Reflex camera

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Reflex camera, ca. 1905. Made by the Reflex Camera Company,
Newark, New Jersey. Adjustable lens by Voigtländer & Sohn, Braunschweig, Germany. Gift of anonymous donor.


On December 4, 1942, The New York Times posted an obituary for Louis Borsum (1856-1942), who “developed the Reflex Camera and Metal Polish.” Borsum died at the age of 88, a retired inventor living in East Orange, New Jersey. Originally from Germany, Borsum was a pioneer in the development of photography equipment. His first patent was filed in 1891 and a later variation on the Reflex camera, shown here, was patented in 1895. Unfortunately, the business did not last long and the development of a single reflex camera was left to others.

Not much information on Borsum has been recorded. A small notice was published in a 1906 Photo-Era magazine and then, picked up in Camera: a Practical Magazine for Photographers, stating “A new aspirant for honors, in the convention this year, was the Borsum Camera Co., Jersey City, N. J., manufacturers of the Reflex Camera. The new Reflex has been much improved; it is lighter and simpler than ever before, and the sale promises to be large, as was demonstrated at the convention, where Messrs. Borsum and Fiedler made many friends.”

See where this camera stands within a timeline of photographic equipment, as shown in: Douglas B. Tubbs, The Illustrated History of the Camera from 1839 to the Present (New York Graphic Society, 1975). Marquand Library (SA) Oversize TR250 .T82 1975q

reflexcamera history page.jpg

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The Reflex Camera is a classy looking item........I doubt there are many of these around today as I would love to have one !