Scott's Photographica Collection

Photographic Technology Patents


This page presents a number of patents, many of which represent important historical milestones in the development of photography.

Like many collectors I've accumulated a large reference library of catalogs, price guides, magazines, books, advertisements, instruction manuals, collector's association journals - you name it.  Happily, on occasion, I find an item that I can't locate in any of these sources.  It doesn't happen often enough, but when it does occur I become obsessed to learn something about the item's history.

I've found patents to be an invaluable research tool when all else fails.  As one example I was able to identify a  strange looking object that I was sure was photographic, but looked like some kind of medical device.  I showed this object to other collectors.  The consensus opinion was it must be an accessory self-timer.  After searching the US Patent and Trademark Office Web site for an hour I had my answer.  It is an early camera self-timer attachment patented in 1902 by Robert Faries of Decatur, Illinois.  Links to the patent drawings and description of the self-timer are on this page.

To view a patent, click a link.  This will launch a patent viewer in a new browser window.  Expand the window to full screen for best operation.  Use the Next and Prev(ious) buttons to view successive pages of the patent you've selected.  The patent images were downloaded from the USPTO Web site and converted to .gif file format for presentation by conventional browsers.

If you would like a high resolution image of one of these patents, let me know.  I would be happy to email this to you.



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This page was updated September 10, 2003