Company Details

Notes on companies mentioned in the main text together with a few early manufacturers and dealers.


Company Name

Wood late AbrahamOr George Wood late Abraham.
Late style of name, also at 17 Lord St.
Abraham & Co.Optician
Abraham AbrahamOptician

Company Address

20 Lord St., LiverpoolOptician

Abraham Abraham traded as an optician in Liverpool in the pre-photographic period, advertisements give the establishment date as 1817, later (c. 1849), he formed Abraham & Co. along with Charles Joseph Harbertson West and George Smart Wood as partners, that partnership was dissolved in 1856. Wood continued the business under the Abraham & Co. name. An earlier partnership with John Benjamin Dancer trading as Abraham & Dancer, opticians, at Manchester was dissolved in 1845, the business was carried on by Dancer. An associated business was located in Glasgow.

Following the death of G.S. Wood in 1882 the company was owned by the trustees of his will - John James Wood (son), Susanna Wood (wife) and Caroline H. Wood (daughter). This partnership was ended in 1884 from then the firm was run by John James Wood. At some point the firm came to be owned by John Roberts who traded under the name of Wood Abrahams at 20, Lord Street, he died in 1934, the firm seems to have been finally wound up in 1941.

Lon. Gaz. 1/4/1845, p. 1027. Lon. Gaz. 18/1/1857, p. 216. Lon. Gaz. 11/11/1884, p. 4850. Lon. Gaz. 4/12/1934, p. 7815. Lon. Gaz. 25/7/1941, p. 4302. For details on Abraham and a listing of addresses see Clfton, Sci. Inst. Makers.

Further Information:
  • George Smart Wood
  • Born: 21 Oct 1816 Pentonville, London
  • Married: Susanna White 1844
  • Died: 2 July 1882
  • 1861: Optician employing 10 men and 1 boy
  • Brother of E.G. Wood (Horne Thornthwaite & Wood)

  • John James Wood son of George Smart Wood
  • Born: 1850
  • Spouse: Mary Jane
  • 1898: Freedom of the City Admission Papers, Spectacle makers

Abraham, Robert

Company Name

Robert Abrahamc. 1887 - 1890

Company Address

81 Aldersgate St., London ECc. 1887 - 1890
22 Charterhouse Bldgs., London ECc. 1887

From 1890 the firm became Adams & Co. at the 81 Aldersgate address. Robert Abraham died in July 1887.

BJP 25/7/1890, p. 477.

Further Information:
  • Robert Abraham
  • Born: 1821, Littleborough, Essex
  • Died: 17 July 1887
  • Children: Arthur Abraham (Arthur Lewis Adams)
  • 1881: Living at 169 Romford Rd. Builder employing 60 men

The National Archives hold a photograph labelled Robert Abraham.

Adams & Co.

See also Hill & Co.
Diagram showing relationship between the Newman, Adams and Sinclair companies.

Company Name

Adams & Co. Ltd1922 - c. 1954
Adams & Co.1890 - 1922
Robert Abrahamc. 1887 - 1890

Company Address

53 Wigmore St., London W11944 - c. 1953Occupied by Ross in the 1860s
122 Wigmore St., London W11932 - 1944Move took place early 1932
24 Charing Cross Rd., London WC1908 - 1932WC2 postal district from 1917
26 Charing Cross Rd., London WC1892 - 1908
24 Charing Cross Rd., London WC1891 - 1892
81 Aldersgate St., London EC1890 - 1897Until late 1897. As Robert Abraham from c.1887
22 Charterhouse Bldgs., London ECc. 1887As Robert Abraham
Englefield Rd.1926 -Factory
662b Seven Sisters Rd.1918 - 1926Factory. Possibly here earlier
as factory address is previously given as Tottenham
Bunhill Row, London1895 - 1905Factory
2, 3, 4 Aldersgate Bldgs., London EC1893 -Factory.
3, 4 Aldersgate Bldgs., London EC- 1893Factory. Robert Abraham prior to 1890

The firm of Robert Abraham was renamed Adams & Co. in 1890. Adams became a limited company on 30th May 1922 with a capitalisation of £9000, the directors were Benjamin Foulkes Winks and Charles John Bannister (see Airs & Co.). The firm was previously owned by Foulkes Winks. Adams later became part of Aeronautical & General Instruments Limited (AGI). Advertisements claim that Adams was founded in 1860, what, if anything, that refers to is not clear.

The manufacturing side of the firm - Adams Manufacturing Co. - is, at one time, shown as a partnership between Foulkes Winks and Herbert Irving Bell. Bell left the partnership in December 1920.

Adams were major manufacturers of high-quality hand and reflex cameras until the First World War period, from then their product range stagnated though their cameras were still built to a very high standard. They also sold field cameras that may have been bought-in.

A visit to the factory by the BJP in 1896 remarks on the use of machinery to automate the production of regular parts. At that time the factory occupied two floors at Bunhill Row. In 1893 the firm's annual outing included 48 people, in 1894 54 attended the outing described as working at the two shops and the factory at Aldersgate buildings.

In 1901 the company was commissioned to build two cameras for the Sultan of Morocco based on the Adams de Luxe detective camera; one, of quarter-plate size, was to have solid gold fittings the other, of half-plate size, was to have silver fittings. There is a photograph of the two cameras in the British Journal of Photography July 1901. The weight of the quarter-plate was 13 pounds and cost £2100 the other cost £900.

Arthur Lewis Adams
was the son of Robert Abraham and started life as Arthur Abraham. He later styled himself Arthur Samuel Lewis Abraham, its not clear if these forenames were original or adopted. Around 1890 he changed his name to A.L. Adams. An article in the BJP in 1918 notes his death which was on 8/11/1918 (he left the considerable sum of £9125), he was living at the time in West Hampstead.

Benjamin Foulkes Winks
was probably a manager at Adams & Co. and a patentee along with A.L. Adams of a twin lens reflex. In 1900 he was elected a member of the RPS. In the mid 1900s he was living at Spencer Rd. Wealdstone and later in Ealing. His name is sometimes written with a hyphen between Foulkes Winks, at other times not. Foulkes was originally a forename.

Henry Hill, co-patentee with Adams on four patents, was briefly in partnership with Adams.

Adams often included an emblem on their cameras, before around 1914 the emblem was a stylised A surmounted by a crown or a crown alone, later a lion's head was placed above the A, in advertisements this change corresponds with 'Trade Mark' being added to the emblem.

The BJA of 1894 shows the Aldersgate Buildings and Aldersgate St. buildings. The BJA of 1899 shows a drawing of the Charing Cross and Bunhill buildings. 24 and 26 Charing Cross Road were the same building, Kelly lists it as next to Cecil Court (north side), it still exists.

Diagram showing relationship between the Newman, Adams and Sinclair companies.

BJA 1899, p. 402. BJA 1930. BJA 1953, p. 24. BJP 10/7/1896, p. 443 (factory visit). Phot. Journal 5/1932, p. vii. Phot. Journal 4/1929, p. 179. BJP 8/11/1889, p. 735. BJP 25/7/1890, p. 477. BJP 25/4/1890, p. 266. BJP 14/10/1892. BJP 14/7/1893, p. 446. BJP 10/7/1896, p. 443. BJP 22/11/1918, p. 528. BJP 11/3/1921, p. 145. BJP 8/3/1901, p. 152. BJP 5/7/1901, supp p. 55.

Further Information:
  • Arthur Lewis Adams
  • Born: c. 1862 Poplar
  • Married: Elizabeth Hannah Jeffery 1893, died: 1908
  • Children: Beryl Adams born 1894
  • Died: 8 Nov 1918, 6 Marlborough Mansions West Hampstead. Effects £9,125
  • 1894: Living in Teddington
  • 1901: Living in Beckenham

  • Benjamin Foulkes Winks. Father: Henry, Mother: Frances A
  • Born: 1861 Islington
  • Spouse: Mary Adeline
  • Died: 10 March 1929, 32 Loveday Rd. Ealing
  • 1897: Living at 31 High St. Walthamstow
  • 1901: Spencer Rd. Wealdstone
  • 1911: 1 Saint Kilda Road, West Ealing

The early detective camera produced by Abraham/Adams is mentioned in the BJP 5/4/1889, p. 234. Two patents, BP 17359 and BP 5863, were started by A.S.L. Abraham for "improvements to cameras especially finders" and "improvements to shutters" respectively but must have been abandoned at an early stage. A further patent, BP 10191, covering a changing box was started by Adams but also abandoned. BP 13160/1896, in conjunction with Jeyes, was also started but was not progressed.

