LONG FOCUS CYCLONE
Gundlach Optical Company, Rochester, New York for the
Western Camera Manufacturing Company, Chicago, Illinois 1897-1898?
Long Focus Cyclone Camera 4x5, manufactured for the Western Camera Manufacturing Company by the Gundlach Optical Company.
The production years are based on the camera's appearance in Western Camera Mfg. Company's circa 1898 catalogue. Although unmarked as to maker, its identity is based upon the "Sunburst" shutter it's equipped with. This shutter is seen on Folding Cyclones, Bicycle Folding Cyclones and the Long Focus Cyclone from Western Camera Mfg. Company from this same circa 1898 catalogue. For more information on the "Sunburst", see the "Shutters" section of this website.
Having all the earmarks of Gundlach's cameras indicates the Folding Cyclone-line was made by Gundlach Optical for the Western Camera Mfg. Company. The believed Long Focus Cyclone Camera shown here appears nearly identical to Gundlach's Korona Long-Focus Camera.
Gundlach Optical is known to have sold their cameras to other camera companies, and to photographic suppliers and retailers such as Montgomery Ward & Company ("Garden City" Series) and the A.S. Aloe Company ("Globe" Series) that placed their own private labels on them. These cameras were typically outfitted with shutters that Gundlach was using on their own cameras at the time. However, the majority of the folding cameras made for Western Camera Mfg. seem to be an exception, as they were equipped with the "Sunburst" Shutter. The "Sunburst" was probably never offered as a stand-alone item in Gundlach's catalogues, and Western's self-casing Cyclones are the only cameras I've ever seen with this shutter. There's a strong possibility that the "Sunburst's" existence was so brief, that only Western Camera Mfg.'s cameras were the only ones ever to have been equipped with them.
Although some models of Western's Magazine Cyclones are seen quite frequently today, their self-casing Cyclones are very scarce and the Long Focus Cyclone is almost never seen.