14



Joined: 23 Aug 2008
Posts: 3
Location: London, UK

PostPosted: Sun Jun 07, 2009 3:30 pm    Post subject: Century Graphic serial number check please :) Reply with quote

I love my uncle. He's given me a little 2x3 century graphic.


Seems like the side range finder works though I've not run a roll through it (came with a "23" Graphic 120 film back, along with a ground glass) yet.

So... how old is it? It's number is 521625
Just looking for approximates from the Not the Serial List But... really if anyone has that.
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Dan Fromm



Joined: 14 May 2001
Posts: 2085
Location: New Jersey

PostPosted: Sun Jun 07, 2009 3:57 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

s/n 521625 was one of a batch of 600 Century Graphic serial numbers assigned 1/29/54. The next batch was assigned 4/13/54, so your uncle's Century was probably made between the two dates.

Use it, enjoy using it,

Dan
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Les



Joined: 09 May 2001
Posts: 2682
Location: Detroit, MI

PostPosted: Sun Jun 07, 2009 6:27 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hi Dan,
while it would seem logical that the batches were strung--one batch begins when the previous batch ends, I have no proof of it. and in some cases the batch dates are very close together, almost too close to finish a batch. Could Graflex make 600 Century cameras in three months while still making other cameras? That looks awfully tight to me.

On the other hand it's equally possible they did both--sometimes they may have anticipated demand and ordered a new batch before the previous batch was finished, other times they may have let the previous batch finish for a few days weeks motnhs, before starting a new batch.
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Dan Fromm



Joined: 14 May 2001
Posts: 2085
Location: New Jersey

PostPosted: Sun Jun 07, 2009 9:02 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Les, you could well be right. There's no way of knowing for sure when a serial number was actually used. But the numbers assigned to Centuries, as reported in the non-book, run sequentially from 500000 assigned in 1949 to 533883 assigned in 1964. Serial numbers weren't assigned at a steady rate.

Because of my interest in 2x3 Graphics, I've tabulated their s/ns as reported in the non-book. Here's the Century tally:

1949 9590
1950 5000
1951 3600
1952 1500
1953 1600
1954 3600
1955 1000
1956
1957
1958 500
1959 550
1960 550
1961 1590
1962 2314
1963 1500
1964 1000

I can't tell whether the non-book is incomplete -- I suspect it is -- or when the last Century was made or why the rate at which numbers were assigned picked up towards the end. And of course I can't tell whether the last Century was 533883. I wonder whether any of us has a Century with a higher s/n.

One striking find is that the last 2x3 Pacemaker (in this context, Speed & Crown) s/n, 716705, was assigned in 1954. I wonder whether any of us has a 2x3 Speed or Crown with a higher s/n.

Cheers,

Dan
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C. Henry



Joined: 13 Dec 2005
Posts: 360
Location: North East Georgia, USA

PostPosted: Sun Jun 07, 2009 9:04 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

The two numbers on Shutterfinger's "Not the Serial Number Book List, But.." closest to your camera's serial number are:
517253 - Century -- 1951
and
523213 - century -- 1954
Dan Fromm's answer narrows it down much better and is probably correct. In any case it is very close to the actual date of manufacture.
At this late date it is highly unlikely that a better answer will ever be found.

C. Henry
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mopar_guy



Joined: 07 Aug 2008
Posts: 126
Location: Washington, the State

PostPosted: Wed Jun 10, 2009 12:42 am    Post subject: Crown Graphic S/N Reply with quote

Hi Dan,

I have two 2X3 Crown Graphics, S/N 731102, and S/N 731926.

Dave
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Dan Fromm



Joined: 14 May 2001
Posts: 2085
Location: New Jersey

PostPosted: Wed Jun 10, 2009 8:54 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

The book isn't very specific about that range of serial numbers. After June '47, before Feb '50.
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mopar_guy



Joined: 07 Aug 2008
Posts: 126
Location: Washington, the State

PostPosted: Thu Jun 11, 2009 12:04 am    Post subject: Two Crown Graphics Reply with quote

Dan,

For what it's worth, Crown #731102 has Kodak Ektar 101mm f4.5 EI699 and Crown #731926 has Kodak Ektar 105mm f3.7 ES3009. Both cameras have Graflok backs. I had believed these to be from the same run of cameras from '49 or '50.

Dave
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mopar_guy



Joined: 07 Aug 2008
Posts: 126
Location: Washington, the State

PostPosted: Thu Jun 11, 2009 12:41 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Also;

http://graflex.org/helpboard/viewtopic.php?t=1632

Dave
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Dan Fromm



Joined: 14 May 2001
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Location: New Jersey

PostPosted: Thu Jun 11, 2009 8:47 am    Post subject: Re: Two Crown Graphics Reply with quote

mopar_guy wrote:
Dan,

For what it's worth, Crown #731102 has Kodak Ektar 101mm f4.5 EI699 and Crown #731926 has Kodak Ektar 105mm f3.7 ES3009. Both cameras have Graflok backs. I had believed these to be from the same run of cameras from '49 or '50.