Adams, R.T.

Company Name

R.T. AdamsOr R.T. Adams & Co.

Company Address

573, 575, 577 Seven Sisters Rd., LondonWorks
Stamford Hill, London- 1898

Wholesale supplier specialising in the manufacture of camera cases but also sold cameras and accessories. Richard Thomas Adams.

Phot. Dealer Jan/1898, p. 8.


Company Name

Agilux Ltd

Company Address

Purley Way, Croydon

Part of Aeronautical & General Instruments Limited.


Company Name

D.A. Ahuja

Company Address

Rangoon. Burma

Retailer. Established in 1885 as Kundandass & Co. in 1900 the name was changed to D.A. Ahuja.

BJA 1953.

Airs & Co.

Company Name

Bessus & Co.1898 - 1904
Airs & Co.- 1898

Company Address

84 Hatton Gdn., London1895 -From Nov 1900 also at 83 Hatton Gdn
Farringdon Rd., Londonc. 1893 - 1895

Airs & Co. were started in Croydon around 1886, they specialised in lantern equipment and later developed a general wholesale business, a Bessus camera was also advertised. In 1898 the name of the firm was changed to Bessus. In 1897 George Richard Dunn and Charles John Bannister (b. 1869. See Adams & Co.) joined Airs from Joseph Levi & Co. The original partner, George Percival Spooner, left the firm in 1899. In 1904 the firm was taken over by W. Butcher & Sons.

Phot. Dealer Jul/1898, p. 11. Phot. Dealer Jan/1899, p. 25. Phot. Dealer Jan/1901, p. 9. Phot. Dealer Jan/1904, p. 3.

Albion Albumenizing Co.

Company Name

Albion Albumenizing Co.

Company Address

118 Howard St., Glasgow1905 -Until 1909 or later
128 Sauchiehall St., Glasgow- 1905Here from before 1898
13 West Nile St., Glasgowc. 1898
96 Bath St., GlasgowHere from before 1884 until after 1894
90 West Regent St., GlasgowHere until the early 1880s
Cathcart, GlasgowWorks
Cleveland House. Drayton Green, LondonWorks. Here in the early 1880s. Also given as Ealing Dean
Brackenbury Rd. Shepherds Bush, LondonWorks. Here in the late 1870s

The firm, established in 1864, were wholesalers and importers especially of sensitised paper. The works at Cathcart became F.W. Vérel & Co. around 1891, previously their products had been distributed by Albion Albumenizing. In May 1887 one of the partners in the firm - George Donaldson Finlayson - left, the business was continued by the remaining partners, James Skinner and John Morison Skinner.

Lon. Gaz. 20/5/1887, p. 2813.

Further Information:
Torrance, 'Scottish Studio Photographers' has further information.


Company Name

Aldis Bros.1902 -

Company Address

Sarehole Rd., Sparkhill, Birmingham
13 Old Grange Rd., Sparkhill, Birmingham1902 -

Aldis Brothers was established in 1902 when Hugh Lancelot Aldis left Dallmeyer to form his own lens manufacturing company. H.L. Aldis (b. 1870 d. 1945) was elected a member of the RPS in 1894. The Photographic Dealer for June 1903 carries an interesting article on the company and describes the manufacturing process, of interest is that Aldis turned their own brass work and made iris diaphragms.

Aldis became part of the Rank Organisation and in 1971 the company was placed into administration.

Phot. Dealer Jun/1903, p. 164. AP 25/8/1926, p. 167. PTB Aug/1945, p. 454. Lon. Gaz. 20/7/1971, p. 7797.


Company Name

T. Algate

Company Address

George Lane, South Plymouth

Produced a type of reflex camera, The Algate, in 1894. Thomas Henry Algate.

The Photogram 1894, p. 166.

Allan, David

Company Name

David Allan (DALLAN Products) Ltd1947 -
David Allan- 1947

Company Address

Hemel Hempstead1954 -
Whitfield Works, Whiston Rd., London E21940 - 1954
Mansfield St., Kingsland, London1902 - 1940
157 Whitfield St., London- 1902

Established 1868. The Photographic Dealer for December 1901 gives a report on the company. David Allan sold the business around 1892, in 1899 it was again sold to H. Le Marquand and Mr. Colley. Following the death of Le Marquand in 1902, J. Hazell ran the firm, he was previously manager.

Phot. Dealer Jul/1902, p. 170, Le Marquand obituary.

Allen, W.

Company Name

W. Allen

Company Address

Bray Rd., Maidenhead1912 -
31 York Rd., Maidenhead- 1912

Camera and dark-slide manufacturer probably supplying the trade.

Allen, W.A.

Company Name

W.A. Allen1899 -
Carnell and Allen- 1899

Company Address

2, Speaking Stile Walk, Holloway Head, Birmingham

The partnership between George Carnell and Walter Alfred Allen, camera makers, was dissolved in 1899.

Lon. Gaz. 15/12/1899, p. 8419.

Alliance Roll Film Camera

Company Name

Alliance Roll Film Camera Co. Ltd

The Alliance Roll film Camera Co. Ltd was registered in 1902 with capital of £10,000 and wound up in 1904. It was set-up by the leading wholesalers in Britain to manufacture roll-film equipment and films which would then be distributed by each of the participating companies. Although the stated purpose was to manufacture it seems more likely that the manufacturing facilities associated with the participating companies were utilised with Alliance having a commissioning and coordinating role. The original partners were: Barclay and Sons; Busch Camera Co.; W. Butcher and Sons; Jonathan Fallowfield; G. Houghton and Son; Marion and Co.; F. Newbery and Sons; John Sanger and Son; W. Sutton and Sons; C. Tyler and England Brothers.

The formation of Alliance was in response to Kodak by-passing the wholesale trade and selling direct to the retailer at a discounted price (essentially Kodak were attempting to monopolise the market), the trade magazine - Photographic Dealer - expended much ink on the subject. Alliance was wound up after only two years, this was possibly related to the expansion of G. Houghton into Houghton Ltd.

Phot. Dealer May/1902, p. 118. BJP 4/4/1902, p. 273. Lon. Gaz. 20/12/1904, p. 8738.
Pritchard, The development and growth of British photographic manufacturing and retailing 1839-1914.

Altrincham Rubber Co.

Company Name

Altrincham Rubber Co.1901 -

Company Address

Lower Grafton St.1903 -
Mossburn Bldgs.c. 1902 -
Grafton St.1901 -

A.W.S. Sanderson worked with Thornton-Pickard before starting the Altrincham Rubber Co. in 1901, they specialised in india-rubber goods but also produced other items such as shutters, by 1904 they employed 24 men.

Phot. Dealer Mar/1901, p. 64. Phot. Dealer May/1904, p. 114.

Further Information:
  • Alfred William Stainton Sanderson
  • Born: 1864 Lincoln
  • Died: 20 Dec 1932
  • 1901: Rubber goods manu.
  • 1911: Phot. Apparatus manu.

Ambridge, H.

Company Name

Harry AmbridgeActive 1856Cabinet maker

Company Address

16 Tabernacle Row, London

Further Information:
  • Harry Ambridge
  • Born: 1806
  • Died: 1890 Hoxton
Another Harry Ambridge, son of the above, is listed as an 'optical instrument case maker' in the early 1850s.

American Camera Co.

Company Name

The American Camera Co. Ltd.1892 - 1893Ltd from Jan 1892
The American Camera Co.- c. 1892

Company Address

Broad Street House, New Broad St., Londonc. 1892 only
397, 399 Edgware Rd., Londonc. 1891 - 1893
395c, 399 Edgware Rd., London1890 - c. 1891
399 Edgware Rd., Londonc. 1887 - 1890

The addresses given are for Walter O'Reilly patentee of the Demon camera. As well as the Demon, conventional field cameras, such as the Cleveland, were advertised.

