The Bingham Technology
The most complete camera collection in the West,
the Bingham Collection
includes over 8,000 examples of photographic technology.
Named after Dr. Robert Bingham, whose inaugural gift in
1973 formed the basis for the UCR/California Museum of
Photography, the collection is universally recognized as one
of the three great American public collections of
photographic apparatus. While not as extensive as the
collections at the Smithsonian Institution and George
Eastman House, it contains many items not to be found in any
other museum collection. All significant periods and
processes in the history of photography are well
represented. It contains three encyclopedic subsets -- the
Kibbey Zeiss-Ikon Collection; the Curtis Polaroid
Collection; and the Wodinsky Ihagee-Exacta Collection --
containing virtually every model of camera produced by these
innovative manufacturers of photographic equipment. Other
collection highlights include a Lewis daguerreotype camera,
a Simon Wing multiple lens wet-plate camera, two original
Kodak cameras from 1888, original Leicas, prototypes for the
Stereo Realist, and numerous examples of early "one-shot"
three color cameras.
Cameras from the Bingham Technology Collection are often
exhibited in conjunction with photographs, both at the CMP
and at other museums, to provide audiences with a more
complete understanding of the technological foundations of
the photographic medium.