THE ROCHESTER FOLDING CAMERA - FINAL MODEL
Rochester Camera Manufacturing Company, Rochester, New York 1894-Early 1895
Other than the Rochester Hand Camera, this appears to be the last Rochester Camera Manufacturing Company model to carry the "Rochester" name. Until I can determine the correct factory designation, it's referred to it here as the "Rochester Folding Camera - Final Model" to distinguish it from the previous RCM models bearing the "Rochester" name.
Presuming it to be the last model and that it does not appear in RCM's 1893 or June, 1895 catalogues, it was no doubt built in 1894 and possibly into early 1895. This is supported by the external shutter that it's been found equipped with, believed to be the original model of the Poco Shutter made by the Gundlach Optical Company, Rochester, New York. Although the shutter was patented May 22, 1894, the patent filing occurred in early 1894 with shutters bearing "Patent Applied For" (see more details below).
The first camera in RCM's line-up was known simply as "The Rochester" or "The Rochester Camera", also referred to by some collectors as the "Rochester Box". It was followed by the "Rochester 5x7 Folding" and "Rochester 4x5 Folding" Cameras, also generically referred to as the "Folding Rochester".
Featured here are four 4x5 examples of this final model, and it's unknown whether any other formats were offered:
Rochester Folding Camera - Final Model 4x5 Manual Release
It's interesting to note that the position of the focusing scale and viewfinder on this camera, is on the opposite side to those seen on the other Rochester Folding cameras featured here, as well as on most other self-casing cameras of the period.
Rochester Folding - Final Model 4x5 Pneumatic Release
This pneumatic release version of the Poco Shutter is seen in the Gundlach Optical Company advertisement below.
Rochester Folding - Final Model 4x5 Wood-enclosed Shutter
The wood enclosed shutter on this model differs from the more massive and buttressed-styled versions found on the earlier Rochester 5x7 Folding Camera. Some of RCM's earliest folding cameras, the Rochester 5x7 Folding and the Rochester 4x5 Folding, were equipped with wood-enclosed shutters having differences in the design and placement of the controls.
Rochester Folding - Final Model 4x5 Extended Body
This extended body model measures approximately 6-1/4" deep, and was capable of holding five standard 4x5 plate holders. This is in contrast to the standard version measuring approximately 5" deep that held three plate holders. This is the only example of this model I've encountered with an extended body.
Extended Body Standard Body
As seen on this extended body version above, the Rapid Rectilinear lens is marked "R.C.M. Co., R.R. Lens".
An extended body has also been seen on this version of the Folding Poco Camera No. 12:
The Rochester Folding Camera - Final Model is almost never seen today and all versions can be considered extremely scarce or rare.
The Poco Shutter - Original Model
This first model of the Poco Shutter is believed to be the only external shutter that the Rochester Folding Camera - Final Model was factory equipped with. Referred to as "Our New Photographic Shutter" in the Gundlach Optical Company advertisement below, it has also been seen in another 1895 advertisement as the "New Poco Shutter". Examples have been found marked "Patent Applied For", with some being marked "Pat. May 22 '94", and some having no POCO name, "Patent Applied For" or "Pat. May 22 '94".
Examples with no markings or marked "Patent Applied For", suggests they were being manufactured sometime between February 15, 1894 (the patent's filing) and May 22, 1894 (date of Patent No. 520,198).
Advertisement from Scovill's American Annual of Photography and Photographic Times Almanac for 1895
Source: Google Patents
The Rochester Folding Camera - Final Model does not appear in RCM's June, 1895 catalogue, and by that time, the second model of the Poco Shutter has been introduced:
While having some design similarities to the original Poco Shutter and covered by the same May 22, 1894 patent, this second model is a modified design, now having a "Poco" nameplate with a decoratively etched casing.
For more information on Rochester Camera Manufacturing models and the shutters they're equipped with, look under the "Antique Cameras" and "Shutters" sections under this website.