Photographica Pages

An online guide to collectable cameras and related stuff

Anthony Novelette

4 1/4 x 6 1/2 Novelette, Rapid Rectalinear lens, Prosch Triple shutter

Up until the 1880s, most cameras were designed for studio use and were mounted on stands or carts. Larger cameras often had square backs and/or used square plate holders so that horizontal and vertical photos could be made without turning the entire camera on its side. The patent rights for the first revolving back cameras (Flammang's Patent Revolving Back Camera) were held by Scovill Manufacturing. Forced to use other means, in 1883 Anthony introduced the Novel and Novelette cameras that allowed the entire back and bellows to revolve. These cameras were available in six sizes from 4x5 to 8x10, with the larger sizes being more popular. The design worked well enough, but was obviously cumbersome and very hard on the bellows. This particular camera is shown with the back in the horizontal position. It is equipped with a Prosch Triplex shutter mounted on a small square front panel. Some of these cameras had large round front panels with wide lens boards and were designed for stereo use. All Novelette cameras are relatively uncommon.

Text and photos courtesy of Milan Zahorcak.