Machined or Dull? The Vintage Graflex beertab rivet variant discussion

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AstroZopyros

Active Member
RPF PREMIUM MEMBER
I am starting this Thread to discuss the beer tab rivet variations in VINTAGE Graflex Variants (Folmer and Inc.), as previously discussed in Nate's thread: The Ultimate Luke ANH Graflex Research & Discussion Thread. Please feel free to post any photos of the beer tab rivet on any of your vintage Graflexes so that we can more accurately portray the statistics. In case you are unaware of the discussion, here it is to summarize:

It is trying to be determined, the possibility that True "Folmer" era Graflexes could also potentially possess the shiny machined beer tab rivet, (most notably observed on Inc. Graflexes) or just the dull matte rivet style widely more associated with Folmer variants. And for that matter vice versa. How many Graflexes have been observed with stepped pins, an Inc eye, and a dull beer tab rivet. I would ask your honesty as to not switch parts around before you post any photos, and to simply take your photos as your flash arrived to you.

Hopefully we can compile some photos, and have good discussions on this matter,

Thanks! :D
 
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Drew Baker

Sr Member
I'm surprised I missed you starting this thread!

However, I'm going to approach the topic from the side. I got a bunch of vintage flashes together and looked at the other non-replaceable addition to the top: the sliding side switch. Looking closely at the rivet, the Inc-era rivets seemed to almost all be more cleanly struck with a round dome, and to end flush with the ring below it. The rivets on the older tops nearly all stood proud of that ring, and have flat spots or other deformation of the dome. Not the easiest thing to catch in photos, but I gave it a go:

side switches 1.jpg


side switches 2.jpg


Does anyone else see that pattern in their flashes?
 

v312

Active Member
I don't see that on mine. They all look identical except for the different amount of dings they have. I'm talking about the dome top of the rivet only.
The base plates are also identical. However, on the 2-stepped part of the switch I noticed the difference that if the beer tab rivet is shiny then this part is also shiny (I hard to tell from the pictures, but the N picture above seem to match my "Inc" switches. The tops with the dull beer tab rivet also have the switch 2-stepped part less shiny always (but not as dull as the switch base plate.

I've also missed this thread until now, but I'll try to post some comparison of the beer tab rivets - I've identified 4-5 variations so far, although some of the differences are quite minimal.
 

v312

Active Member
Ok, actually one of my flashes with long pins and shiny beertab rivets is exception from that. Not sure if I managed to capture it
1614061746751.png

but on the left is one classic Inc and the whole rivet of the switch is shining just like the beertab rivet, while on the right the switch steps are dull/grayish.
 

ALLEY

Master Member
RPF PREMIUM MEMBER
OK, Here’s my early Folmer Graflex (deduced by the single thin knurled band on the red button part). All parts are original to the flash.

Like most Folmers that we have seen, the body of the flash is a brighter chrome than that of some of the slightly “brushed / duller” appearance of later flashes. This is difficult to discern in photography but very evident when viewed by the naked eye, in-person, as the effect is subtle and not dramatic.

The “slider switch” rivet is a bright chrome but the “beer tab” rivet has a more “flat” appearance with minimal sheen.

I hope that helps.

EAE64E9A-430A-48DA-A6EF-2AF5484AD6E4.jpeg
2DFD2FD9-D9A4-48BB-A5D8-E1E0C222F2DB.jpeg
2EF33BA0-438B-42B7-8129-BE25CDB96E55.jpeg
B0EC6788-F860-46ED-9967-EC5E02EB93EB.jpeg
4EAA797F-3648-4A33-9265-DF47CECBC41C.jpeg
8FEFAD1D-1530-4EAD-B71D-5F4447FA3E3E.jpeg
920747A4-37E6-4EAD-8BBB-ED1DA5BB5AE9.jpeg
F8E9B3E7-3254-42D1-B883-3A3BD76EAEEA.jpeg
 
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Drew Baker

Sr Member
Here are the rivets from the above flashes. First are Inc with machined rivets, then non-machined rivets, then Folmers with machined rivets:

rivets 1.jpg


Here are more photos of flash M, my Folmer New York. I've knocked back some of the patina and replaced the ears with a less rusty set of the same single concave rivet Folmer ears it came with. Other than that, this is how I got it:

flash-m.jpg
 

v312

Active Member
So staring with my earliest-looking Folmer no patent - it is the only one I have with such a heavy chroming, including the front screw and the bunny ears:
1614106539265.png

I see the dull rivet has a distinctive dot in the middle and a big chromed washer below the beer tab.

