American Optical Company, Scovill & Adams, Proprietors          1893 - 1897







This second version of the Henry Clay Camera now incorporates a hinged-bed design, which is found on most surviving examples of the Henry Clay. 

The example shown here is equipped with a Mathein (or Wale & Mathein) Shutter, which became standard issue for the Henry Clay by at least late 1893.  This is reflected in an ad engraving from Scovill & Adams' The American Annual of Photography and Photographic Times Almanac for 1894, copyrighted 1893:




Prior to this, an ad engraving in Scovill & Adams' How to Make Photographs, October, 1893, depicts the Henry Clay with Scovill's Instantaneous Lens and Shutter:




Although Scovill is carrying forward their generic wording with both advertisements stating "5x7 Henry Clay Camera complete, with Instantaneous Lens and Plain Shutter", the two shutters are of distinctly different designs, each covered by its own patent:


Scovill's Instantaneous Lens and Shutter


      Scovill's Instantaneous Lens and Shutter - Manual version (1891-1893)



                                Source:  Google Patents



Mathein (or Wale & Mathein) Shutter




                             Source: Google Patents


                               Source: Google Patents


The date range cited for this Henry Clay Camera is 1893-1897, as by 1897 or 1898, the last version of the Henry Clay is introduced with a slightly more compact body.  The dimensions of the camera shown here are 8-1/4" in height, 6-1/4" depth and 9" width, whereas the last model's dimensions are stated in advertisements as being 7-1/2" in height, 5-1/2" in depth and 9" in width. These last dimensions appear to follow through to the end of the Henry Clay's production in 1899.


All models of the Henry Clay are considered rare today, and they are seldom encountered.