ANTHONY'S BICYCLE EQUIPMENT
E. & H.T. Anthony & Company, 591 Broadway, New York 1885-1895
Anthony's Bicycle Equipment in 3-1/4 x 4-1/2 was a modification of their Patent Bijou Camera for bicycle use. Introduced by September 1885, Anthony's Bicycle Equipment would continue to appear in Anthony's Illustrated Catalogues through at least December, 1895. The Patent Bijou, also introduced in 1885, disappears from Anthony's catalogues by 1898. James W. Queen & Company also marketed Anthony's Bicycle Equipment in 1886/1887 as the "Light Roadster" Photographic Outfit. How long Queen carried it is unknown, but the "Light Roadster" does not appear in their 1891 catalog. James W. Queen marketed products by Anthony, American Optical, Scovill and others, sometimes placing a different model name on them and altering the manufacturer's original engravings to reflect the Queen name:
Ad from James W. Queen & Company's 1886 Catalogue
Anthony's Bicycle Equipment was also marketed in 1889, by the Schultze Photo Equipment Company, New York, as "Schultze's Bicycle Equipment":
Ad from Schultze's Descriptive Catalogue, 1889
Ad from Anthony's Illustrated Catalogue January, 1891
Considering that Anthony as well as other makers offered comparably priced cameras in larger, more popular formats, relatively few Patent Bijous and Bicycle Equipments were sold. Based on this, one would think production would have ceased after a few years. Yet, for cameras that were manufactured for about a decade, only one Patent Bijou and at least three Bicycle Equipments are known to exist. Production aside, this is probably due in part to their Lilliputian size and the fragility of their construction. Many were likely damaged or destroyed in cycling mishaps, or were simply lost, having being tucked away in tiny places we've yet to discover.
This example is equipped with its factory nickel-plated single achromatic lens, stamped with Anthony's familiar "EA" trademark. The oval manufacturer's tag sporting cursive lettering is one of Anthony's two well known styles; the other being rectangular with block lettering. The camera's tailboard is stamped with the patent dates November 11, 1884 (covering general construction of the box and securing the ground glass in its frame) and February 20, 1883 (design of the lens standard). These patented improvements can be found on other Anthony cameras, most notably on the Novel/Novelette series. Of the Bicycle Equipment's two other known examples, one has nickel-plated lens standard posts and hardware with a rectangular manufacturer's tag, with the other being brass finished as in this example but having a rectangular manufacturer's tag.
The Patent Bijou and Bicycle Equipment are without a doubt, two of Anthony's rarest cameras. Including known examples of both models, one can probably count the total survivors with two hands.