If you're like me, before you go plunking down your
hardearned money, or start clicking keys to reveal your credit
card number to somebody out there in CyberSpace, you want some
peace of mind knowing you're dealing with a reputable firm. After
all, just about anybody can set up a WebSite.
Now, you may learn more about me than you wanted to
know, but that's the price you pay for reading this page. My
interest in antique photography began about 1969 or 1970; while
in college at Wesleyan University (Middletown, Connecticut), I
worked as a photogapher/reporter at the Hartford Courant. After
college, I spent another six years with The Courant, as well as
owning my own retail camera store, and serving as a photographer
with the Connecticut Army National Guard.
I was one of the first "professional"
full-time dealers in photographica in this country in 1970,
publishing a catalog and inadvertantly becoming a photographic
I was around before SHUTTERBUG, and wrote a column for
them for nearly ten years opining about the various collector's
shows around the country.
My logo of the early photographer standing behind his
camera, with the dark cloth over his head, was registered as my
world-wide trademark in 1973. For years I have attended
collector's shows from coast to coast; I have been the subject of
mention in Popular Photography, The
Rangefinder, Camera and Darkroom, and
numerous other publications. And if you call most major
photographic distributors looking for an instruction book for one
of their old products, they will probably refer you to me. I currently
have more than 55,000 instruction booklets in stock for thousands of
cameras, accessories and projectors; and nearly 10,000 other
interesting photographic items.
As early as 1971, I was publishing reprints of early photographic catalogs (and still have a few leftovers in stock); currently I reprint a number of usable and classic camera instruction booklets, as well as a number of worthwhile camera repair manuals.
In the past six years I have also published the
three volumes of Craig's Daguerreian
Registry, already the acknowledged
reference work among dealers and collector's for identifying and
dating the more than 8,000 photographers who worked in the United
States prior to 1860.
I should be a corporation with numerous employes, but
I'm not. I'm still only a one-man operation-- organizing, filing,
writing, lugging, shipping, talking, and often being
I still attend a few collector's shows, am
constantly searching for interesting photographica to buy and--oh yes, I almost forgot --still have a life!
My son, a 1999 graduate of The Hotchkiss School in
Connecticut, is responsible for most of the quality design and
function of my WebSite (need a WebSite programmer? He's
available!). He took a year off after high school, landed a job as a software programmer with Mass Mutual, and is now going to college part-time at Harvard University, while still holding down his job.
My daughter, who would have graduated from Harvard University in the Class of 1999, was killed in May, 1996 by a drunk driver as
she walked near her home in Norfolk, Connecticut.
After commuting back and forth to New Jersey for many years to be with my life partner, we finally made it permanent July 4, 1999, and have a comfy together-house here in Connecticut; and my mother, who was in a private nursing home in Florida since 1992, passed away in early May, 1999. All in all, there's a whole lot of times I think life ain't all its cracked up to be, and my van becomes a second home.
There you are-- that's who I am. Counting it all up, I've been in the antique photographic business for 30 years, all of it specializing in mail order. I guess if I hadn't been doing something right all that time, I wouldn't still be in business. I hope you enjoy browsing my NetStore. I welcome your orders, your comments, and your inquiries.
As all of you now know, John died February 25, 2011. I'm the new "boss" and my name is Joyce Krutick Craig. I don't have nearly John's knowledge of photography (I just use a point and shoot) or John's knowledge of photographic history. He was the pro here. My profession has been since 1969 (when I graduated from Brooklyn Law School) in the law, first as a criminal lawyer in New York City and later (1981-2009) as a U.S. Administrative Law Judge. I retired in 2009 hoping to pursue a mediation practice in CT but that did not materialize. John didn't want me to run his business and so refused to teach me anything about it. Everything I know I've learned from listening to him. I thought I had a buyer for the inventory and so I shut down after John's death, but that too has not materialized nearly two years after John's death. So be patient with me please. I'm still a one person operation, and am working only part-time as I have many other interests (I paint in pastels, and I have a small Chinese Energy Medicine practice. E-mail me at email@example.com. I now have the telephone back in service with an answering machine so you can call and leave me a message and I will return your call.