Graflex Speed Graphic 4x5 Press Camera

Graflex cameras, made by the Folmer Schwing Company of Rochester, New York (later purchased by Eastman Kodak) were the preferred cameras of photojournalists and wartime correspondents for much of the early to mid-twentieth century. Their sturdy handheld construction adapted well for news and sports photography. The U.S. Department of the Army even commissioned combat-green versions of the Graflex cameras for use by military photographers in World War II and Korea. This popular Speed Graphic 4x5 inch film press camera was produced in the 1940s.
From its invention in 1839, the camera has evolved to fit many needs, from aerial to underwater photography and everything in between. Cameras allow both amateur and professional photographers to capture the world around us. The Smithsonian’s historic camera collection includes rare and unique examples as well as popular models.
Currently not on view
date made
ca 1940s
Graflex, Inc.
Physical Description
metal (overall material)
glass (overall material)
leather (overall material)
overall: 36.8 cm x 25 cm x 28 cm; 14 1/2 in x 9 13/16 in x 11 in
ID Number
catalog number
accession number
catalog number
Credit Line
Gift of John D. Barry
See more items in
Culture and the Arts: Photographic History
Artifact Walls exhibit
Data Source
National Museum of American History


No mention of the fact that the handles of this camera are used as lightsabers in Star Wars,
I have wanted an old style camera like the Press Camera.What kind of film did these camera use and is the film available?

Add a comment about this object