Earlier this week, Tim Davis, curator of photography for the Country Music Hall of Fame, was in Cleveland to accept a special camera on behalf of the museum.
The camera had been used by famed portrait photographer Walden S. Fabry to capture photos of many Country Music celebrities.
When Barry and Monica Cochran decided to purchase the estate of the late Jack Deardorff and once again begin production of the iconic Deardorff camera, they were revitalizing a piece of American history.
Since 1916, Deardorff large-format, precision-view cameras have been used by many professionals to capture some of the world’s most treasured memories.
Fabry used a wooden-framed Deardorff camera that was capable of taking negatives up to 8 -by-10 inches in size, with leather bellows used for focusing.
The Cochrans recently had the good fortune of obtaining the camera Fabry used.
“We knew immediately we had a very important piece of country music history,” states Barry Cochran. “At first, we weren’t exactly sure what we wanted to do with it. Then I read where the Country Music Hall of Fame had received a grant to preserve and digitize over 8,000 portraits from Fabry’s collection and thought maybe they would be interested in the camera as part of the collection.”
Cochran contacted the Country Music Hall of Fame to share with them the recent find and to inquire about the museum’s interest in the camera.
The Cochrans then made a generous offer to donate the camera to the Country Music Hall of Fame. The museum was more than delighted to accept the donation.
Davis said hopes to display the camera at the museum along with many of the collection of images taken with the camera during Fabry’s decades of work in the Nashville area.
The Cochrans have been manufacturing the L.F. Deardorff and Son’s original large-format cameras from their facility inside the Cleveland-Bradley Business Incubator in Cleveland since June, 2010.
The company has now graduated from the incubator program and will be moving to a new facility in Athens.