Bausch & Lomb Optical Company, Rochester, New York         1892 - 1897



Pending more information, I've designated this shutter the "Time & Instantaneous Shutter - Model of 1892", based upon its believed year of introduction. Its uniquely identifying feature is the number of levers employed and their arrangement.  The lever at top behind the speed dial cocked the shutter, the lever at right selected either time or instantaneous exposures and the lever at left above the pneumatic release valve is the manual release.  The dial at top is marked "0", "1", "2" and "3", for the shutter's four speed settings:






Dr. Rudolf Kingslake indicated the shutter was made about 1892, referring to it as the "Vici", taken from the name seen on its aperture scale. The speed dial, as seen in Kingslake's photo below, is marked "Sunart Photo Co."  Kingslake was hired as the Chief Lens Designer for Eastman Kodak in 1937.  After 32 years, many of which were spent leading Eastman's Optical Department, he retired in 1969.  Later working with the George Eastman House as it was then known, he helped in cataloging part of their Technology Collection.  In an article titled "The Bausch & Lomb Shutters", written for the Western Photographic Collector's Association's journal, The Photographist, Summer, 1981, Dr. Kingslake outlines Bausch & Lomb's earliest shutters, profiled from a collection of early shutters given to the George Eastman House by Bausch & Lomb. Highlighted were many that reached production, along with this "Time & Instantaneous Shutter - Model of 1892", and several prototypes that were never marketed.


     Bausch & Lomb's Time & Instantaneous Shutter - Model of 1892        Source: The Photographist, Summer, 1981


The Time & Instantaneous Shutter - Model of 1892 featured here has the "Sunart" name on the shutter's aperture scale, along with "Bausch & Lomb Optical Co." just below the lens.  In practice, shutters by Bausch & Lomb and other makers were often tagged with either the shutter's name, the camera's name or the camera manufacturer's name.  In the case of this example found on a Sunart Vici 5x7, Bausch & Lomb applied the company's name to the aperture scale.  Other than its shutter speed designations, the speed dial is unmarked:



                                                            Sunart Vici 5x7 camera with the Time & Instantaneous Shutter - Model of 1892



The Vici was one of three models (Veni, Vidi, Vici) manufactured by the Sunart Photo Company in the 1890's. The shutter's reported 1892 introduction is reinforced by the Sunart Vici's 1893 introduction, suggesting the camera and shutter to be period-correct. The Sunart Vici 5x7 shown here, having an overall heavier construction with tubular guide rails, places its manufacture in the earliest years of the company established in 1893. Later Sunart models would be lighter and less elaborate, trending toward the cycle-style cameras that emerged in the mid-to-late 1890's. The Time & Instantaneous Shutter - Model of 1892's general construction is also indicative of the early to mid-1890's period, when other makers such as Gundlach were also beginning to utilize levers on their shutters.


Little else is known about the Time & Instantaneous Shutter - Model of 1892. But looking back on the history of Bausch & Lomb's shutters, that both preceded and succeeded this model, it's doubtful they would have built the shutter solely for Sunart.  Possibly, Sunart was the first and only company whose cameras were ever equipped with them, before the shutter's design was quickly abandoned. 


With no other references or advertisements found, and these being the only two physical examples I've ever encountered, production was initially thought to have lasted for maybe a year or so. New information as reflected in the updates below, now suggests that the shutter may have been made for at least four or five years, unless Andrew J. Lloyd & Co. obtained new old stock from Bausch & Lomb to outfit their private-branded cameras.  Not as glitzy a shutter as Bausch & Lomb's earlier Diaphragm models, but very rare nonetheless.



Since the above information was put together, a new example of this shutter having a rotary aperture (or wheel stop) was discovered:



This example appears identical, the only differences being the rotary aperture versus the iris aperture seen on the "Sunart Vici" version above, and the lack of an aperture scale. This may present some conflict in the Model of 1892's initially believed timeline, since wheel stops on some shutters such as Bausch & Lomb's Victor, seem to be the norm up until 1896 when iris apertures replaced them. Bausch & Lomb's original model of the Unicum Shutter, also reported to have been introduced in 1893, was also equipped with wheel stops, followed by the Unicum Model of 1897 with an iris. With the Model of 1892 being a Bausch & Lomb product, as well, it's presumed that all the company's shutters would have followed the same progression from the wheel stop to the iris, and not vice versa.  Gundlach Optical Company's shutters of the same period, also follow a similar pattern.

This all tends to reinforce, that this wheel stop version of the Model of 1892 pre-dates the iris version. With wheel stops beginning to appear on some shutters by 1891 and iris apertures coming into general use by 1895/1896, the timeline for Bausch & Lomb's Model of 1892 Shutter as well as the Sunart Vici Camera (featured on this website) will most likely push forward by a few years.  



Adding to the above information, the shutter is also seen on the "Lloyd" Camera, being named the "Lloyd Shutter" and equipped with an iris aperture. The "Lloyd" Camera was marketed by the Andrew J. Lloyd & Company, appearing in their 1897 catalogue. Previous to now, Bausch & Lomb's Model of 1892 Shutter reportedly appeared briefly in 1892/1893 before being discontinued. However, its appearance on the "Lloyd" Camera now suggests that B&L's Model of 1892 had a much longer timeline, possibly being manufactured for maybe four or five years into 1897 at least.