O'Reilly lived at 399 Edgware Rd. from 1882 or 1883 until September 1893. At some point a stable behind 399 was converted into a factory. From April 1894 he moved into 383 Edgware Road for business and residence.

The American Camera Company, Limited was incorporated on January 30th 1892, the nominal capital was £15,000 in 15,000 shares of £1 each, there were seven shareholders, Walter O'Reilly holding 3,000 ordinary and 1,000 preference shares. O'Reilly sold the business to the company for £7,000, of which £4,000 was to be paid in shares, and £3,000 in cash, there was no subscription by the public. The firm was wound up on 4th September 1893.

Cameras were not the only item produced or sold from the factory, a court case mentions electric motors, bells and telephones. At some time there were twenty to thirty men and girls employed at the factory.

Lon. Gaz. 15/9/1893, p. 5291.

Further Information:
O'Reilly was the defendant in a fraud case at the Old Bailey, 9 Sep 1895, he was found not guilty. The proceedings provide interesting information on the American Camera Company.
  • Walter Philip O'Reilly
  • Born: 1847 Kennington, London
  • First wife: Harriett Mary Lloyd, 1872
  • Second wife: Emily Sarah Martin, 1879
  • Died: 1919
  • 1881: Toy manufacturer
  • 1891: Living at 397 Edgware Rd.
  • 1901: Living at Stoke Newington
  • 1911: Scientific Instrument maker. Living at Wood Green


See APM.

Company Name

APEM Ltd1929 -


For later entries see Soho.

Company Name

Amalgamated Photographic Materials Ltd1921 - 1929

Company Address

Colham Mill Rd., West Drayton, Middx1941 - c. 1943
Lymington, Hantsc. 1941 -Registered office
3 Soho Sq., London W11921 - 1941

A.P.M. was formed in 1921 by the merger of Rotary Photographic Co. (1917) Ltd, Paget Prize Plates Co. Ltd, Rajar Ltd, Marion & Co. Ltd, Marion & Foulger Ltd, A. Kershaw & Son Ltd and Kershaw Optical Co. Ltd. Later in 1921 they became leading shareholders in Thornton-Pickard Manufacturing Co.

On the 1st February 1929 the sensitive materials side of the company was re-formed as APEM Ltd, this was formed by the Marion, Paget and Rajar divisions. Shortly afterwards APEM was incorporated into the Ilford group.

A.P.M. was renamed Soho Ltd, as the sales division for the manufacturing company of A. Kershaw & Son.

By 1942 Soho Ltd. was listed as a branch of A Kershaw & Son. Following the war the Soho name re-emerged as Kershaw-Soho (Sales) Ltd. Around 1947 Kershaw-Soho was part of the J. Arthur Rank Organisation (through British Optical and Precision Engineers Ltd. a subsidiary of Rank).

In the 1922 BJA the directors are shown as: A.E. Parke (Rajar, Rotary and Wiggins Teape, chairman); Abram Kershaw (Kershaw and Son, Kershaw Optical); Cecil Kershaw (Kershaw and Son, Kershaw Optical); T.L. Parke (Rajar, Rotary and Wiggins Teape); A.G. Pickard (T-P); H.C. Rich (Marion and Foulger); F.G. Thomas (Marion); George Sydney Whitfield (Paget); L.D. Whitfield (Paget); C.F.S. Rothwell (Rajar and Rotary, joint MD); Gerald M. Bishop (Marion, joint MD). An earlier list does not include A.G. Pickard.

BJA 1922, pp. 59, 82, 313. BJA 1929, p.47. BJA 1930, p. 47. BJA 1936, p. 216. BJA 1943, p. 23. BJA 1944, p. 23. BJP 11/2/1921 p. 79 APM share details.

Appleton, R.J.

Company Name

R.J. Appleton & Co.Or Appleton & Co

Company Address

North Parade Works, Bradford1904 -
Market Sq., Bradford1901 - 1904
58 Manningham Lane, Bradford- 1903Here in 1891
11 Leeds Rd., Bradford

Appleton were retailers specialising in lantern equipment and slides. In 1896 they took over the photographic side of the firm Percy Lund and in 1902 the business of Cecil Wray. In the 1890s they moved into cinematography, making films and selling equipment including the Cieroscope, a cine projector or combined camera, printer and projector.

Optical Magic Lantern Journal Oct/1896, p. 155.

Archer & Sons

Company Name

G & N Stokes & Archer1925 -
Archer & Sons- 1925

Company Address

71 & 73 Lord St., Liverpool1899 -Previously the Wood Bros. premises
43, 45, 47, 49 Lord St., Liverpool1895 - 1899
43, 49 Lord St., Liverpool- 1895Here in 1891
South Castle St., Liverpool1848 -

Established in 1848 by W.F. Archer, at that time they specialised in lantern goods. Following the death of W.F. Archer the firm was run by his three sons, W.J. Archer, F.H. Archer and F.W. Archer. In 1898 Wood Brothers was taken over and in 1900 Wormald & Co. was added though Wormald continued to trade under its own name (these two firms may have been connected). By 1904 the firm was run by F.H. Archer, his brother ran a branch business in St. George's Crescent.

Following the takeover or amalgamation with Stokes the company name is given as G & N Stokes & Archer and later as G & N Stokes (Archer & Sons).

BJA 1890, p.54. BJP 1/3/1895, p. Supp. 18. Phot. Dealer Aug/1899, p. 35. Phot. Dealer Nov/1900, p. 124. Phot. Dealer Aug/1902, p. 207. Phot. Dealer May/1904, p. 114.

Further Information:
  • William Frederick Archer
  • Born: 1827 Ireland
  • Spouse: Harriett
  • Died: 14 April 1887. Effects £1,212
  • 1871: Importer of Musical Instruments. Living at Liscard Cheshire
  • 1887: Living at Hayfield Within Lane, Liscard

  • Walter John Archer. Son of W.F. Archer
  • Born: 1858
  • Died: 19 Jun 1902. Effects £4,463
  • 1891: Optician. Living at Victoria Park, Wavertree
  • 1901: Optician / Shop Keeper. Living at Victoria Park, Wavertree

  • Frederick William Archer Son of W.F. Archer
  • Born: 6 Feb 1860
  • Died: 27 Feb 1945. Effects £20,082
  • 1891: Optician. Living at Wavertree
  • 1901: Optician / Shop Keeper. Living at Victoria Park, Wavertree
  • 1911: Optician. Living at Victoria Park, Wavertree
  • 1945: Living at 10 Lyndhurst Rd. Irby Cheshire.

  • Foster Henry Archer Son of W.F. Archer
  • Born: 3 Dec 1861
  • Spouse: Ann
  • Died: 3 Jul 1935 Bournmouth. Effects £1,4241
  • 1901: Optician. Living at 6 Wellington Fields, Toxteth Park, Liverpool
  • 1911: Optician. Living at Homefield, Sandown Park, Wavertree
  • 1935: Living at Parkfield Rd. Liverpool

Army & Navy

Company Name

Army & Navy Auxiliary C.S. Ltd

Company Address

Francis St., London SW

Retailers but also sold cameras under their own name.

Artistic Photographic Co.

Company Name

Artistic Photographic Co. Ltdc. 1897 -
Artistic Photographic Co.- c. 1897

Company Address

90-92 Oxford St., London1900 -
72 Oxford St., London1895 - 1900
178 Charing Cross Rd., London1892 - 1895

Listed as photograph dealers in the 1893 Kelly and photographers from 1896.

Ashford Brothers

Company Name

Thomas Bristo Ashford1867 - 1877At 97 Newgate
Henry Ashford & Co.1867 - 1868At 3 Queen St.
Ashford Brothers & Co.1862 - 1867Albumen paper manu. and importers, publishers

Company Address

97 Newgate St., London1867 - 1877T.B. Ashford
3 Queen St., Cheapside, London1867 - 1868Henry Ashford
76 Newgate St., London1863 - 1867
7 Queen's Head Passage, Newgate St., London1862

Lon. Gaz. 4/10/1867.

