The Hales Focal Plane Camera was manufactured by the Hale Camera Company (Incorporated) of Ridgewood, New Jersey from 1905 to approximately 1918. The camera was invented by Henry W. Hales and manufactured under American and foreign patents. The company was incorporated in 1905 with H. W. Hales as the president, Mr. Peter O. Terbeun of scientific circles Vice President, and the well know amateur photographer Mr. W.D. Rosencrantz as the secretary and treasurer.
The Hales Focal Plane Camera was unique design which eliminated the ground glass, mirror and finder, but provides a full size image ,right side up ,prior to the moment of exposure. Focusing was accomplished through the use of a white opaque curtain which occupied the plane of the sensitive plate and was part of the focal plane curtain shutter. The fast focal plane shutter, capable of providing speeds from 1/10 to 1/1500th of a second. Features included a rack and pinion movement and an automatically extended hood when the top is opened. Another novel feature was the ability to hold the camera over your head and capture an image with the camera inverted so as to raise it above crowds for a clear view as shown in the figure below. The camera was made in four sizes including, a 4 x 5, 5 x 7, 6 1/2 x 8 1/2 and 8 x 10.
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