Manhattan Optical Company, Cresskill, New Jersey           1895-1896




The original model Bo-Peep was introduced by Manhattan Optical Company, Cresskill, New Jersey by 1895, as evidenced by its appearance in both Harper's Magazine and Montgomery Ward's Catalogue No. 57 for 1895.  This first version, advertised simply as the "Bo-Peep" was available in 4x5 and 5x7.  Like Manhattan's Night-Hawk Folding Camera of the same era, the original Bo-Peep was characterized (and is easily identifiable) by its wood-enclosed shutter. Equipped with a patented anastigmat lens, a rotating aperture and a pneumatic release, it was capable of time and instantaneous exposures.  In fact, both the Night-Hawk Folding and the Bo-Peep shared the same shutter architecture:


Shutterbook Photos A 4-6-2012 022

                            Manhattan Optical's Night-Hawk Folding Camera


Over the course of its production, the Bo-Peep would be offered in at least five known models:  The original (shown here), models A, B and C and the Bo-Peep Extra.  These A, B and C models would also be marketed by other photographic supply houses under the "Globe" and "Folding Globe" names, as the Folding Globe Series models by the A.S. Aloe Company, the Globe Series by the Jas. H. Smith & Company and in the case of Montgomery Ward, as their "Garden City" series. Little is known of the Bo-Peep Extra, other than its appearance in an 1895 advertisement. The ad's engraving shows the Extra equipped with Bausch & Lomb's Iris Diaphragm Shutter.  The original model of Manhattan Optical's Wizard Camera from the same era, was also equipped with the Iris Diaphragm. Adding to this array, the "Globe" name was also applied to Wizard Cameras as well.

With the introduction of the Bo-Peep A in 1896 (or the "Improved Bo-Peep as it was called in advertisements that year), the original Bo-Peep's production probably lasted no more than a year and a half at best.


The original Bo-Peep, along with Manhattan Optical's Night-Hawk (detective) and Night-Hawk Folding Cameras from the company's earliest years, was never popular and very short-lived.  This is reflected in the handful of examples that have surfaced.


                       Note the pneumatic release nipple near the lens board's base








                               From Montgomery Ward's 1895 Catalogue



                                      Montgomery Ward 1895 Catalogue No. 57 reprint