THE BROOKLYN AND NASSAU CAMERAS
Brooklyn Camera Company, 1197 & 1199 Bedford Avenue, Brooklyn, New York 1891-1893
The Brooklyn with plate holders
The Nassau with its field case and plate holder
The Brooklyn and the Nassau were inexpensive student cameras, one of their advertisements declaring "our specialty is manufacturing cheap but good outfits for the trade". True to their claim, the cameras are simple in design, and reasonably well constructed.
Despite the lack of a maker's plate or body stampings, both are no doubt Brooklyn Camera Company products, sharing identical lenses, lens caps, hardware and bed construction. The only real difference between the two cameras is the Brooklyn's bellows in contrast to the Nassau's sliding box-in-a-box style. Like many other student cameras of the period, beyond the ability to focus they lacked more advanced movements such as swing, tilt and a rising/falling lens board.
The Brooklyn Camera Company's name has also been found on brass lenses, but they were most likely manufactured by another firm.
Relatively little is known about the firm, and with only advertisements from 1891-1893 to go by, the Brooklyn Camera Company was apparently short-lived. The Index to Record and Guide LVII for New York Conveyances, Leases, Mortgages, Projected Buildings and Advertisers, for January-June, 1896, contains an entry for the Brooklyn Camera Company, E.A. Landon, under the Judgments section (judgment debtor) in the amount of $35.85. If indeed this is THE Brooklyn Camera Company, it indicates the firm was still in existence by 1896, possibly experiencing financial problems that may have contributed to its demise.
Student cameras by other makers would remain popular into the late 1890's, with E. & H.T. Anthony continuing to market their Eureka School Outfit through 1901.
Compared with most of the student cameras made by Anthony, Scovill and E.I. Horseman, products from the Brooklyn Camera Company are quite rare. Almost none are seen today, and these are among the few examples known.