Dave
By the camerosity code (c = 1, a = 2, ...) that EKCo used, the 101/4.5 is from '49 and the 105/3.7 is from '47. Since lenses can move from camera to camera, they don't always prove much.

If the numbers in the book can be trusted, 4002 2x3 Crown serial numbers were assigned after 6/9/47 (when the batch 439871 - 441870 was assigned) and before 2/21/50 (when the batch 706001 - 707001 was assigned).

If I read the book correctly, serial numbers from 706001 to 716705, assigned in '54, contain both 2x3 Crowns and 2x3 Speeds. It has no 2x3 Crown or Speed serial numbers assigned after 1/29/54; from then on the only 2x3s listed are Centuries.

This doesn't seem quite right, I'd be happy to have more/better/different information.

.
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1banjo



Joined: 16 Nov 2008
Posts: 492
Location: kansas

PostPosted: Sat Jun 20, 2009 4:04 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

hey all
I have 2 century graphic Serial numbers are 507976, & 533280
I have 3 2x3 crown Serial numbers are 711409, 714684, has a ektar thats a 1954 & 714805 and 2x3 Speed is 448969

1banjo
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Henry



Joined: 09 May 2001
Posts: 1608
Location: Allentown, Pennsylvania

PostPosted: Sat Jun 20, 2009 12:29 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

507967 = 1949
533280 = 1964
711409 = 1951
714684 = 1953
714805 = 1953
448969 = 1947
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1banjo



Joined: 16 Nov 2008
Posts: 492
Location: kansas

PostPosted: Sat Jun 20, 2009 4:43 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

hey Henry
how can I get this list that youall are useing ??
and why is 507967 = 1949 and a 533280 = 1964 by the number
507967 = 1949 you would thank that 533280 would be a 52 or 53!!

1banjo
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Henry



Joined: 09 May 2001
Posts: 1608
Location: Allentown, Pennsylvania

PostPosted: Sat Jun 20, 2009 7:10 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Apparently, production didn't run in equal-sized batches, so you can' t extract dates by extending forward or backward from a single known date. You have to interpolate between two known dates, which does sometimes involve some guesstimation. But another 533xxx on the list was produced in '64, so the assumption is that yours was, too. It's definitely not '50s!

See your P.M.
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Dan Fromm



Joined: 14 May 2001
Posts: 2085
Location: New Jersey

PostPosted: Sat Jun 20, 2009 8:51 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

1banjo, the late Tim Holden, who was at Graflex for many years, compiled a list of serial numbers by product that included batch numbers and date assigned. Graflex assigned serial numbers in blocks, probably (but we can't be sure) assigned a new block when the previous one was used up.

I have a friend who collects all sorts of Zeiss equipment, and especially lenses. There are similar s/n lists for Zeiss lenses. Charlie has warned me vigorously that serial numbers assigned were not always used, also that there are anomalies.

A copy of what I believe is Mr. Holden's serial number book has been circulating. I think it is incomplete, but it is the best we have. I've acquired a copy m'self, naturally by devious means. Because I'm interested mainly in 2x3 Graphics, I've compiled the 2x3 Graphic serial numbers in it. I may have missed some, the book may contain errors, and I believe that the book is incomplete. FWIW, here's what it has on Century Graphic serial numbers:

year job # # units date 1st s/n last s/n

1949 30429 500 7/28/1949 500000 500500
29843 2000 8/10/1949 500501 502501
20136 3990 9/27/1949 502502 506492
20469 3100 11/16/1949 506493 509594
1950 21094 1500 2/10/1950 509595 511094
22221 1500 7/18/1950 511095 512595
22743 2000 9/21/1950 512595 514596
1951 23493 1100 1/17/1951 514597 515697
40275 1500 2/12/1951 515698 517198
40323 1000 10/16/1951 517199 518199
1952 40363 1500 7/25/1952 518200 519699
1953 40420 1000 4/14/1953 519700 520699
40502 600 10/28/1953 520700 521299
1954 40535 600 1/29/1954 521300 521899
40557 500 4/13/1954 521900 522399
40579 500 5/28/1954 522400 522899
40583 500 7/19/1954 522900 523399
40613 500 8/31/1954 523400 523899
40638 1000 11/1/1954 523900 524899
1955 40652 1000 2/11/1955 524900 525899
1958 8709 500 11/19/1958 525900 526399
1959 9022 550 12/18/1959 526400 526949
1960 9273 550 11/11/1960 526950 527479
1961 9394 530 3/13/1961 527480 528009
9464 530 7/14/1961 528010 528539
1035 530 11/27/1961 528540 529069
1962 23299 1000 2/15/1962 529070 530069
23944 1000 7/12/1962 530070 531069
24541 314 11/21/1962 531070 531383
1963 20075 1500 7/19/1963 531384 532883
1964 1000 5/25/1964 532884 533883

Making it readable is your job.

You can see that as Henry remarked serial numbers were not assigned at anything like a constant rate; for example, none were assigned in 1956-7. Job number was reset or set back a number of times.

One thing that leaps out of the book is that 2x3 Graphics weren't made in large numbers. In the peak year, about 19,000 serial numbers were assigned. Leica production (all bodies) far exceeded that level.
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