THE KENNEDY MAGAZINE CAMERA
J.H. Kennedy, St. Paul, Minnesota 1895-1896
Capable of holding twelve 3-1/4 x 4-1/4 inch dry plates or cut films in metal sheaths, the Kennedy Magazine Camera utilized a unique plate changing mechanism. With a sliding-hinged compartment arrangement, any of the twelve plates could be moved from their storage positions into the film plane and back again, with a peg-in-hole registration to correctly position and count off the exposures as each plate was used. Unlike the Rex Magazine Camera that is believed to have followed it, it's not known whether the Kennedy was also available in 4x5 or 2x2.
The camera's design was patented by David B. Craw of Oshkosh, Wisconsin, Patent No. 543,439 dated July 23, 1895, with one-half interest being assigned to Everett G. Tulledge, also of Oshkosh. The patent was announced in The Photographic Times, Volume XXVII for October, 1895.
The camera in its first form appears to have been manufactured by J. H. Kennedy of St. Paul, Minnesota. J.H. Kennedy is listed as the Vice President of the Minnesota Carriage & Sleigh Company of St. Paul Park in 1889. Although no name appears to have been designated, the Kennedy Magazine Camera as it has been referred to by collectors had a simple instantaneous shutter and a single circular-shaped viewfinder. The Rex Magazine Camera appears to have followed the Kennedy, and was equipped with an additional T-setting knob and two rectangular-shaped viewfinders for horizontal and vertical pictures.
Little is known of either Craw or Tulledge. In 1919, Tulledge was listed as being proprietor of the Pleasant View Kennels in Oakfield, Wisconsin. In 1900, he was listed as a travel agent in Minneapolis, Minnesota. Advertisements in 1897 show an address of 13 and 15 West 28th Street, New York, with the factory being located at 89 East Third Street, St. Paul, Minnesota. Executive Documents of the State of Minnesota for the Fiscal Year ending July 31, 1898, still lists their place of business as St. Paul. The register pin's nameplate on this example is stamped "Manufactured by J.H. Kennedy, St. Paul, Minn." A John H. Kennedy of Minneapolis, Minnesota was granted Patent No. 778,250 on December 27, 1904 for a "Grain Door for Cars". It's believed that this is the same J.H. Kennedy. The Kennedy Magazine Camera was probably made for a year or less, becoming the Rex Magazine in 1896.
Made in even fewer numbers than the Rex Magazine Camera, I have not been able to locate any advertisements. A few Kennedys are known to exist, and I have only come across maybe three Rex Magazine Cameras over the last thirty years. Both cameras can be considered rare, and being the progenitor, the Kennedy even more so.
Source: Google Patents