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Yale was a company based in Chicago (Illinois, U.S.A.). It sold cameras. It offered an own line of box cameras for plate photography, probably all made by the many box camera makers of Chicago. These cameras were offered as kits with complete printing, toning and developing materials. The 3 1/2×3 1/2" Yale Camera No. 2 kit cost just 2 $, the Yale 4x5 Camera kit cost less than 5 $. A hot retail offer of Yale was its version the one dollar Zar Camera, made by the legendary Zar factory in Yale's Chicagoan neighbourhood. This legendary cardboard box camera for single 2×2" glass plates was offered by Zar since 1896, four (!) years before Kodak's legendary 1 $ cardboard box Brownie. Yale's 1899 version of the Zar camera had an improved shutter, and survived the introduction of the Brownie for 3 years since a pack of 12 Zar plates costing 20 cents could compete with Kodak's 6 exposure film roll for 15 cents .

Astounding not only the prices of Yale's cameras but also that of its camera kits: In 1899 the Yale 4x5 Camera was delivered with a 15 piece darkroom outfit including lamp, trays, tools, chemicals, plate pack and paper pack. But Yale was a distributor, selling cameras of other brands too, Kodak included. In 1899 it advertised that it sold cameras in a price range from 50 cents (!) to 50 dollars.


Companies of Chicago (Illinois)
Adams & Westlake | Central Camera Co. | American Advertising and Research Co. | Bernard | Burke & James | Busch | Calumet | Candid | Chicago Aerial | Chicago Camera Co. | Chicago Ferrotype Company | Deardorff | De Vry | Drucker | Galter | Geiss | Herold | Imperial | Kemper | Lennor Engineering Co. | Metropolitan Industries | Monarch | Montgomery Ward | Pho-Tak | QRS Company | Rolls | Sans & Streiffe | Sears | Seymour | Spartus | The Camera Man | United States Camera Co. | Western Camera Manufacturing Co. | Yale | Zar | Zenith
Chicago in depth: The Chicago Cluster‎, a bakelite trust?