St. Philip’s Church in the Highlands, Garrison

Yet another film photograph. I’ve always loved this church – largely because it doesn’t really seem to belong in the US. I’ve seen so many like it in my own country (the UK) that seeing this one really makes me feel at home, and a little nostalgic. In fact the church resembles, to a certain extent, St. Mary’s church in Sandbach, where I grew up.

This one has a rich history. According to Wikipedia:

The church was originally established ca. 1770 when St. Peter’s Church in Peekskill was granted charter by King George III. The wardens, Beverley Robinson and Charles Moore, decided to establish a parish to the north, in the area known as Four Corners, to serve families in that area. After a short period in another church and a parishioner’s home, a small wooden chapel was built where the present church stands. The current graveyard was also started at the same time. The new complex was possibly named St. Philip’s in honor of the Philipse family, original patentees of the area and Robinson’s in-laws.

The Rev. John Doty, the first rector of both churches, left for Nova Scotia after a few years as he was a staunch Loyalist in an area increasingly divided over revolutionary politics. Robinson, too, declined an invitation from his friend John Jay to swear allegiance to the newly created United States, and actively worked to support the British by organizing the Loyal American Legion and coordinating intelligence-gathering efforts. His lands and home were eventually confiscated by the new government of New York, and he left for England after the war, never to return.

A similar fate would befall half of St. Philip’s families, and the church was so despised locally for its Tory associations that legend has it a mob came together to burn it down at one point during the later years. They were supposedly dissuaded from doing so by George Washington himself, who stood at the door and said “That, sir, is my church!” In gratitude the stained glass window in the church’s vestibule depicts him.

A new pastor, the Rev. Charles Frederick Hoffman, arrived in May 1860. The completion of the Hudson River Railroad through nearby Garrison Landing had made the community more accessible to New York City and a desirable place to live for some of the most socially prominent families of the day, many of whom were congregants. Hoffman saw that the growing church needed a new building.

His congregation responded. Henry Belcher donated three acres (1.2 ha) for the building and grounds, and others raised $10,000 for its construction. The design came from another worshipper at St. Philip’s, Richard Upjohn, already famous for Manhattan’s Trinity Church. The new structure, a one-story Gothic Revival building of gray granite, was finished in 1861 and consecrated the next year.

In the decades afterwards, a carriage house and shed were built near the church. At the turn of the century, a parish house was built.

The picture was taken with a Fed 2 rangefinder camera and Fed 50mm f3.5 collapsible lens (based on the Leitz Elmar). I believe the film was Kodak Gold 400.

For a more complete history of St. Philips Church see (in a variety of different formats) History of St. Philip’s church in the Highlands, Garrison, New York, including, up to 1840, St. Peter’s church on the manor of Cortlandt by Chorley, E. Clowes (Edward Clowes), 1865-1949

Tarrytown Reservoir

As I recall this was taken in the early days of my camera collecting (September, 2011 I think) with a Zorki 4 rangefinder camera and a 50mm f/2 Jupiter-8 Former Soviet Union lens – one of the earlier chrome models. I believe the film used was Kodak T-MAX 400, but I’m not entirely sure. I believe this to be so because I have a note saying that it is. However, it doesn’t look to me like a picture taken with a Jupiter-8. It looks to me more like the other lens I was using around that time: an Industar 61.

Rickshaws, Kathmandu, 1999

Taken during a visit to Nepal in 1999 probably with a Canon AE-1 camera and I can’t recall what lens. I say Canon AE-1 because the only other camera I had at that time was a Minolta Hi-Matic 7sii. Some of the other pictures in this batch could not have been taken with the wider than normal lens on the Minolta, so by process of elimination it must have been the Canon and probably a zoom lens of some kind.

Blue and White

My wife collects blue and white china, and over the years she’s acquired quite a lot – from a variety of countries we’ve visited. She recently decided to share some of this with friends via a new Facebook page she’s made. Consequently she asked me to take a few pictures. Above blue and white on our coffee table with catmint. Here are a few more:

Anthurium in planter with cat.

Blue and white with orchids

Blue and white on the mantle.

Large blue and white bas relief tile.

The UniveX Story

The acquisition of my Mercury II (see: New Acquisition – Universal Mercury II CX) led to a desire to know more about the Universal Camera Corporation. Browsing around I quickly came across this book: The UniveX Story by Cynthia A. Repinski. I ordered a copy, little knowing that I would be getting it from the author herself, and with an autograph no less.

It’s a very thorough book. She clearly did a lot of research and I thoroughly enjoyed reading it. I thought the section relating to binoculars would be a bit boring (I’m not really into binoculars) but, surprisingly, it wasn’t. I came across this review on Amazon.com which pretty much sums up my views:

I have owned this book for about ten years. I am an avid camera collector, and I (like the author) have been enamoured of UniveX cameras since I first got one as a child. For those who are interested in the origin and history of items they collect, this type of reference work is a godsend. Most people have no idea of the Universal Camera Company’s impact on amateur photography in the U.S. This book helps to remedy that situation.

Ms. Repinski has addressed the primary topics that interest most collectors. First, she presents a very comprehensive history of the company. Second, she describes the various products of the company, providing chronology, original pricing (in some instances), competitive circumstances, and actual photos from her extensive collection. Third, and especially interesting for a book of this type, she makes use of the extensive papers of the company’s Chief Engineer to describe the manufacturing processes and challenges involved in designing the products, compiling and listing all the patents awarded to Universal throughout its existence. Fourth, she describes the business in detail, showing yearly income statements, and more importantly, describing the strategic decisions that were made by the company’s management that ultimately led to its demise. Fifth, she addresses the needs of the collector, rating all the products according to relative scarcity, defining the differences between various models and versions of each product. Although the competitive and marketing aspects of the company’s history are sometimes given short shrift, this volume will likely stand as the definitive study of a very interesting and influential company.