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California Camera Company daybook
SFH 481  
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Collection Details
Table of contents What's This?
  • Descriptive Summary
  • Access
  • Publication Rights
  • Preferred Citation
  • Acquisition Information
  • Biography/Administrative History
  • Scope and Content of Collection
  • Indexing Terms

  • Descriptive Summary

    Title: California Camera Company daybook
    Dates: 1896-1897
    Collection Number: SFH 481
    Creator/Collector: California Camera Company (San Francisco, Calif.)
    Extent: 1 volume
    Repository: San Francisco Public Library. San Francisco History Center
    San Francisco, California 94102
    Abstract: Daybook of sales of cameras, chemicals, photographic prints, negatives and equipment
    Language of Material: English


    The collection is available for use during San Francisco History Center hours, with photographs available during Photo Desk hours. Collections that are stored offsite should be requested 48 hours in advance.

    Publication Rights

    All requests for permission to publish or quote from manuscripts must be submitted in writing to the City Archivist. Permission for publication is given on behalf of the San Francisco Public Library as the owner of the physical items.

    Preferred Citation

    California Camera Company daybook. San Francisco Public Library. San Francisco History Center

    Acquisition Information

    Gift, 2018-1.

    Biography/Administrative History

    Born in Milwaukee, Nelson C. Hawks entered the printing trade at sixteen. He was hired by Marder-Luse & Co., type founders, and came to San Francisco, where he would establish the Pacific Type Foundry in 1873. Hawks is most notable for proposing the point system of type sizing to Marder in 1877, a system that became widely adopted by type founders throughout the United States and England. He later was owner and operator of California Camera Company at 124 Geary St., San Francisco, which opened about July 1896. By 1905, the Company had moved to Alameda, where Hawks resided.

    Scope and Content of Collection

    This daybook, titled Orders on cover, documents sales to customers throughout California from a San Francisco business, dating Sept. 7, 1896 through Sept. 30, 1897. Notable customers include photographer Arnold Genthe, local architect Henry Kenitzer, and surgeons Henry D’Arcy Power, Emmet Rixford, and John W. Baker. A January 1897 store inventory is found in the middle of the chronological arrangement. The book ends with printed lists of customers and addresses in California, Oregon, Washington, Arizona, Nevada, and San Francisco.

    Indexing Terms

    Photography—Equipment and supplies.
    Photographic apparatus & supplies—California—San Francisco.
    Photographers—California—San Francisco—1890-1900.
    Hawks, Nelson C., 1840-1929 – Archives.