Camera lucida

Object Number: 
Z.1837a-f
Date: 
1825-1875
Medium: 
Brass, glass, wood, textile
Dimensions: 
case: 1 x 7 7/8 x 3 1/4 in. ( 2.5 x 20 x 8.3 cm )
Marks: 
handwritten in ink: on paper tag found in case: "130" handwritten in ink: on underside of case: "Museum / Accession / #130" printed paper label: affixed to underside of case: "Isaac / Sc[hnait]man, / OPTICIAN, / 206 N. Second Street / Philadelphia."
Description: 
Camera lucida, consisting of cylindrical brass column attached to one side of square brass base, with triangular prism swivel-mounted at top of column; cylindrical mount adjacent to prism holds one of two interchangeable lenses, both circular with brass fittings; parts housed in fitted case with dark brown exterior and olive green velvet lining; short, thin, unsharpened lead pencil also included.
Gallery Label: 
The camera lucida, first patented in 1807, was an optical aid used as a drawing device by artists. Isaac Schnaitman (1795-1875) was the first German optician in Philadelphia, arriving in 1824.
Credit Line: 
Gift of Samuel V. Hoffman
Due to ongoing research, information about this object is subject to change.
Creative: Tronvig Group