Ashford, J.

Company Name

J. Ashford & Sons Ltd.1912 -
J. Ashford1883 - 1912

Company Address

3 King Alfred's Place, Birmingham1927 -
3 Sheepcote St., Birminghamc. 1926
Aston Brook St., Birmingham1914 - 1926
179 Aston Rd., Birmingham- 1914

The firm is best known for its tripods especially the Giraffe of 1900, early products included cameras notably the Patent model of 1887. Founded in 1883. James Ashford.

Phot. Dealer Jun/1903, p. 158.

Further Information:
BP 15198/1884, 14206/1885, 541/1887, 6508/1900.

Atkinson Brothers

Company Name

Atkinson Brothers Ltd1903 -
Atkinson Brothers- 1903
Frederick Atkinson1898 -
John James Atkinson1845 - 1898Or J. Atkinson

Company Address

66 Victoria St., Liverpool1898 -
33 - 37 Manchester St., Liverpool- 1898Sometimes shown as only no. 37
37 Manchester St., Liverpool- 1898Here before 1859

Founded in 1845 by J.J. Atkinson (d. 1898). In early advertisements they are styled 'American Wholesale & Retail Stores' at this time they specialised in photograph cases and mounts. Frederick Atkinson left the firm in 1900, C.H. Atkinson then ran the company. Atkinson Brothers was registered in 1903 with capital of £1500.

BJA 1899, p. 1113. Phot. Dealer Jul/1898, p. 10. Phot. Dealer Nov/1900 118. Phot. Dealer Nov/1903, p. 126.

Autotype Co.

Company Name

Autotype Co.1875 -
Spencer, Sawyer, Bird & Co.1873 - 1875
Autotype Fine Art Printing Co.1870 - 1875
Autotype Printing and Publishing Co.1868 - 1870

Company Address

59 New Oxford St., London1925 - c. 1941Head office then moved to the works in West Ealing
74 Oxford St., Londonc. 1881 - 1925
512 Oxford St., Londonc. 1880 - c. 1881
36 Rathbone Pl., London1870 - c. 1879
5 Haymarket, London1868 - 1870
Ealing Dene, London1874 -Works, later shown as West Ealing

The firm was founded in 1868 when J.R. Johnson, Ernest Edwards and others bought the patent rights, along with the manufacturing and printing facilities, for the carbon process from J.W. Swan (BP 503/1864). John Frederick Boyes was listed as secretary at this time.

In 1873 the manufacturing and printing side of the company was sold to J.A. Spencer, J.R. Sawyer, and W.S. Bird who from then traded as Spencer, Sawyer, Bird & Co. The partnership was dissolved in 1874 when Spencer left the company though he later worked for the Autotype Co. from which he retired in 1877. The publishing side of the firm - Autotype Fine Art Co. (chairman W.H. Benyon-Winsor) - was wound up at the end of 1872, whether it then became part of Spencer, Sawyer, Bird or traded separately is not clear.

In 1875 the company was reorganised as The Autotype Co. W.S. Bird left the company around 1893.

Charles Sawyer, the son of J.R. Sawyer, was manager of the business for several years. Sawyer and Bird ran a photographic studio at 87 Regent Street between 1870 and 1873, this then became Sawyer, Bird & Foxlee. Spencer operated a studio and albumen paper manufactory at Shepherd's Bush.

Phot. Dealer Aug/1903, p. 29. BJA 1915, p. 423. BJA 1943, p. 326. YBP 1890, p. 36. Lon. Gaz. 31/1/1873; 17/6/1913; 2/2/1915; 27/3/1874. p. 1895. BJP 5/1/1877, p. 12. BJP 7/8/1896, p. 504. BJP 25/1/1889 p. 50.

Further Information:
  • John Alexander Spencer b. 1827 London d. 20/4/1878
  • John Robert Mather Sawyer b. 1829, d. 21/1/1889 Naples
  • Walter Strickland Bird b. 1827, d. 5/2/1912
  • Charles Sawyer b. 1861, d. 22/9/1914

  • John Robert Johnson
  • Born: 1816 West Witton Yorkshire
  • Married: Sarah Alderson 1849
  • Died: 1881 Coten End Warwick


Company Name

A.H. BairdOr Andrew H. Baird

Company Address

33-39 Lothian St., Edinburgh1910 -Until after 1941
35 Lothian St., Edinburgh1900 -Together with no. 39
39 Lothian St., EdinburghHere by 1897
15 Lothian St., EdinburghHere from 1889 or before until after 1894

Baird are listed as scientific instrument makers and chemical dealers, photographic equipment was limited but included the Lothian stereo viewer, they also distributed the Todd-Forret flash lamp, still advertised in 1926. The initials A H B in a triangle was used as a symbol, later the trade mark of the initials in a tripod top was registered.

Baird & Sons

Company Name

T. Baird & Sons1904 -
Thomas Baird- 1904

Company Address

34 Queen St., Glasgow1908 -
34-36 Queen St., Glasgow- 1908
54 St Enoch Sq., Glasgow1908 -

Baird were predominantly dispensing opticians. T Baird & Sons was dissolved in 1933 when Thomas Baird retired, the business was carried on under the same name by John and William Torrence Baird at the 71 Queen St. address. Arthur Baird carried on business at Shawlands. The business at 54 St. Enoch Street was transferred to Alexander Baird in 1931.

In 1970 House of Fraser acquired T Baird & Son Ltd, previously owned by Selincourt & Sons Ltd of London.

Edinburgh Gazette.


Company Name

Robert Ballantine1908 -

Company Address

99 St Vincent St., Glasgow1908 -

Previously Robert Ballantine was with Lizars, in 1908 he opened his own shop as an optician and photographic dealer.

AP 9/6/1908, p. 591.

Barclay & Sons

Company Name

Barclay & Sons Ltd1896 -
Barclay & Sons1808 - 1896
Barclay & Son1770 - 1808

Company Address

95 Farringdon St., Londonc.1831 -Until after 1940
95 Fleet Market, London- c.1831

Established in 1770 as druggists they later expanded to general chemist and related goods. They sold the Farringdon enlarger and a range of cheap cameras. The firm was voluntarily wound up and restructured in 1896, George Robert Barclay was appointed liquidator.

Lon. Gaz. 30/6/1896, p. 3806.

Further Information:
  • Robert Barclay. Father: James
  • Born: 1785
  • Died: 1851

  • George Barclay son of Robert
  • Born: 1818

  • George Robert Barclay son of George
  • Born: 1852 Camden

  • Lyndsay Barclay son of George Robert
  • Born: 1887
  • Died: 1950

Barnet Ensign Ross

See Ross Ensign.


Company Name

Edward BattyActive 1857

Company Address

27 Fleet Lane, Farringdon St., London1857

Further Information:
  • Edward Batty
  • Born: 1831 Hoddesdon
  • Died: 1899
  • 1891: Photgraphic cabinet mkr

Baynton, C.S.

Company Name

C.S. Baynton1894 - 1926

Company Address

Exchange Bldgs., New St., Birmingham133 New St.

Took over the firm of S. Hulme in 1894. The firm last advertised in the British Journal of Photography Almanac for 1927 (Patent Turbine Print Washer).

BJP 30/3/1894 p. 204.

Further Information:
  • Charles Summers Baynton
  • Born: 1866 Dudley
  • Spouse: Eleanor
  • Died: 21 Aug 1926
  • 1901: Photographic Apparatus Manufacturer

Beard, R.R.

Company Name

R.R. Beard1891 -

Company Address

10 Trafalgar Rd, Old Kent Rd., London W21894 -
62 Alscot Rd., Bermondsey, London W21891 - 1894

Beard was previously working for W. Oakley & Co.

Optical Magic Lantern Jnl. Jul/1891. BJP 22/6/1894 p. 396.

