This series consists of original and duplicate early cameras from the beginning of the history of photography. Based on the basic design of the camera obscura and produced between about 1820 and 1870, these simple devices were usually solid or sliding box cameras with uncomplicated lenses. The shutter was normally outside of the lens, in the form of a lens cap that was simple removed and replaced for exposure, or a rotating metal plate on the front of the lens, which held the aperture. These cameras mainly predated dry plate and flexible film photography, and were used to take Daguerreotype, wet-plate and salted paper photographs.
To browse the individual items in this series, click on the "View the list" link under the "File and item records are available for this series" title (to the right of the page).