All my other flashes have dull-er front screw like this:
1614106755022.png

and the few other that have that distinctive dot are also with the same big chromed washer:
1614107274339.png


Next, there are some with dull rivets, but without that dot in the center and usually with a couple of harder to notice rings (that I could not catch very well in my pictures). Some of those are with the same big chromed washer, others are with a smaller (usually) and yellowish washer
1614107775084.png


Last, the shiny ones - some are machined evenly, some have a small circle in the middle, all are having a yellowish washer (also little smaller than the chromed ones on usually)
1614108704739.png
 
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v312

Active Member
And although I don't have any that is like this, I've seen several examples posted that are with the shiny rivet and a chromed washer like the one Ninja shared in the ANH hero thread:
1614108977290.png
 

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v312

Active Member
For the bunny ears it turns out I have 3 variations:
1614208793572.png

top picture - always the rivet is shiny.
middle picture - of the 4 that are like this - 3 are dull 1 is shiny.
bottom picture - always dull rivet.

So for me as far as non-removable pats are concerned, a "pure" Inc. top have all of these features:
1614209710038.png


and "pure" Folmer top - these:

1614209759786.png


But there are plenty of flashes that have some sort of mix of these features and I personally would not declare them "Inc" or "Folmer" just based on the beertab rivet.
 

Obi1Kenobi

New Member
So for me as far as non-removable pats are concerned, a "pure" Inc. top have all of these features:
View attachment 1429857

and "pure" Folmer top - these:

View attachment 1429858

But there are plenty of flashes that have some sort of mix of these features and I personally would not declare them "Inc" or "Folmer" just based on the beertab rivet.

Thanks for this summary with reference photos. So in your expert opinion, which version of each of these four non-removable parts do you see in the ANH Graflex photos seen in THIS THREAD - especially in posts #1 and #8?
 

v312

Active Member
Well I don't really consider myself an expert or anything, but what I see is : bunny ears with the big rivet-like dot, shiny beertab rivet and straight pins. I don't believe any previous owner or the prop crew would mess with the pins, so for the original prop I consider them "non-removable" parts.
1614223725151.png

So this mix of features I've never seen on a complete flash with "Inc" stamp and I've seen a couple that are stamped Folmer with a patent and then also few posted by others that are stamped with Folmer without patent.

I can't see enough details about the other "non-removable" parts on the ANH prop top, so as far as I'm concerned, they can be anything.

The one that I have is a Folmer with a patent that I used for some of the examples above
1614225123464.png


And for completeness, here's one of others that I have - it is stamped "Inc" and everything else is classic "Inc" type except for the bunny ears that are the same "middle" type from my previous post, and the beertab rivet is dull.
1614225635643.png
1614225755244.png
 

AstroZopyros

Active Member
RPF PREMIUM MEMBER
Wouldn't it be better to have all this in the actual Graflex facts thread?
Totally agree! I wasn't sure what conversations were still being debated over on your thread Scott, as I was under the impression it was for the undebatable Known Facts about Graflex variants, or else I probably wouldn't have started this one as it was intended to be more of a Discussion rather than concrete information, though both are necessary. As long as you're okay with all the discussion and photos, we can move it over there!
 

v312

Active Member
Yeah, definitely there's overlap on the "Facts" section , but a discussion about what exactly is on the ANH top would be off topic there.
I don't really have much more to contribute to either one though, so I hope more people step in and contribute.
 

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