Further Information:
  • Robert Royou Beard
  • Born: 1856
  • Died: 3 Feb 1932


Company Name

Charles Beckmann1863Albumen paper manu. importers, framers

Company Address

7 Fell St., Wood St., London1863


Company Name

R & J Beck Ltdc. 1895 -
R & J Beck1865 - c. 1895
Smith, Beck & Beck1857 - 1865
Smith & Beck1847 - 1857
James Smith1839 - 1847

Company Address

69 Mortimer St., London W11926 -
68 Cornhill, London EC1880 -North side, between Bishopsgate and White Lion Ct. EC3 from 1917
31 Cornhill, London1865 - 1880
6 Coleman St., London1847 - 1865
50 Ironmonger Row, Old St., London1839 - 1847
91 Shaftesbury Av., Londonc. 1920West End Branch. Only listed for 1 year
Dickenson St., Kentish TownLister Works

Richard Beck was the first brother to join the firm followed by Joseph Beck. James Smith (d. 1870) retired from the business in 1865, (There was another James Smith microscope maker working at the Royal Exchange in the 1820s.) In 1882 the partners running the firm are shown as Joseph Beck, Robert Kemp and Charles Coppock, in that year Coppock retired from the business. By 1900 Conrad Beck and William Beck Jr. were associated with the firm.

Beck specialised in the manufacture of microscopes, their works in north London was named 'Lister Works' after J.J. Lister the famous microscopist who helped establish the company. From the 1850s they sold stereo viewers of their own design and later manufactured photographic lenses. Camera production seems to have started in the late 1880s and continued until the First World War. Lens production was resumed after the war.

The July 1898 issue of the Photographic Dealer carries an interesting article on the manufacture of the Frena at the Lister works. All the parts were made in-house, parts were made by an individual workman as required based on drawings, jigs and templates, these were then used to replenish stores. Measurements were to 1/100" with fine tolerance levels ensuring the parts were interchangeable. The machinery used amounted to customised lathes, drills, saws etc. This was probably typical of how many workshops operated at the time, it required highly skilled workmen and resulted in low production figures; a long way from the mass production of cameras in factories that was starting to operate in America.

F.O. Bynoe who worked for or was connected with the firm since around 1891 left Beck in 1903 to join Brooks-Watson as business manager, Bynoe had patented a printing frame sold by Beck.

BJP 1/5/1896, p. 280 visit to the Beck factory. Turner, G. L'E, Great Age of the Microscope, the Collection of the Royal Microscopical Society. Whipple Museum of the History of Science, Catalogue 7 - Microscopes. Lon. Gaz. 5/12/1882. Phot. Dealer Jul/1898, p. 5.

Further Information:
  • Richard Beck
  • Born: 1827
  • Spouse: Harriet
  • Died: 30 Sep 1866
  • Living at 404 Camden Rd., previously at Pear Tree Cottage Holloway Rd.

  • Joseph Beck
  • Born: 1829
  • Spouse: Emma Elizabeth
  • Children: Conrad
  • Died: 18 April 1891
  • Living at 233 Albion Rd Stoke Newington

  • Frederick Oatley Bynoe
  • Born: 1857
  • Married: Charlotte Anne Robbins, 1 Sep 1880
  • 1924: Living at 16 South View Twickenham
  • 1936: Living at 70 Strawberry Vale Twickenham


Company Name

Benetfink & Co.

Company Address

89, 90, 107 & 108 Cheapside, London- 1907Not all street nos. always listed
1 Ironmonger Lane, London
8 Honey Lane, London

Large retail store, originally ironmongers. They retailed photographic products and sold cameras under their own brand name of Lightening. All addresses are close to each other.


Company Name

Eugene BentheimActive 1854Agents for Alexis Gaudin. Previously Bentheim Roullier & Co. importers and general agents

Company Address

67 Newgate St., London1854


Company Name

Edwin BentleyActive 1859 - 1875Phot. dealer probably in chemicals

Company Address

20 Bartlett's Bldgs., Holborn, London1859 - 1875

Bessus & Co.

See Airs & Co..

Bethell, T.P.

Company Name

T.P. BethellOr Thos. P. Bethell. Listed until 1931

Company Address

Crown Works. Boundary Place, LiverpoolLater shown as 66 Boundary Place
69 Pembroke Place, Liverpool1902 -
115 Islington, Liverpool- 1902
Oakes St. and Boundary Place, LiverpoolFactory

Bethhell was primarily a cardboard box manufacturer. He also manufactured and patented a cheap box camera, another patent was for a dark-slide. A multi-exposure camera was advertised in 1914. Photographic patents were: BP 7799/1898 and BP 2965/1896. Other patents were isued for cardboard items.

Phot. Dealer May/1898, p. 134. BJA 1914, p. 1324.

Further Information:
  • Thomas Peter Bethell
  • Born: 1859
  • Spouse: Forbes Cay Hunter, 1886
  • Died: 7 Nov 1935

Beyer, W.

Company Name

W. Beyer

Manufacturer or possibly wholesaler of hand cameras, one being the Malden.

The Photogram 1894, p. 192.

Biddle, J.

Company Name

J. Biddle

Company Address

97 Medlock St., Manchester

Photographic dealer established in 1860. His early career was as an artist then as a photographer and picture frame maker. The period as a photographic dealer probably dates from the mid 1880s. He was at the Medlock St. address from before 1881 until after 1901. In 1863 a John Biddle, photographer, was at 58 Peel Terrace, Bury New Road. John Biddle b. Birmingham 1829.


Company Name

Billcliff Camera Worksc. 1907 -
Joshua Billcliff

Company Address

27 Richmond St., Boundary Lane, Manchesterc. 1882 -
93 Coupland St., Manchesterc. 1875 - c. 1882
1 Perry St., off Medlock St., Manchesterc. 1873 - c. 1882
62 Devonshire St., Manchester- c. 1875
56 Stretford Rd., Manchester- 1861 -Beer retailer/carpenter

Billcliff was established in 1860, in 1881 he employed 7 men and 2 boys, describing himself in the census of that year as a cabinet maker. He made cameras for Thornton-Pickard and others in the Manchester area. An 1886 advertisement states that he was making McKellan's camera [sic], presumably the S.D. McKellen Patent camera. Around 1890 the firm employed 53 men. An advertisement from 1867 shows him to be making cameras.

Following Billcliff's death the firm was run by his sons, a report of a visit to the firm in 1904 mentions a brass workshop and up-to-date machinery, by that time the supply of process equipment was becoming important. The firm was still listed in the 1943 BJA.

BJA 1867, p. xliv. BJA 1886, p. lxxx. YBP 1887, xxxvi. Phot. Dealer May/1904, p. 114.

Further Information:
  • Joshua Billcliff
  • Born: 1820/21 Penistone Yorkshire. The likely date is 27 Aug
  • Married: Jane Hall 1849
  • Married: Hannah Moore 1874
  • Died: 5 May 1899, 93 Coupland St. Chorlton-upon-Medlock, effects £746
  • Children: William Henry (b. 1856), Alfred (b. 1867), Harry (b. 1869), Joshua (b. 1872), Joseph
  • 1861: Living at 56 Stretford Rd, carpenter
  • 1871: 56 Stretford Rd. carpenter/joiner employing 3 men and 2 boys
  • 1881: 93 Coupland St. Chorlton-upon-Medlock. Cabinet Maker employing 7 Men and 2 Boys
  • 1911: Alfred is listed as a camera maker living at 89 Park St. Manchester
  • Harry is listed as a camera maker living at 72 Park St. Manchester
  • Joshua is listed as a camera maker living at 74 Park St. Manchester
  • William Henry is listed as a photographic apparatus maker (d. 1939)
  • William (b. 1884 son of William Henry) is listed as a photographic apparatus maker

Birmingham Dry Collodion

Company Name

Birmingham Dry Collodion Plate and Film Co. Ltd1890 - 1895
Birmingham Dry Collodion Plate and Film Co.

BT 31/4934/32892, BT 34/741/32892. Lon. Gaz. 25/10/1895, p. 5819.

Birmingham Photographic Co.

