THE KLONDIKE CAMERA

   American Optical Company, New York             1898 -1900

 

The Klondike, with its unmistakable front panel, was manufactured by the American Optical Company and sold by E. & H.T. Anthony & Company of New York.

According to an announcement in The Photographic Times, Volume XXX, No. 1 for January,1898, "The American Optical Co. has decided to meet competition with a Five Dollar Camera worthy of its well-known high grade standard, and their camera is the Klondike, which takes a picture of the standard size, 3-1/4 x 4-1/4." 

 

   

     From Anthony's Illustrated Catalogue of Photographic Equipments and Materials for Amateurs, February, 1898

 

The camera and shutter were designed by Edward F. Edgecomb of New Haven, Connecticut, under Patent No.'s 638,102 and No. 638,103, which were both dated November 28, 1899 and assigned to E. & H.T. Anthony & Company.

Edgecomb's camera patent states "my invention relates to an improvement in that class of portable cameras employing rolled sensitized films, the object being to produce a camera the box of which is completed and covered preparatory to the introduction of its equipment into it, to provide for the convenient introduction and removal of the film and platen and for the effective exclusion of light from the box when it is closed, and to furnish means for holding the film in place against the front of the platen. A further object of my invention is to produce a camera in which the number of movable parts is reduced to the minimum consistent with a high character of effective work."

Edgecomb's shutter patent states "My invention relates to an improvement in portable cameras, the object being to locate the shutter mechanism and its various related instrumentalities in a movement-block capable of being readily introduced into and removed from the camera-box to arrange the instantaneous and time buttons at the front end of the box, so that they may be operated without danger of moving it in either direction at the time the exposure is made."

Although patented in 1899, the Klondike made its debut by February,1898 in Anthony's Illustrated Catalogue of Photographic Equipments and Materials for Amateurs. Available for about three years, the Klondike no longer appeared in Anthony's catalogues beyond 1900.

 

For its time, a camera with a rather unique shutter that is almost never seen today.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

         

                    Source:  U.S. Patent and Trademark Office

      

                       Source:  U.S. Patent and Trademark Office

         

                      Source:  U.S. Patent and Trademark Office

      

                       Source:  U.S. Patent and Trademark Office

 

      

       Cover page from Anthony's Illustrated Catalogue of Photographic Equipments and Materials for Amateurs, February, 1898

 

      

        Cover of Anthony's Illustrated Catalogue of Photographic Equipments and Materials for Amateurs, February, 1898