Collection Highlights

Canadian Camera Co. "Gem Glenco 1" Camera

CSTMC/SMSTC – 1981.0846 

Current location:

Collection Storage Facility


This folding plate camera was made by Canadian Camera Co. in Toronto. It is part of a larger collection donated to the Museum in 1981 by Professor W. E. Nassau of the Audio-Visual Department at Wilfrid Laurier University.

Technical history:

This is a “hand and stand” camera, meaning it can be operated while held in one’s hand or mounted on a tripod. It is designed for 4 x 5 in. (10.2 x 12.7 cm) plates. When closed, the compact box body completely encloses the working parts of the camera. The front of the box swings down to form a baseboard with a central rail, along which the lens panel can be drawn out. The baseboard has a focusing scale on the right. A reflecting viewfinder (now missing) was probably fitted on the left. The camera is equipped with an F8 lens made by Wollensak Optical Company in Rochester, New York, and a diaphragm shutter with settings for Time, Bulb, and Instantaneous exposures.


Canadian Camera Co. was perhaps the country’s first camera manufacturer. Very little is known about the firm, although several examples of its cameras survive in the Museum collection and elsewhere. The folding plate camera was a popular design for professional and skilled amateur photographers in the late-nineteenth and early twentieth centuries.

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