Benetfink Tailboard Full Plate Camera
Benetfink was a camera maker in name only. Not unlike Sears today, they sold every form of mechanical device imagineable. Their private label cameras were made under contract by outside camera manufacturers, who no doubt were happy to have the extra business. One source notes the fact Benetfink cameras were not known for being innovative designs. While that may be true for the design of this c.1891 full plate camera, its construction is first rate. The entire camera is built from quarter sawn fiddle back mahogany of very fine quality. There are brass reinforcements on every corner, and the tailboard has V shaped brass reinforcing plates inletted with a precision one would expect from a maker of expensive tropical cameras.
There are over 250, mostly brass, screws used in the construction of this camera. That means somebody had to mark 250 locations, then drill 250 pilot holes. They then had to carefully install each screw and ensure it would tighten down both flush with the surface of the wood, and with the slot perfectly aligned. Today we wouldn't use screws, and if someone did, odds are they would use CNC machines with automated multihead screw installers.