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Butchers 122 (85 x 135mm) roll film camera 'The Famous Carbine, c1915

W. Butcher & Sons Carbine. Up to the advent of the Great War* Butchers imported German made cameras but this arrangement became somewhat inconvenient thereafter, and they teamed up with Houghtons as manufacturer to form The Houghton-Butcher Manufacturing Co.Ltd, finally merging in 1926. By 1930 they sold cameras under the Ensign name. There is frequently no mention of Butcher on the pre Houghton-Butcher arrangement cameras.
This camera proudly displays the badge "Butchers famous Carbine, British Made". So clearly was made after the beginning of hostilities, and in fact this camera is known to have been taken to France during the war itself, alas no photographs survive. The lack of German parts meant that the American Wollensak Lukos II shutter was used mounting a Beck Symmetrical lens. The Lukos is a pneumatically governed shutter, though you wouldn't guess it from its external appearance as the piston is miniscule and buried within the case. The camera has provision for both plates and roll film, and the focus scale can be quickly shifted backwards to accommodate the different focal plane when using the plate back.

The negative size, when contact printed with a 2.5mm white border would have produced a then standard postcard sized print.

This Carbine was donated in March 2009 in appropriately worn condition, by Mr. J Hallum. In view of its past, restoration was rejected, instead a deep clean and critical repairs only were undertaken. The bellows were quite rotten at the rear pleats, so a new section was inserted and a total of four small patches over pinholes. All the original paint and scratches have been retained.

Butchers 122 (85 x 135mm) roll film camera 'The Famous Carbine,       c1915
Body No. 60786
Shutter, Lukos II, speeds T, B , 100, 50 and 25th
Lens, f/8 Beck Symmetrical
Condition, 6F

 

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