E. & H.T. Anthony & Company, New York                       1870's - 1890's



Introduced by E. & H.T. Anthony & Company by the early 1870's, Anthony's Victoria Success Camera would still be offered through 1904, by its successor company, Anthony & Scovill and by photographic suppliers such as Burke & James which still carried it in their 1906-1907 catalog. This 4-Lens Carte-de-visite (cdv) camera, amongst a number of multiple lens cameras offered by other makers, was originally introduced for use with the wet collodion process. As a class, they were often referred to as "ferrotype boxes", "ferrotype cameras" or "gem cameras".


Essentially unchanged over its lifespan, the Victoria Success would be found under a variety of names such as " The New Victoria Box" (1872), "The Success Victoria Camera" (1876), the "Climax Portrait and Gem Camera, No. 43C" (1880), The New York Gem Camera" (1880), "Anthony's Cincinnati Gem Camera" (1884), "Anthony's New Victoria Box" (1888) and the " 5x7 Improved Victoria Camera" (1893).



      From W.D. Gatchel's Illustrated and Descriptive Catalogue, Photographic Goods and Apparatus, 1888



Although some makers offered models with single and double swing capability, many were more basic in construction and had no movements. But in either case, their forte was the ability to produce multiple images on a single plate in a studio setting. Depending on the number of lenses employed (2-lens, 4-lens, 9-lens, etc.) and the plate's dimensions, multiple images could be produced in a variety of sizes. Based on the scant availability of early catalogues, the presumed accuracy of their engravings and that modifications were made over the course of production, identifying a specific model for many pre-1900 hand, self-casing, field and studio cameras can sometimes prove challenging.


That said, determining this Victoria Success camera's actual date of manufacture is difficult to pinpoint, but some aspects do help to narrow the timeline. The camera's solid bed would suggest it to be earlier, versus a folding bed which on many models is generally indicative of later manufacture. However, the Victoria Success appears to have retained a solid bed throughout production, offering no help in this instance. Having the familiar nickel-plated "E. & H.T. Anthony, 591 Broadway, New York" maker's tag, dates the camera to no earlier than February 10, 1869, as the company moved to this address on that date from 501 Broadway, New York. Having a patent date of November 11, 1884 stamped on its bed frame, also precludes it from being built prior to that date. The "E. & H.T. Anthony, 591 Broadway, New York" address changed to 122-124 Fifth Avenue, New York by June, 1901, which would be the same address for the successor Anthony & Scovill Company formed in December, 1901. Exhibiting some collodion staining on the plate holder carriage, and more significantly on the plate holder itself, suggests it was used to some degree as a wet plate camera. But despite the wet collodion process transitioning to the dry plate in the 1880's, ferrotype photography would continue into the 1890's and later production cameras could have used either process. Taken altogether, this example falls somewhere between 1884 and about 1900.






Accompanied by its plate holder, this camera was formerly of the Jordan Patkin Collection.


Anthony's Victoria Success Camera, along with other multiple lens cameras of the period, is rarely seen today.