††† Sunart Photo Company, Rochester, New York††††††††††† 1893-1899


Sunart Photo was based in Rochester, New York, operating there from 1893 until its assets were acquired by the new Seneca Camera Company in 1899.In 1898 it offered 28 different folding and magazine cameras ranging in price from $5 to $100. Sunart advertised their cameras as "So simple a child can use them".


Mention is made of the Sunart Magazine Camera, in comparison to the R. & J. Beck Frena, in the Photo-Beacon, Vol. VI, No. 55 for July,1893. Priced at $45.00 in 1895, the Sunart was fitted with a cartridge capable of accepting 24 cut film sheets. Relatively small in size and measuring 5-5/8 inches wide by 6-3/4 inches high and 10-1/2 inches long, its wooden body was covered in seal grain morocco leather.†† It was equipped with two viewfinders and a Bausch & Lomb Rapid Rectilinear lens.†† The shutter appears to have been a modified version of either Bausch & Lombís second model Unicum of 1893/1894 or an early version of their Star Shutter introduced in1894, fitted for use in the Sunart. It was capable of being reset without exposing the film for either time or instantaneous exposures.

By 1899, the Sunart Magazine Camera was in its last year of production, the price having dropped to $35.00. By this point, the popularity of magazine cameras had waned, replaced by the surge of inexpensive roll film cameras that were simpler and easier to use.


Sunart's products are seldom seen today, and the Sunart Magazine is probably the most difficult to find. Despite its unique design and a 6-year run, relatively few were built and even fewer survive.

















†††††††††††††††††††††††† From Anthony's Photographic Bulletin Volume VIII, 1896