Baco

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The BACO Accessories Company operated at 5338 Hollywood Boulevard, Hollywood, CA, in the 1940s and '50s.[1] The company made a wide range of photographic accessories, including film-holders, tripods and tripod heads,[2] enlarging easels, hard camera cases and accessory self-timers.[3]

The company also made at least two cameras:

Deluxe Press View

The Deluxe Press View is a 4x5-inch view camera, with front and rear standards mounted on two rails. It is made mostly from aluminium. It has a 22-inch bellows extension. Baco advertised the camera as suitable for use both as a press camera and a studio view camera.[4] It allows extensive camera movements.

Press Club

The Press Club is a smaller camera. It has a cast aluminium body, and the lens is mounted on a telescoping front tube. The extension of this tube is variable (for focusing, and presumably for use with different lenses). The standard lens would be a four-inch lens; a 1950 listing suggests an 8-inch Raptar can also be used.[4] It has a wire-frame finder and ground-glass screen. It can accept 2¼x3¼-inch sheet film in double dark-slides or film-pack adapters (or, presumably, a roll-film holder).[5]


The Press View (not described here as 'Deluxe') was also advertised by the Bleitz Camera Co., of the same company address as Baco's.[6] Donald L Bleitz held a patent for a dark-slide with improved light-seal,[7] so it seems very likely that he was also the owner of Baco (and perhaps the name Baco was derived from Bleitz Accessories Company). During his lifetime, Bleitz also sold aerial photographs of Hollywood celebrities' houses, ran a successful rapid photo-finishing company, and was a keen wildlife photographer.[8]

Notes

  1. Advertisement by Baco for the Press Club camera, in Popular Photography December 1946, p168, giving the company address. Archived at Google Books.
  2. Advertisement by Baco for tripods and heads, as well as enlarging easels, in Popular Photography, March 1946, p135. Archived at Google Books.
  3. Advertisement by Baco for aluminium camera cases and accessory self-timers, in Popular Photography, May 1948, p 193. Archived at Google Books.
  4. 4.0 4.1 Description of the Deluxe Press View in Popular Photography 1950 Directory of Photographic Equipment; PP May 1950, p94, including a small picture showing the camera fitted with a side-mounted rangefinder. Archived at Google Books.
  5. Description of the Press Club as newly-announced by a dealer, in 'Trade Notes & News'; in Popular Photography July 1947, p176. Archived at Google Books.
  6. Advertisement by Bleitz Camera Co. for the Baco Press View, giving the same company address as Baco's own; in Popular Photography, May 1947, p150. Archived at Google Books.
  7. US Patent 253934, Plate or cut film holder, filed 6 November 1947 and granted 23 January 1951 to Donald L. Bleitz, describing a film-holder in which folded wire springs exert pressure against the dark-slide to keep it in close contact with the front wall of the holder. Archived at Espacenet, the patent search facility of the European Patent Office.
  8. Pioneer in Fast-Photo Business: Donald Bleitz, Bird Photographer, Dies; LA Times 28 June 1986.
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