The lens is not original and is from a Williamson camera of the same
period. There are no iris leaves in this lens. As I have said on these
web pages many times, nothing sits still in the movie business. If
a new and better lens comes out it is bought and used right away.
It was the same in the very beginning and this is what happened to
this camera. The Williamson lens was better optics. This isn't a cosmetic
lens adaption as considerable effort was made to make the lens focus
on the film plane. The through the lens viewing tube placed in the
camera left door was done at the same time as the lens conversion.
This means that the camera worked a few years at least before becoming
obsolete. It doesn't show abuse in it's working career and seems well
cared for. There are very few body dings and dents for a camera of
this extreme age. I have never seen a Model 4 in this fine condition.
It has survived many a threat in order to survive until now. The serial
number is 1626. They could have never made 1626 cameras. What they
did, as they made a new innovations to the Model 4 was skip a few
hundred numbers so as to distinguish which cameras had which innovation.
This camera is from before the inclusion of a film punch. Not having
a film punch makes this a very early Model 4.
As an interesting side note, James Williamson, the maker of this lens,
started in the film business in 1897 and made a series of films who's
subject was "Two Naughty Boys". His two sons starred in
them and he also acted in them. He produced and directed them, shot
them, processed and printed them and released them. Within a couple
of years he was making over fifty films a year on various subjects
and became one of the most prolific of the early pioneers of the film
industry. He also manufactured a Williamson camera using the Darling
patent. I have a very rare Tropical or Colonial Williamson at another
page on my web site. Take a look.