Richard Verascope (first model)
Although the external shape never really changed, the first model Verascopes varied significantly in detail from those which were built in the 1930s. This circa 1894 example is most notable for the pull out shutter cocking knob on the side of the lens board, and the tubular viewfinder on top of the plate magazine. It also lacks a tripod mounting hole, which was added on subsequent models. By the turn of the century, a Newton finder replaced the tubular finder, and lateral correction was added to the reflex finder. Another difference in the early plate back is the plate counter must be advanced manually. As the plates will happily cycle around and around, failure to keep an accurate count could lead to double exposures. Interestingly, the plate magazine's major components are all die stamped with a matching serial number. The camera itself, however, only has a matching number hand scratched onto the back face of the camera body. This suggests that while the plate magazines were assembled from carefully matched parts, the camera bodies were assembled and then randomly matched to a plate back. Although later magazines dropped serial numbering of individual components, the body was always die stamped with a serial. The camera bodies continued to be hand numbered to a magazine throughout the production of Verascope cameras.