Rolls  –  Vintage Camera Brand

Rolls Brand Overview

Rolls logo

Founded: c. 1939 — Chicago, USA
Currently: defunct

Rolls Brand History

The Rolls Camera Manufacturing Company was an American brand founded sometime in the late 1930s. The company produced several camera models; the cheaper ones like the unimaginatively named Rolls were made of Bakelite (an early plastic) while the premium, more expensive models were of metal construction.

It would seem logical to place Rolls as part of what is commonly known as the Chicago Cluster—a group of Chicago-based brands including Monarch, Spartus, Falcon, and Acro which are rumored to be just one large company since they produced a large number of near-identical Bakelite cameras—except for the fact that Rolls was sued by Jack Galter, the president of Spartus. Galter took the Rolls Camera Mfg. Co. to court on October 21, 1941 for violating patent US2220599: a ratcheting mechanism that prevents a camera’s film advance knob from unwinding. Rolls lost the lawsuit and was closed down a short time later, having only been in business for just a few short years.

Interested in starting or growing your own collection of Rolls cameras?
Check eBay to see what’s available.

McKeown, James M. and Joan C. McKeown’s Price Guide to Antique and Classic Cameras, 2001-2002. (Grantsburg, WI, USA: Centennial Photo Service, 2001), p 588.

United States Patent Office, Official gazette of the United States Patent Office, Volume 537, p 272.

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