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American Optical Co.
The American Optical Co. was founded in 1856 in New Haven Connecticut. The new company manufactured box cameras, stereoscopes and accessories, and had developed an international reputation due to its high quality and low cost of American wood box cameras.
In 1866 The Company Organized under the laws of the State of New York, with 150,000. The Office and Sales room was established at 458 Broadway, corner of grand street. The President was Chas. B Boyle, the treasure was W. Rockhill and the Secretary W.J. Buck. At this time the company acquired John Stock Camera manufacturing company and the Harrison Camera Factory or otherwise known as Nelson Wright Co. The expanded American Optical Co. continued production of American Optical apparatus, John Stock apparatus and the C.C. Harrison Portrait lenses and the Harrison and Schnitzer Patented Globe lenses.
In 1867 The Scovill company acquired the American Optical Co. along with the recently acquired John Stock Company and the Harrison camera factory. It became a division of Scovill Mfg. Co. until 1871.
From 1871 to 1889 The American Optical Company cameras were labeled as the The American Optical Company, Scovill Mfg. Co. Props. The company grew so large that they established a warehouse at 419-421 Broome Street, New York City. An
During this time period the American Optical cameras were led by Adams, Who later help lead Scovill into consolidating the photography business under the separate name of Scovill & Adams Co.
By 1873 the firm grew to establish a European branch in Birmingham England and in 1874 the profits if the photography division totaled over $1,000,000.
In 1889 Scovill consolidated its photography business and established the Scovill & Adams company.
In 1891 the Henry Clay cameras were introduced.
CLICK HERE for a short history of the Scovill Manufacturing Co.
CLICK Here for a listing of American Optical Co. Cameras
1866 Humphrey's journal of photography, Volume 17, Issue 19