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Dating a Busch Pressman Model C
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pmanzari



Joined: 13 May 2009
Posts: 23
Location: NYC

PostPosted: Mon Aug 24, 2009 11:03 pm    Post subject: Dating a Busch Pressman Model C Reply with quote

I have a Busch Pressman Model C with a Vue Focus rangefinder. The front lens board is brushed aluminum. The serial number stamped inside the camera body is 39155.

Is there any way to date this camera to within 5 years or so?

Thanks.

BTW, this is one heck of a nice camera.
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Les



Joined: 09 May 2001
Posts: 2682
Location: Detroit, MI

PostPosted: Tue Aug 25, 2009 12:44 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Pressmans also came with Kodak Ektars, and Optars, you might be able to date the camera through the serial number of the lens.

The next option is to hunt down through the library system, the Popular Photography annual directories. You'll be able to see when the Model C was introduced and possibly when it disappeared.
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glennfromwy



Joined: 29 Nov 2001
Posts: 903
Location: S.W. Wyoming

PostPosted: Tue Aug 25, 2009 1:41 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Though I can't tell you when it was made, I can tell you it's from late in the production history. The Vue Focus setup was introduced toward the end of production. As Les said, a lens serial number may be easier to date.
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1banjo



Joined: 16 Nov 2008
Posts: 475
Location: kansas

PostPosted: Sun Dec 13, 2009 12:57 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

hey pmanzari
I too am trying to find a date on my pressman Cs !!
it looks like maybe that the Vue Focus rangefinder strats in 1947
my Vue Focus rangefinder has an Ektar 101mm EI258 & that a 1948
the number stamped inside the camera body is 40121
I know that this is not much but its a start
1banjo
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1banjo



Joined: 16 Nov 2008
Posts: 475
Location: kansas

PostPosted: Fri Jan 22, 2010 12:27 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

hey All
I am trying to come up with a dating list for Pressman C's
So, if we make a few assumptions, perhaps we can reach some tentative conclusions
to start with I have 3 BPC's
start with a S#23,600 it has a Prestar f4.5 103mm NO S#
next a S#32,625 it has a raptar f4.5 101mm that's S#565253 maybe a 1945/or 46
then a S#40121 it has a Ektar f4.5 101mm S#EI258 and that a 1948 & it has
the Vue Focus rangefinder on top

SO if we make assumptions like S# 40,000 are 1948 & that in 1940 they was S#10,000
so jet us go like this
1940 S# 10,000
1941 S# 13,750
1942 S# 17,500
1943 S# 21,250 so my S#23,600 looks like a 1943
1944 S# 25,000
1945 S# 28,750
1946 S# 32,500 & my S#32,625 looks like a 1946
1947 S# 36,250
1948 S# 40,000 then my S#40121 as a 1948
1949 S# 43,750
1950 S# 47,500

I also have a "1948" Price List coming soon showing Model C priced at $73.40.
and I may find out more when I get it
some ads that I have seen for 1949 show the Vue Focus rangefinder as new

so if you would like to help that would be GREAT
thank you 1banjo
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brian d



Joined: 15 Jan 2008
Posts: 44
Location: indiana

PostPosted: Fri Jan 22, 2010 1:31 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Quote:
a raptar f4.5 101mm that's S#565253 maybe a 1945/or 46

Is there a date list somewhere for the Raptar's?

Pressman #39062 with Vue Focus and raptar #610310
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Dan Fromm



Joined: 14 May 2001
Posts: 1862
Location: New Jersey

PostPosted: Fri Jan 22, 2010 9:34 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Banjo, I expect a correction from Les but I've long understood that Wollensak went over to their new names for lenses (Raptar replaces Velostigmat, in particular) late in '46 or early in '47.

Do you have documentary evidence, e.g., catalogs for pre-1945 Busch Pressman cameras? I ask because I thought, with no data at all to support the idea, that Busch cameras, like Meridian, Printex, Rilex, Brand, ... , were all post-WWII.

Assumptions are fun, data trumps them.

Cheers,

Dan
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1banjo



Joined: 16 Nov 2008
Posts: 475
Location: kansas

PostPosted: Fri Jan 22, 2010 8:18 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

hey all
(a)brian d I thank that yours may be a 1948 but as the lens mite be a 1947/48 and
I thank that the Vue Focus starts in 1948?!? do you have a quick change lens board
or a 4 screws in the lens board ? as a 1947 has a 4 screws in the lens board

(B) Dan yes we don't know all that we need !

as far as we know "Wocoated" lens starts about 5xxxxx. We also know that the "Wocoted" (big "C" surounding smaller "W") was first used in 1945 // this comes out of old catalogue
I have seen raptar that are not "Wocoted" so that makes it look like they were using the
raptat name be for 45!?!

as far as Busch Pressman C there are at lest 4 different models

#1 has slide locks for the lens board like a pacemaker like Ebad #280454319499
or Ebad #380199473216 [[AND they look older to me then the 4 screws]]
{ and look at # 280454319499 it looks a lot like Burke & James Watson (23) }

#2 has 4 screws in the lens board
NOW as far as the 4 screws in the lens board you can see in ads on Ebad #300290275880 ORIG.1946 mag.AD & #310117539820 AND also #310013134490
is a 1947 ad

#3 has 1 screw in the top as a quick change like Ebad #130354627933
and Ebad #370272753505

NOW this is baced on the theory by Doug Kerr for Wollensak ! the Ebad #130354627933
has a lens S#741215 MITE BE a 1948 /or 49

#4 with the vue-focus
as best as I can tell the vue-focus starts in about 1948 BUT it also looks like you could get Kalart too!!

