Marketed through the New York Camera Exchange         1897



Other than a few advertisements from 1897 and being listed in McKeown's Price Guide to Antique and Classic Cameras 2005-2006, nothing has been found regarding the "Radix" which was sold by the New York Camera Exchange. "Radix" is the Latin word for "root" or "base" and is also an Italian surname. However, the origin of the camera's name as applied here is unknown.


This compact and well-built 3-1/4 x 4-1/4 plate box camera having dimensions of approximately 4-1/2" in height, 6" in width and 7-5/8" in depth, was capable of holding three double plate holders. Externally, the camera's most striking feature is the shutter's tensioning lever. It's capable of three speeds, and is set by moving it in the opposite direction after each exposure. The shutter is cycled by depressing a wheel-shaped release, that when rotated appears to lock the release preventing an accidental exposure.  Equipped with two brilliant finders, one of two aperture settings can be selected by sliding the lever in the slot next to the lens opening:

Opening the rear door, the "Radix" name is prominently emblazoned in gold leaf:




The earliest reference to the "Radix" is found in the Scientific American for February 20, 1897. Here's a link to the reference:


Here's the link to an advertisement in The American Amateur Photographer, Volume IX, No. 12, December, 1897:


It's unknown as to who actually manufactured the "Radix", which appears to have been produced for maybe a year or so. I don't recall seeing the "Radix" in any reference books, and with this being the only example I've encountered in many years of collecting, it's extremely scarce (if not borderline rare) as plate box cameras go.