Blue Ridge Country - March/April 2018 - 17
Camera Museum Has Hopes for New Site
larger museum facility. What's more, the
cameras keep coming: "We get donations. People know us all over the world.
We've gotten some huge collections."
The museum sells whatever duplicate models arrive and displays what's
Besides cameras, you can also see
original photographs of historical figures David Schwartz operates the
like Confederate Gen. Robert E. Lee and Camera Heritage Museum, a
John Wilkes Booth, the man who shot fixture in downtown Staunton,
Schwartz's small shop also still prints
"Film hasn't gone by the wayside. It's coming back
again," Schwartz says. "There's a resurgence of it. It's
The Camera Heritage Museum, 1 W. Beverley St.,
Staunton, Va. Tours conducted Monday to Friday (9 a.m.-5
p.m.) and Saturdays (9 a.m.-2 p.m.). 540-886-8535/
Cameras date to 1868 at the Camera Heritage Museum of
Staunton, Virginia, where you can learn the history, science and art of photography-from bulky antiques to
Museum founder David Schwartz zoomed into his
camera career here in 1968-a full century after the earliest of the museum's 6,000 cameras was constructed.
"I came here when I was 16 years old and didn't
leave," Schwartz says with a smile. "This was originally a
camera shop. We've got a little bit of a camera shop back
there, but it's mainly a museum."
Now the camera shop owner, Schwartz has collected
2,300 cameras of his own. "And I didn't want to get rid
of my collection."
So he opened a museum that has since developed
into a non-profit entity, offering self-guided and guided
tours for a fee.
"We're definitely a novelty. We have everything
from the cheapest to the top end," Schwartz says. "And
we have the largest collection of Brownies in the world.
Of the 414 types made, we have 412."
Today, Schwartz says, money is being raised for a
March/April 2018 17