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Établissements Mackenstein were founded in 1872 by Hermann-Josef Mackenstein (* 1848 in Doveren; † 1924). The factory was located at 15 Rue des Carmes in Paris.
In the beginning, the company produced small mechanical parts for cameras. In 1888 Mackenstein’s factory assembled the very first film camera equipped with a single lens, able to film up to 20 images per second. This film camera resulted from the work of Louise Augustin LePrince, inventor of the cinematograph.
The Mackenstein company made a range of its own cameras, up until 1914:
- Detective cameras
- Both mono and stereo jumelle cameras (as in the advertisement illustrated):
- Jumelle réduite (mono)
- Jumelle stéreo-panoramique
- La Francia
- Kallista (for circular stereo photographs)
- Strut-folding cameras
- Chambres de voyage and others.
- 'Photo-livre'; camera disguised as a book.
- Studio cameras
- ↑ McKeown shows a camera dated to about 1890, with hinged wooden panels as struts, and a pleated bellows. A 13x18 cm strut-folder with metal rod-struts and an unpleated, cloth bellows was sold in September 2006 by Auction Team Breker in Cologne.
- ↑ 30x30 cm studio camera, about 1890, wood and brass, with 12¾ inch f/4.5 Cooke portrait lens, on large wheeled wooden stand, sold in May 2009 by Auction Team Breker. The listing states that the camera has a focal-plane shutter, but in the photograph, only a behind-the-lens shutter (of the Thornton-Pickard type) is visible.