The Century Camera Co. was founded in 1900 by three employees of the Rochester optical co., who were disappointed with problems resulting from the merger of the 5 Rochester companies in late 1899. J. M. Walmsley was the president, in addition to G. E. Mosher, and G. J. MacLaughlin. They began their operations at 65 Atlantic Avenue, Rochester, NY.
By 1902 due to the high quality of cameras produced, the Century Camera Co. was successful in obtaining a 25% market share of the plate camera manufacturing business. The company excelled both in amateur folding plate cameras, but also large professional studio cameras. This was a significant accomplishment since the dry plate market was declining due to the emergence of roll film.
In January 1903 the Century Camera Co. and three other companies in Rochester agreed to fixed pricing. Many other firms followed suit.
In April 1903 the Century Camera Co. purchased a small company from LaCrosse Wisconsin called the Imperial camera co.. Century moved the operations to Rochester. The Imperial camera made plate cameras and was commonly known for a falling plate magazine camera.
in the summer of 1903 Eastman purchased the Century Camera company in his attempts to control the dry plate market.
In 1905, the Century Camera company acquired the Rochester Panoramic Camera Co., which patented in 1904 the popular Circuit cameras. This introduced the Cirkut Panoramic attachment in 1906 to fit on customers own 5" X 7" camera allowing cameras to make 360 degree pictures on 6-1/2" film.
In 1908 the company's name was changed to Century Camera Division, Eastman Kodak Co. and they were merged with Folmer Graflex division.
The name "Century" continued to exist until 1920.
For a product list of Century Cameras and additional information CLICK HERE
1) Kingslake, Rudolf, 1974, "The Rochester Camera and Lens Companies", Rochester NY, Photographic Historical Society.
2) Jenkins, Reese, 1975, Images and Enterprise".# 1153
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