I have this Ebad #300386735079 coming its a 1948 Busch Pressman Camera Mr 4 x 5, Model C ads,price list !!! when I get I will know more

But as of now this is all just a theory

Now then as for post-WWII. I don't know as I am not that old
But I do know that the Burke & James Watson (23) was WWII ! it was not in there 1938 catalogue but its in the 1942 catalogue as is the all new Press 4x5 but it does not call the Watson (23) as new and by 1963 catalogue its not in that catalogue any more.

1banjo
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bruiser



Joined: 15 Oct 2006
Posts: 259
Location: Northern NSW Australia

PostPosted: Sat Jan 23, 2010 2:56 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hi all,

The B&J Watson was definitely around during WW2 as 1banjo said. I have a 1943 Wards (Montgomery Ward) catalog which features the 2x3 Watson and the 4x5 B&J Press, mainly due to the unavailability of civilian Speed Graphics during the war. There is a note at the beginning of the catalog explaining this.

I have 2 Busch Pressman 2x3s:

one has a Alphax shutter and f4.5 101mm Raptar 540609,
one is a Vue-Focus with Rapax shutter and f4.5 101mm Raptar 617031

and I would gladly pass on the body serial numbers but I can't find them! HELP!!

Cheers,
Bruce
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bruiser



Joined: 15 Oct 2006
Posts: 259
Location: Northern NSW Australia

PostPosted: Sat Jan 23, 2010 3:12 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

OOPS...I just found the body serial numbers. The Vue-Focus model is #39192 and other other one with Kalart R/F is #42806.

Both have only 2 screws at the bottom of the lensboard. The Vue-Focus has the large 'B' and 'Busch Pressman' on the door, the Kalart equipped one has nothing.

Cheers,
Bruce
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bruiser



Joined: 15 Oct 2006
Posts: 259
Location: Northern NSW Australia

PostPosted: Sat Jan 23, 2010 3:33 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Sorry, I keep finding more (useless?) information.

In the Jan 1 1942 B&J price list the *NEW* Watson 2x3, less lens, was $49.50. Lenses were an additional $31.50 - $101.50 depending on make and shutter.

In a Busch owners manual (undated) showing the Vue-Focus on top of a 4x5 there is a Supermatic shutter inside with an ES serial number Ektar, so 1947-48 does seem a pretty good guess for the Vue-Focus introduction.

Bruce
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1banjo



Joined: 16 Nov 2008
Posts: 475
Location: kansas

PostPosted: Sat Jan 23, 2010 3:57 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

hey Bruce

it looks like they both mite be 1948's but the lens look more like 1946 & 1947
but I look at your PIC's & both are the Quick change lens boards
and so far it looks like that started in 1948 as the 1947 ads I seen have 4 screws
on the lens boards
1banjo

ps the one with Kalart is the newer one
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brian d



Joined: 15 Jan 2008
Posts: 44
Location: indiana

PostPosted: Sat Jan 23, 2010 4:17 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Mine is the quick change type, the shutter is the Rapax. While there's no way to know for sure I think the lens is original to the camera. When I got it, it looked like it had been used maybe a couple of times then put in the case and never touched again. The Vue Focus was frozen solid from sitting so long. There was a half used xx filmpack with it that I managed to get one very fogged negative of someones wedding out of, the clothing and hairstyles have a late 40's or early 50's look to them.
It is one of my favorite camera's now
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1banjo



Joined: 16 Nov 2008
Posts: 475
Location: kansas

PostPosted: Tue Jan 26, 2010 9:57 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

hey all
just so you know on the BP C's the S# is inside. when looking at the front of your camera with it open just inside on the lift stamped in the wood. that would be the Range Finder
side if it had a Kalart Range Finder.

now on most of the BP D's 4x5's the S# is on the tag

as of now it looks like most of BP C's are 1946's with 4 screw lens board or 1948's
with the quick change lens boards & some of them have Vue-Focus & some of them
have Kalart R/F

Now in Sears catalogues the Tower 4x5 {made by Busch} was in 1959 ($198.00) catalogue but not the 23/C
but they doth are in the 1946 catalogue
but not in the 1963 catalogue
also in the Sears 1959 catalogue Pacemaker 23 Crown & speed ($319.45 w Ektar
101mm 800 speed shutter) but Graflex don't show having made any after 1958!!!

1banjo
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JonT



Joined: 18 Mar 2013
Posts: 1
Location: Sydney, Australia

PostPosted: Sat Mar 23, 2013 7:11 am    Post subject: Another data point Reply with quote

Hi all

I have BPC #39221 with Wollensak 101/4.5 #600156, has the 1-screw lens board although the standard is tapped for 4 screws as well. Any guesses as to the date of manufacture?

Thanks for all the info, much appreciated.

Jon
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