THE SUNART VICI

    Sunart Photo Company, Rochester, New York            1893-1899

                                                                                                Vici 5x7

 

The Sunart Vici was one of several cameras in a Sunart 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".

 

Introduced in 1893, the year of Sunart's founding, the camera in this series were characterized by their heavier construction, elaborate hardware and their unique tubular guide rails.  Due to the lack of reference material, it's hard to determine how long these heavier-built Sunart's lasted.  However, based on cameras by other manufacturers of the period that were also more heavily constructed, the trend lasted for about three or four years. One exception was the Henry Clay Regular, which remained virtually unchanged until its last year or two of production.  By 1899, Sunart's last year, only the Vici and the Vidi remained with the Veni having been dropped from Sunart's 1898 catalogue. Later Sunart models would be lighter and less elaborate, trending toward the cycle-style cameras that emerged in the mid-to-late 1890's. In 1899, Sunart was

 

The Vici was available in 4x5, 5x7 and 6-1/2 x 8-1/2 formats. Two of these Vici's are shown here.  The Vici 5x7 is equipped with Bausch & Lomb's Time & Instantaneous Shutter - Model of 1892. This shutter appeared briefly in 1892/1893 before being discontinued. The larger Vici Special 6-1/2 x 8-1/2 has double-swing, a hinged-bed for wide angle work and a Bausch & Lomb Iris Diaphragm Shutter with a Zeiss Anastigmat IIa lens.  For more information on both these shutters, see the "Shutters" category on this website. 

 

             

   Bausch & Lomb Time & Instantaneous Shutter - Model of 1892           Bausch & Lomb Iris Diaphragm Shutter - Model of 1891

 

 

Examples of Sunart's earliest cameras are rarely encountered, and the Time & Instantaneous Shutter - Model of 1892 seen on this Vici 5x7, is the only example I've ever come across.

 

 

 

 

 

 

                                                                                                                       Vici Special 6-1/2 x 8-1/2

 

 

                                                                                        Hinged bed for wide angle work

 

                                

                                                From Sunart's 1899 catalogue                           Image courtesy of Pacific Rim Camera

 

 

                                        Vici Special 6-1/2 x 8-1/2                                                                                                          Vici 5x7