Company Name

Criterion Plates, Papers, Films Ltd1914 -Often styled Criterion Ltd
Birmingham Photographic Co. Ltd- 1914

Company Address

Stetchford, Birmingham1898 -Various street numbers of: 10, 6, 13
Gt. Charles St., Birmingham- 1898
99 & 100 Gladstone Rd., Sparkbrook, Birmingham

The April 1898 issue of the Photographic Dealer records a visit to the new factory at Stetchford and shows the camera making shop. John Boultbee Brooks was connected with the firm.

Phot. Dealer Apr/1898, P. 94. BJP 21/1/1898, p. 42.


Company Name

A. BirnieCamera makers

Company Address

118 Perth Rd., Dundee- 1890 -

Further Information:
Torrance, 'Scottish Studio Photographers' has further information.

Blackfriars Photographic and Sensitising Co.

See Spicer Brothers.

Bland & Long

Company Name

Bland & Co.1858 - 1863Or Wm. R. Bland & Co.
Bland & Long1852 - 1858

Company Address

153 Fleet St., London1852 - 1863

The partnership between William Russell Bland and Charles Albert Long was dissolved in September 1858. Bland died in 1863, the premises were then occupied by Negretti & Zambra. Long was working for Negretti & Zambra in 1864.

Bland proposed a camera for dry collodion plates where a box was attached to rails underneath the camera the whole was covered with a dark cloth. Plates were lifted by hand from the box and placed in the dark slide.

In 1851 Bland was working at Horne & Thornthwaite with E.G. Wood in Newgate street. Long was apprenticed to Edward Palmer in 1843.

Books by Charles Long: Practical Photography on glass and paper. A manual containing simple directions for the production of portraits, views, etc. by the agency of light, including the collodion, albumen, calotype, waxed paper and positive paper processes, 1854. The Dry Collodion Process, 1857.

Phot. Notes Feb 1857. Phot. News 25/9/1863, p. 468. Lon. Gaz. 17/9/1858.

Further Information:
  • William Russell Bland
  • Born: 1827 London
  • Spouse: Eliza Charlotte
  • Died: 23 September 1863, Scarsdale Villas Kensington and previously 153 Fleet St.
  • 1851: Optician, living in Kensington
  • 1861: Optician, living at Scarsdale Villas

  • Charles Albert Long
  • Born: c. 1829
  • 1843: Apprenticed to Edward Palmer
  • 1854 - 1859 member RPS
  • 1862: Optician living at 122 Regent St. (Negretti & Zambra)

See the proceedings of a case against Theophilus Smith in 1851 at the Old Bailey where Bland was a witness.

Early cameras are in: Christie's Cat. 11/5/2001 lot 371. Stereo Wet-plate by Bland on parallelogram, lens 2693. Christie's Cat. 24/11/1994 lot 270. Stereo model by Bland & Long on Latimer Clark type movement. Christie's Cat. 14/1/1999 lot 264. Wet plate, Bland & Co. Optician to the Queen.


Company Name

R.H. Bleasdale

Company Address

104 Dale End, BirminghamEarly 1890sMidland Photographic Store
22 Dale End, Birmingham- 1886 -Midland Photographic Materials Store

Advertisements from the mid 1880s show him as a camera manufacturer, later he describes himself as a dealer.


Company Name

Walter BlottActive 1860sListed as phot. manu.

Company Address

25 Endell St., London1867
532A Oxford St., London1863 - 1865

Bolton & Barnitt

Company Name

Bolton & Co.1868 - 1873
Wm. Bolton1864 - 1868
Bolton & Barnitt1859 - 1864
Wm. Bolton1853 - 1859

Company Address

146 Holborn Bars, London1853 - 1873
1 Holborn Bldgs., London1860

Listed as chemists. The partnership between Bolton and Barnitt was dissolved in January 1864. Francis Barnitt was probably linked with Perrins & Barnitt of 22 Conduit St. An advertisement from 1858 describes Bolton as being "late C. Button and formerly Dymond & Co.".

In 1856 Bolton's advertisement stated 'Preparations manufactured by him for photographic purposes, especially collodion for positives and negatives, pure neutral nitrate of silver for negative baths, chloride of gold, crystal varnish, cyanogen paste, etc. ; also, to his Stock of photographic papers, by Turner, Canson, Towgood, and other makers. Sole importer of the genuine German paper for positives. Photographic and Chemical Apparatus'.

Lon. Gaz. 8/1/1864. Phot. News June 1856. Lon. Gaz. 17/5/1867

Further Information:
Sliding box cameras are known from Bolton probably made by Ottewill: Sotheby Cat. 3/7/1989 lot 954. Christie's Cat. 26/5/1983 lot 137.
  • William Bolton
  • Born: 1821 Ferkenham, Worcestershire
  • Spouse: Catharine
  • Died: 1867


Company Name

R. Boning & Co.Active 1857 - 1861

Company Address

7 Queen's Head Passage, Newgate St., London1857 - 1861
112 Cheapside, London1864 -And 13-16 Wellington St., Chelsea

Manufacturer of stereoscopes, cards, slides and albumen paper. Robert Boning was later a photographer at 162 Regent St. The Partnership between Robert Boning (the younger) and Henry Ashford, was dissolved in December 1861.

Lon. Gaz. 17/12/1861, p.5452.


Company Name

John Peter Bourquin & Co.Active 1847 - 1866Manufacturer of Daguerreotype apparatus. Dealers, agents and printers.
Patented a chemical trough in 1854 and a phot. album in 1861

Company Address

13 Newman St., London1847 - 1866

Further Information:
  • John Peter Bourquin
  • Born: 1794 Chavanne Hant Rhine, France


Company Name

T.M. Bowen

Company Address

27 Market Pl., Manchester- 1862 -


Company Name

Bracher & Co.

Company Address

West Hill. Wincanton

Manufacturer of the Tayleure dark slide (BP 6992/1888).


Company Name

Brifco Ltd
British Film Stock Company Ltd

The British Film Stock Company manufactured film primarily for the cinema. The Raw Film Co. Ltd. was a subsidiary. The Ashstead plant, which was formerly the Cadett & Neal factory, was opened in late 1916.

The Raw Film Co. Ltd was purchased by the British Film Stock Company Limited in January 1919 for £29,838, by the issue of British Film Stock shares to Raw Film preference share holders. Later in 1919 British Film Stock changed its name to Brifco Ltd. The company was wound up in 1929.

Lon. Gaz. 7 Feb 1919, p. 1985. Lon. Gaz. 16 July, 1929, p. 4757.

Bristol Photographic Stores

See Whetter.

British Albumenizing Co.

Company Name

British Albumenizing Co.

Company Address

24 Bassein Park Rd. Shepherds Bush, London- 1878 -

British Camera Manufacturing

See also Manistre, H.E..

Company Name

British Camera Manufacturing Co. Ltd.c. 1930 - 1937

Company Address

113 Queen's Rd., London

This firm introduced the Duoflex camera in 1930 based on the patents of Arthur Edward Bettles (GB 359,656/1931 and 62,045/1931). The company was voluntarily wound up in 1937. The listed address of the company was 113 Queen's Rd, London. This is the same address as H.E. Manistre who was described as agent for the Duoflex.

Lon. Gaz. 26/11/1937, p. 7459.

Further Information:
  • Henry Edward Manistre
  • Born: 24 Dec 1884
  • Spouse: Elizabeth Margaret
  • 1939: Photographic Dealer living at 54 Mount Pleasant Rd.

British Ferrotype Co.

Company Name

British Ferrotype Co.c.1912 - 1915

Company Address

246, 248 and 250, Waterloo Rd., Blackpool
39 Levens Grove, Blackpool

The company is listed for only a few years, it advertised in the 1913 British Journal Almanac and was forced to close at the start of World War I. The assets were sold off in 1918 (Trading with the Enemy Amendment Act, 1918).

At the same address was Benson Sharp, he was a patentee in various fields and, in 1920, patented a ferrotype camera. He was born in Przemysl and would therefore have been classed as an Austro-Hungarian citizen.

Lon. Gaz. 18/10/1918, p. 12281.

