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Identifying a Speed Graphic Model

brian bott , Oct 23, 2004; 10:53 p.m.

My Father in law has an press camera, Speed or Crown Graphic, I was tinkering with it this evening but cannot remember now off hand which. I was wondering if there was a site that I could go to to compare serial numbers to try to figure out when it was produced. It has a 2 1/4 x 3 1/4 back on it, and it had I believe a 101mm Ektar lens. It looks as if it just came out of the box from the factory. I cannot wait to take it out to play.

Any direction would be great, I am just venturing into medium format with my "new" autocord and am looking forward to tinkering with this great camera as well.


Bill Mitchell , Oct 24, 2004; 12:14 a.m.

Try www.graflex.org. I don't know about identifying the camera year, but luckily the lens year of manufacture is easily identified by the serial number.

dave collopy , Oct 24, 2004; 01:10 a.m.


C-A-M-E-R-O-S-I-T-Y = 1-2-3-4-5-6-7-8-9-0

The Ektar lens has two letters in the serial number. Convert the letters to numbers and that will tell you the year of manufacture(for the lens anyway).

Kelly Flanigan , Oct 24, 2004; 01:50 a.m.

EE = 1944; RR= 1955; EC = 1941; EY = 1949; etc etc

Kelly Flanigan , Oct 24, 2004; 02:03 a.m.

The body serial number is inside the cameras box frame; top piece; side piece; sometimes on the front rack. The numbers published go from 47,000 for 1912 to 457,139 in 1947; in McKeown's camera guide I have here of 1990/1991. WW2 models have little chrome; more black paint. The type and location of rangefinder helps date the camera; plus whether the camera has a wooden or metal lens board. Speed models have a focal plane shutter. Older models have a speed matrix plate. The Speed model 2x3 camera was made from 1938 to about 1958; in three different types; minature to 1947; Anniversary from 1940 to 1947; pacemaker from 1947 to 1958. The Chrown model has no focal plane shutter; and was made from 1947 to 1958 in the 2x3 model.

Kelly Flanigan , Oct 24, 2004; 02:06 a.m.

The body serial numbers are sometimes hard to see; you can use a small flashlight; held at a grazing angle; to make the number easier to see.

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