THE GARDEN CITY, "B"
Manhattan Optical Company, Cresskill, New Jersey, for
Montgomery Ward & Company, Chicago, Illinois 1897
This Garden City, "B", proclaimed by the ivoroid tag affixed to the side access door, was actually Manhattan Optical Company's Bo-Peep B, private-branded for Montgomery Ward & Company of Chicago, Illinois. Manhattan Optical's cameras were also marketed by the A.S. Aloe Company, St. Louis, Missouri, as their "Globe" Series, and were sold under the Bo-Peep name by various photographic supply houses.
This 4x5 example is equipped with Gundlach's Shutter & Iris Diaphragm, which is also found in aluminum faceplate versions on Milburn's Korona Hand Camera and some Eastman Kodet models of the same period. The bed features a beautiful selection of wood, the center panel contrasted by its surrounding frame.
The camera's greatest distinction, though, is having the "Garden City" name. Despite being sold by one of the biggest retailers of the time, the Garden City series of cameras are almost never seen today.
No doubt others must exist, but in many years of collecting, it's one of only two Garden City-branded cameras I've ever encountered.