Further Information:
  • Benson Sharp
  • Born: 1870 Przemysl, Galicia
  • Spouse: Toni
  • Died: 1934
  • 1900s: Living at Victoria Park Rd. East London
  • 1911: Travelling photographer living at 39 Levens Grove Blackpool
  • 1920: Granted a British patent GB163004 Feb. 6, 1920 for the Essanbee Automatic Ferrotype Camera
  • 1920s: Living at Raikes Rd. Blackpool
  • 1931: Living at 231 Church St. Blackpool

British Photographic Industries

British Photographic Industries Ltd was a holding company formed in 1915 holding majority shares in Houghtons, Butcher & Sons, Butchers Film Services, Houghton-Butcher Mfg. Co, Austin Edwards and Fordham & Co. In 1920 shares in BPI were offered to the public.

The net 'surplus' for BPI for the year ending April 1923 was £293, for 1924 £110 and 1925 £155. For 1925 the subsidiary companies made a trading profit of £11,813 as against a loss of £11,977 for the previous year.

BJA 1921, p. 322. BJA 1925, p. 235. BJA 1926, p. 225.

Brookes, Warwick

Company Name

Warwick Brookes1865 -

Company Address

350 Oxford Rd., ManchesterHere in 1881
Cathedral Steps, Manchester
Victoria Terrace, near the Cathedral, ManchesterProbably the same location as the above. Here in 1873

Photographic studio established in 1865. There were a lot of Warwick Brookes, this one, b. 1843, is the nephew of the artist. Another (b. 1854) the son of the artist was a photographer who for a time also had a studio in Manchester, he later moved to Marple Bridge. The studio at 350 Oxford Road was still active in 1929.

Further Information:
  • Warwick Brookes
  • Born: 1843
  • Spouse: Hannah
  • Died: 28 Sep 1929
  • RPS member from 1871, Fellow from 1897

Brooks-Watson Daylight Camera Co.

See Rajar.

Brown, J.E.

Company Name

J.E. Brown

Company Address

26 Bowling Green Lane, Farringdon Rd., London1885 - 1892
13a Ann St., Willmington Sq., Clerkenwell, London

J.E. Brown advertised in the 1888 BJA as the manufacturer of "the Combination, the Ariel and other cameras and accessories". The Combination used Brown's patent 2496/1885. He was situated at 26 Bowling Green Lane, with a factory at 13a Ann Street. These two premises are in the same area of Clerkenwell.

Further Information:
  • Joseph Edward Brown
  • Born: 1849 Islington
  • Spouse: Lucy

Brown, Theodore

Company Name

Theodore BrownSalisbury
Theodore BrownLondon

Company Address

The Stereoscopic Supply Stores, 26 Drummond Rd., Bournemouth
The Stereoscopic Supply Stores, 34a Castle St., Salisbury- 1903 -
The Stereoscopic Supply Stores, Portland House. Fisherton, Salisbury
8 Villa Rd., Brixton, London

Brown produced two types of stereo attachment that fitted the front of a camera, he also developed a stereo viewer, published anaglyph postcards, published a book - 'Stereoscopic Phenomena of Light & Sight' and printed a magazine.


Company Name

J. Browning Ltd1900 -
John Browning1872 - 1900
Browning & Co.1871 - 1872
Spencer, Browning & Co.- 1871

Company Address

146 Strand, London1909 -
78 Strand, London1903 - 1909
63 Strand, London1872 - 1903
111 Minories, London1840 - 1876
7 Southampton St. Strand, London1875 - 1881Factory
22 & 23 Exeter St. Strand, London1875 - 1881Factory
6 Vine St., London- 1876Factory

John Browning took over 'Spencer, Browning' at the start of 1862 when the partnership between he and his father, William, was dissolved. He continued to trade under the Spencer, Browning name until around 1871. Whilst still in partnership the firm was predominantly supplying nautical and marine instruments, John Browning shifted the focus towards optical instruments especially spectrometers, though still supplying mathematical and general scientific instruments.

'Spencer, Browning' were the successors to 'Spencer, Browning & Rust' which had traded under different names and with different partners for many years, Browning claims establishment around 1760. The firm supplied equipment to Talbot.

John Browning patented an improvement to the stereoscope in 1856. In the early 1870s Adam Hilger was foreman at the Browning workshop. Bankruptcy proceedings were started in 1881. The firm was registered in June 1900 with capital of £3000 and taken over.

In 1847 'Spencer, Browning' took over the business of George Stebbing, Sen., of 66 High Street Portsmouth, Optician and Mathematical Instrument Maker, this branch of the firm was run by Samuel John Browning. At the end of 1855 S. J. Browning left the partnership and continued business in Portsmouth for a time under the 'Spencer, Browning' name.

Phot. Dealer Jul/1900, p. 20. Lon. Gaz. 26/7/1881, 8/11/1881. 'The Correspondence of William Henry Fox Talbot' (
Lon. Gaz. 7 January 1842, copartnership of Spencer, Browning, and Rust dissolved (William Browning, Thos. W. Rust). Lon. Gaz. 15 Feb 1861 p.676, Copartnership of Spencer Browning and Co. dissolved (William Browning, John Browning).
Obituary: Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society, Volume 90, Issue 4, February 1930, Pages 359–362, [accessed 2023].
Lon. Gaz. 25 December 1855. Lon. Gaz. 13 October1863.

Further Information:
See Clifton, Sci. Inst. Makers for information on Spencer, Browning & Rust and other parts of the family businesses.
  • William Browning [I]. Father: Samuel Browning, Mother: Catherine Spencer
  • Born: 9 March 1785 Eaton Ford, Bedfordshire
  • Married: Elizabeth Turnquest 1817
  • Married: Susan Hare 1845. Born Susan Anderson
  • Died: 1862
  • 1840: Freedom of the City Admission Papers
  • 1841: Living at 111 Minories
  • 1851: Living at 111 Minories
  • 1861: Living at Aberdeen Terrace Bethnal Green

  • John Browning. Father: William [I]
  • Born: c. 1833 Welling Kent, listed dates vary
  • Married: Charlotte Hotten 1874
  • Married: Annie Woolley 1890
  • Died: 1925
  • 1851: Living at 111 Minories.
  • 1871: Optician employing 61 workers. Living in Richmond with three of his sisters.
  • 1881: Master Optician Employing 20 Men. Living in Addiscombe Grove Croydon
  • 1898: Freedom of the City Admission Papers
  • 1901: Living in Bournemouth
  • 1911: Living in Cheltenham

  • Samuel John Browning. Father: William [I]
  • Born: 1824 Wapping
  • Married: Sarah Frances Spencer 1847, Father: William Spencer
  • Died: 1900
  • 1841: Living at 111 Minories
  • 1846: Apprenticed to William Browning [I]
  • 1851: Optician employing 9 men. Living at 66 High St. Portsmouth.
  • 1861: Master Optician. Living at 54 High St. Portsmouth
  • 1871: Optician, unemployed. Living at 74 High St. Portsmouth
  • 1881: Optician. Living at 74 High St. Portsmouth
  • 1891: Nautical Instrument Maker and Optician. Living 74 High St. Portsmouth
  • In the 1880s Spencer & Co. Opticians were also at 74 High St.


Company Name

James Buncle

Company Address

93 Shandwick Place, Edinburgh1899 -
21 Maitland St., Edinburgh- 1898Maitland St, was renamed Shandwick Place in early 1899
7 Hope St., EdinburghPossibly shared occupancy,
Alfred Clement and E. Ireland both photographers were here previously

Optician and photographic retailer. Advertised the Stafford field camera in 1899.

Photograms 1899, p. LXXXIV.

Further Information:
Torrance, 'Scottish Studio Photographers' has further information.


Company Name

Charles Burr

Company Address

138 Wakefield St., East Ham, LondonFrom 1890s to after 1942
195 Devon's Rd., Bow Common, London- 1876 -
1 Gray's Inn Rd., London1863 -
121 Gray's Inn Lane, London WC1861 - 1863
48 Clerkenwell Close, London ECc. 1858 -

Established in 1858, as opticians. In the 1860s they were advertising as lens and camera makers, from the 1900s they are advertising lenses. Charles Burr (b. 1839, d. 1902) was living at the Devon's Rd. address in 1881.

