THE CYCLE POCO
Rochester Camera Company, Rochester, New York mid to late 1895
Having a back door stamped "Rochester Camera Mfg. Co." and a shutter badge marked "R.C.Co.", this Cycle Poco Camera was probably manufactured by the Rochester Camera Company, just as it transitioned to its new name from the Rochester Camera Manufacturing Company in mid-to-late 1895. Initially available in 4x5 only, later models of the Cycle Poco would be offered in 3-1/4 x 4-1/4, 4x5, 5x7, 6-1/2 x 8-1/2 and 8x10.
The first camera in Rochester Camera Manufacturing Company's lineup to bear the "cycle" designation, this Cycle Poco example is equipped with Gundlach Optical Company's Shutter and Iris Diaphragm, referred to as the "new Poco Shutter" in Rochester Camera Company's 1896 catalogue. This shutter bears a patent date of May 22, 1894, for Patent No. 520,198 granted to Henry H. Turner. The patent was assigned to the Gundlach Optical Company, for the first version of the Poco Shutter, aspects of which are also found on the second and third versions:
Source: U.S. Patent and Trademark Office
Poco Shutter - First version
Poco Shutter - Second version with R.C.M. Co. badge
It's this second version of the Poco Shutter, seen above, that the original model of the Cycle Poco would have been equipped with. The example shown here is badged "R.C.M. Co." for Rochester Camera Manufacturing Company.
Most versions of the Cycle Poco seen today are those built later by the Rochester Camera Company or its successor, the Rochester Camera & Supply Company during the late 1890's up through 1903.
Earlier Cycle Poco and Folding Poco cameras by Rochester Camera Manufacturing Company, which exhibit an exceptional build quality and some of the most decorative shutters ever produced by Gundlach, are seen very infrequently.