Gennert was founded by Gustav Gennert in the middle 1850s as a jobber of
photographic supplies. In the 1870s, Anthony, Scovill, and Gennert dominated the
United States photographic jobbing trade with Anthony being the largest, Scovill
second, and Gennert a distant third. These three companies influenced the dry
plate industry, each having struck a relationship with a producer of gelatin
emulsions. Gennert acted as the sole agent for Cramer and Norden while Anthony
worked with Eastman Dry Plate and Scovill with Keystone Dry Plate.
In 1894, Gennert started producing its own line of folding plate cameras advertised
as "Montauk." The cameras appear very similar to the Rochester Optical
Company's Premo and Poco folding cameras, but never attained great status.
The Folding Montauk, Style I was Gennert's top of the line folding plate camera.
Models with improved lenses were advertised as "Gray Day" models. According to
the 1899 catalog, it was available in standard sizes from 4x5 to 8x10. The 5x7
inch format sold for $40, or about $819 in year 2000 currency. Although a lesser
name, it exhibits a fine fit and finish. This particular camera has a chamber to
store double plate holders, maroon bellows, and a tilting rear standard.
Folding Montauk Style I, c.1899 G. Gennert Camera Company, NY.