E. & H.T. Anthony & Company, New York                                   1886-1901



This 5x8 Anthony Novelette Variation was converted to 5x7, and displays other modifications which may or may not be factory.

The most apparent feature is the shape of the lens standard which differs from the square and oval shapes typically seen.  Although various models of the Novel/Novelette were made between 1886-1901, I have never encountered this style lens standard. It is similar to the shape seen in factory engravings for the Fairy Camera (stereo version), although I have never seen a Fairy with other than a square or oval-shaped lens board:


From E. & H.T. Anthony's Illustrated Catalogue, January, 1891


From E. & H.T. Anthony's Illustrated Catalogue, January, 1891



The lens board appears factory original, constructed of the same wood as found on the rear frame. The bed frame at rear is stamped in typical Anthony fashion "E. & H.T. Anthony & Co., N.Y." with patents March 28, 1882 and February 20, 1883. The base of the lens standard also contains an additional section of wood forward of the typical Novelette's bed frame, displaying decorative curves.

Some of the camera's nickel fittings differ from those seen on other Novelettes, such as the lens board retainers. The original hinged ground glass focusing screen was removed, having been replaced with a black painted aluminum frame.  This frame allows use of a removable ground glass screen and plate holders, similar to those found on the Blair Hawk-Eye Detective, Rochester Optical Premier and the Folding (Satchel) Kodak. While neatly done, this modification doesn't appear original, unless the camera was a factory test bed.

The lens, an A. Laverne, Paris No. 67, Serial No. 99404 marketed by C.H. Codman & Company, has an odd barrel extension similar to those found on magic lantern lenses.  However, it has a factory configured Waterhouse stop slot, which is not seen on lantern and projection lenses. And, for whatever reason, the mounting flange was placed on the rear of the lens board. 


Despite the changes noted and missing its wood finials, the camera is a Novelette through and through, with swing and tilt, rotating bellows and rear frame, and being notched for stereo work.  Maybe some of the modifications were done from a marketing standpoint to distinguish (or to private brand) this model from Anthony's standard line. Beyond that, the camera's back was probably modified to the owner's personal preference or to facilitate ease of use.