Excelsior Camera

Introduced in 1872. A wet plate camera with swings and tilts.  

Excelsior. The Excelsior camera, available in sizes ranging from 4x5 to 12x12 inches, and in both standard and stereo formats, was well made, sturdy, and functional, and one of the better studio cameras of its time. The camera has several features which distguish it from typical examples of the the period, the most unusual of which is the back. It not only swings, tilts, and shifts for perspectival correction but is designed so the the plate holder may move sideways for making more than one photgraph on a single plate. Like all cameras of its era, this one is heavely stained in the area of the plate holder. This is due to the fact that wet colodion plates had to be prepared by the photographer, than exposed and developed while still wet. Excess wet collodion, which contained silver nitrate, would invariabley spill onto the back of the camera, and the light sensitive material would turn black. Photographers of the period were easily identifiable for the same reason, as they always had black fingers.


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