This section is from the book "Modern Photography In Theory And Practice", by By Henry G. Abbott. Also available from Amazon: Modern photography in theory and practice: A hand book for the amateur.
Salt Creek in April. Henry G. Mohr, Chicago.
The front board of this camera can be moved up or down or to the right or left as occasion may require and is technically known as a double sliding front. By consulting Figs. 2 and 3 you will observe a pair of hinges on the left hand side of the box. By pressing another concealed button you can open the door to which these hinges belong and can then open a small door the rear of the box. This small door is opened when sing the focusing screen. In looking through the side door we see the back of the camera, consisting of a focusing screen, which covers the 4 x 5 opening. This ground ass is spring-actuated and recedes to allow the in-rtion of the plate holder. Back of the focusing screen ere is sufficient space in which to carry two plate holders, so that the camera in all will accommodate three ate holders, holding two plates each or six plates in all, he back of the camera has a double swing; that is the entire back, focusing screen, plate holder and all can be tilted forward and back or horizontally from right to left. The purpose of this will be explained later. This camera has two tripod plates for holding it in position for either panel or square pictures.
Fig. 5 illustrates the Reversible Back Premo, which is very similar to the Premo Sr., except that it has a much longer bellows and the back as well as the front of the box opens and forms a bed for the bellows to work on. When a panel picture is desired with this camera, it is not necessary to turn it over but simply reverse the back without moving the camera itself. This adjustment is especially desirable when the camera is used on a tripod. The bellows on this camera in the 4 x 5 size is 17 1/2 inches long, while the draw of the Premo Sr. is about 8 inches. This extra long bellows is very useful, as the camera will then take full sized pictures; that is, will reproduce objects in their natural size, and with it you can do copying and enlarging. As a usual thing, one plate holder is furnished with each camera and extra holders can be purchased at any time. A good outfit includes six holders but the amateur can get along very nicely with three, as he then has six plates at his disposal before reloading.
Fig 6 illustrates the Magazine Cyclone Camera, a type of camera which has come on the market in late years. In outward appearance it is not unlike the camera shown in Fig. 1, but internally it is quite different. The box is fitted with a single universal fixed focus lens of good quality and has two view finders. This camera holds twelve plates at one loading and does not require any extra plate holders but is complete in itself. The shutter is always set. The illustration shows the camera with a part of the box cut away so that the magazine is exposed to view. The plate holders or carriers are made of metal, with round holes punched in them at the bottom, for the reception of the supports. When the camera is loaded the twelve carriers stand upright, leaving the outer plate exposed, ready to take the picture. When the picture is taken, turn the button on the top of the camera to the right, which releases and drops the exposed plate, leaving the next one ready for another picture. This operation can be repeated until all of the twelve plates have been exposed. When all the plates have been exposed, the camera is taken into the dark room, the back is removed and the tray containing the twelve plates drawn out. The metal carriers are lifted off the pins, the plates removed and new ones inserted. The tray is now replaced in the camera and the carriers holding the plates are inserted again in an upright position. The back is now put on and you are ready for twelve more views.
Fig. 7 illustrates the Adlake Repeater, a magazine camera, somewhat similar to the one just described. The cut represents the repeater with a portion of the box cut away to show the internal mechanism. The camera holds twelve plate-holders, six of which may be seen standing upright at the back of the camera. The holders have projecting wires at the bottom, which are represented by dots and rest upon metal slides. The front holder has it wires between the teeth of the notched arm. After making an exposure, the lever is moved one number, which lowers the arm and holder and allows the holder to pass the strip at the top which holds it in position. The holder then falls to the bottom, as indicated by the dotted lines. After exposure the plates are released by reversing the lever, which raises them again into an upright position. A strong spring behind the plate holders, moves them forward and keeps the front plate in the focal plane. This camera, like the others described, is arranged for both time and instantaneous work and has two view finders for panel or square pictures.
We have now described the various classes of cameras on the market, with the exception of special cameras, such as the stereoscopic, panorama, copying, etc., which will be described when we reach the point where the amateur will feel that he can use use them successfully. It is impossible with the space at our command to describe all the various makes of cameras on the market but they all belong to either one or the other of the types already described and vary only in their minor detals of manufacture.