THE SUNART CYCLE VIDI NO. 2
Sunart Photo Company, Rochester, New York 1899
The Sunart Cycle Vidi No. 2 was one of several cameras in the Sunart Photo Company series that were named "Veni", "Vidi" and "Vici" to distinguish their various features. When used in a phrase, the Latin verbs loosely translate to "I came, I saw, I conquered".
Although Sunart's Vidi was introduced years earlier, the Sunart Cycle Vidi No. 2 in 4x5 would not make its appearance until 1899, just as the Sunart Photo Company's assets were being acquiesced into what would become Seneca Camera Company. Like many self-casing cameras from other makers that emerged in the early 1890's, as the decade progressed the heavier construction, elaborate hardware and other more sophisticated features that characterized Sunart's products, gave way towards lighter and more compact cameras. By 1899, the cycle craze was in full swing and two-thirds of the self-casing cameras offered by Sunart reflected this trend.
Having the only wood-encased shutter in the company's line-up, its beauty and simplicity enhanced what was already an extremely well-built camera. The Cycle Vidi No. 2's fit, finish and the quality of materials used was second to none, and this standard was upheld over the Sunart Photo Company's entire existence.
Sunart's cameras are seldom seen today, when compared against the much greater number of surviving cameras from other companies of the period. As a marque, they are unsurpassed.
From Sunart's 1899 catalogue Image courtesy of Pacific Rim Camera
Sunart's 1899 catalogue Image courtesy of Pacific Rim Camera