The Zar Camera Company was was founded in 1896 and was located at No. 21 Quincy Street, Chicago, Illinios. Zar was the first company to manufacturer and introduce a cheap cardboard box camera commercially. It was the first inexpensive beginner camera and originally sold it for only $1.00. In 1897 the Western Camera Mfg. Co. was formed by absorbing the Zar Camera company, and began to manufacture the Zar camera in order to to simplify the chain of command as a major investor.Due to the construction of the cameras, few have survived.
The Zar or also called the Pocket Zar Camera was manufactured in 1896 by the Zar Camera Company. It was also sold by the Chicago Photo Stock Company and the Sears Roebuck and Company. The Zar was an inexpensive box camera which used a special 2 x 2 inch glass plates. The camera was constructed of cardboard covered in leatherette. This construction with inexpensive materials introduced a camera for the beginner or youth. It measured 2 1/4 x 2 1/2 x 3 3/4 inches. It was initially priced at a single dollar and was even sold for less. Sears advertised it for 0.85 cents with 0.15 postage in 1898. Two versions are believed to have been made.
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