L.A. Camera

It’s so extremely rare that any camera can be dated to the Patent War period. In thirty-five years of collecting I have often heard of these cameras. I have only seen two others. One is in a collection in Slovakia and the other is in a collection in Hollywood.

This camera is in perfect running condition and will shoot film today.

The logo on the side of the camera is for the “Los Angeles Camera Company” or LACC. This was a camera rental house that was located on the same street as The Adolph Frese Optical Company and may have shared the same address although information from these early days of the Hollywood/Los Angeles motion picture industry is as scarce as the cameras themselves.

I have never seen a Williamson, Bioscope or Darling camera with a lens from this maker. The Adolph Frese Optical Company put the best lens they could find on this camera. Their main business was optics, from microscopes for the medical and scientific field to binoculars, surveying instruments and even eyeglasses.

The lens is a quite rare Goerz Hypar 2 inch F3.5. The iris is smooth and the glass is clean with no fungus. There are some rubbing marks on the front element and I don’t think it would affect the quality of the image. I’d shoot with this camera given any opportunity.

The camera runs smooth and free. I have run a lengthy scratch test and there are no scratches on the emulsion or the base.

Every factory Williamson I have seen has the “AD” logo of Alfred Darling, the original designer of the movement. This camera does not have an “AD” anywhere inside.

All Williamsons have a particular pattern to the way the wood camera case is designed. This case has a better design. It’s the way the wood pieces are assembled and there are more pieces and parts to the wood case of this camera than a Williamson. The hinges are not English but are American in their manufacture.

The door locks on this camera are a major improvement over the Williamson locks as these can be operated by hand without having to use a tool to swing the locks to the open position.  


Page 1    Page 2    Page 3    Page 4    Photos    The Gallery