BJA 1903, p. 680.

Burroughs Wellcome

Company Name

Burroughs Wellcome & Co.1880 -

Established in 1880 by Sir Henry Wellcome and S.M. Burroughs. From 1948 photographic products were distributed by Johnsons. Tabloid photographic developers were listed in 1895.

PA 1895, p. 495. BJA 1937, p. 188. BJA 1949, p. 40. Phot. Dealer Mar/1903, p. 91.


Company Name

Edward BurtonActive 1860sDealer, optician, photographer

Company Address

47 Church St., Minories, London
47 Baker St, Oxford St., London

Adjudged bankrupt in 1863, this was annulled in 1866. He had ceased trading as an optician by 1880.

Lon. Gaz. 3/7/1863, p. 3379. Lon. Gaz. 16/1/1866, p.290.

Further Information:
Christie's Cat. 25/11/1982 lot 290 shows a lens (no. 1749) engraved Edward Burton & Co. Church St. Minories on a folding, sliding, Ottewill.
  • Edward Burton
  • Born: 1826 Bethnal Green
  • 1861: Optician employing 6 men and 4 boys

Busch Camera Co.

See Purser, Henry F..

Butcher & Son

For later entries see Houghton-Butcher.

Company Name

W. Butcher & Sons Ltd1907 - 1926
W. Butcher & Sons1901 - 1907
W. Butcher & Son1883 - 1901
W. Butcher1866 - 1883

Company Address

Camera House, Farringdon Av., London ECc. 1902 - 1925EC4 postal district from 1917
West side where it joins Stonecutter St
Camera House, St Bride St., London1902

Butcher's origins are as chemists in Blackheath, whilst still at Blackheath they moved into the wholesale supply of photographic goods. Rapid expansion of the firm followed the move to Farringdon Avenue. Products were sold under their own brand names (e.g. Primus, Carbine, Valu).

In 1904 they took over Bessus & Co. of Hatton Garden and in 1907 the firm of 'Chas. Tyler and England Bros' (TEB) was added. Tyler were leading manufacturers of photographic mounts and had developed a large wholesale business, following the take over the Copenhagen St. works were retained. In 1926 the company merged with Houghtons Ltd to form Houghton-Butcher (Great Britain) Ltd.

The St Bride and Farringdon Avenue addresses are for the same building. These two streets faced each other as they joined Shoe Lane and Stonecutter street. Farringdon Avenue was built in the early 1890s through what was Farringdon market, it remained until the second world war when that area was heavily bombed, Fleet Buildings now stands on the site.

William Butcher died in December 1903. William F. Butcher and F.E. Butcher were associated with the firm in the early 1900s. A photograph of W.F. Butcher is contained in the Photographic Dealer for June 1902.

F.O. Bynoe joined the firm an the autumn of 1904.

In 1914 the directors were William F. Butcher (Managing Director), Frank E. Butcher, Isidor Joseph, Alec J. Jones, C. Garner, Charles Tyler. The staff at the time was over 650.

The chemist outlet in Blackheath became Butcher, Curnow & Co. Ltd in 1904.

BJA 1905, p. 652. BJA 1908, p. 172. BJA 1937, p. 187. AP 13/1/1924, p. 56. BJA 1913, p. 170. Phot. Dealer Feb/1902, p. 31. Has a report on the firm. Phot. Dealer Jun/1902, p. 147. Phot. Dealer Mar/1903, p. 87. Has a report on the firm and illustrations of the building. Phot. Dealer Jan/1904, p. 3. Phot. Dealer Apr/1904, p. 99. Camera House Journal 1907, Vol. 4 No. 38. Hastings and St Leonard’s Observer, 26 Dec 1903.

Further Information:
Tyler, Chas. and England Bros., Airs & Co., British Photographic Industries.
  • William Butcher
  • Born: 1840
  • Married: Elizabeth Hennessey
  • Died: 21 Dec. 1903, at 43 Eversfield Place Hastings. Effects £9,532. The coroner's report shows the death to be suicide whilst suffering from depression.
  • 1903: Living at 'Balholm' The Glebe Blackheath Kent

  • William Frederick Butcher. Son of William Butcher
  • Born: 1866
  • Married: Emilie Louisa Gibbons
  • Died: 12 January 1936
  • Children: Frederick (b. 1894), Brian William (b. 1903)
  • 1936: Living at 24 Edward Rd. Sunbridge Park Bromley. Effects £12,197

  • Frank Ernest Butcher. Son of William Butcher
  • Born: 2 Oct 1873, Lewisham
  • Married: Eleanor Mary Laming
  • Died: 22 January 1951 Bromley, Kent

Cadett & Neal

Company Name

Cadett & Neal Ltdc. 1908 -At Wealdstone
Cadett & Neal Ltd1897 - c. 1908At Ashstead
Cadett & Neal1892 - 1897At Ashstead

The company was founded in August 1892. In 1903 it was bought by Eastman, after the move to Wealdstone it was merged with Kodak though the company name was retained. Walter Neal was the brother-in-law of James Cadett.

James William Thomas Cadett was a member of the RPS from 1878.

BJP 22/7/1892, p. 480. BJP 4/6/1897, p. 354. BJA 1898, p. 1407. BJA 1901, p. 325. YBP 1901, p. 165. Phot. Dealer Aug/1903, p. 30. Jenkins, Images and Enterprise, p. 229.


Company Name

W.Callaghan and Co.

Company Address

23A New Bond St. Corner of Conduit St., London

A Kinnear pattern camera exists signed Callaghan. Agents for Voigtländer lenses in the early 1860s.

BJP 9 Jan 1874 p. 22. Lon. Gaz. 9/1890, p. 4960.

Further Information:
  • William Callaghan optician died 1874
  • William Edmund Callaghan optician died 1890

Camera Construction Co.

Company Name

Camera Construction Co.

Company Address

Eagle Works. Durham Grove. Hackney
38 Eagle St., High Holborn

The firm is first listed in the 1900 trade directories, in July 1900 the partnership between Walter Charles Grubb and Charles Frederick Bamford was dissolved, the business being continued by Grubb. By 1906 Albert Nixon was in partnership with Grubb and the firm had moved to Hackney. In that year (1906) the partnership between Grub and Nixon was dissolved, Nixon continued the business which was still listed until 1921. The firm probably manufactured for the trade, advertisements show field cameras and process equipment.

Phot. Dealer Aug/1900 p. 44. Lon. Gaz. 13/2/1906, p. 1183. BJA 1909 p. 1184.


Company Name

M.M.P. CamusActive 1854 - 1857Shown as phot. manu.

Company Address

476 Oxford St., London1855 - 1857

Further Information:
Maximillien Maurice Philippe Camus. There was also a Maurice Philip Camus at 10 Charles St. Middlesex Hospital in 1854.

Cecil Wray & Co.

Company Name

Cecil Wray & Co. Ltd1898 -
Baxter & Wray- 1898

Company Address

76 Manchester Rd., Bradford
1a Hallfield Arcade, Bradford
Borough Mills, Bradford

Manufacturers and dealers in optical and especially cine equipment. Cecil Wray & Co. Ltd was registered with capital of £5,000, the directors were W.A. Thornton, Cecil Wray and C. Atkinson. The business was taken over by R.J. Appleton & Co. in 1902.

When the Baxter & Wray partnership ended Cecil William Baxter continued the optical and electrical business under the name 'C. W. Baxter (late Baxter and Wray)'.

Phot. Dealer July/1898, p. 11. Phot. Dealer Dec/1898, p. 128. Phot. Dealer Jan/1900, p. 5. Phot. Dealer Feb/1902, p. 28. Lon. Gaz. 15/7/1898, p.4294.


Company Name

W.I. Chadwick

Company Address

2 St Mary's St., Deansgate, Manchester1890 -Moved here Jan 1890 due to fire
10 St Mary's St., Deansgate, Manchester- 1889

Books by W.I. Chadwick: The Stereoscopic Manual.

BJA 1914, p. 573. Photography 30/1/1890, p. 73.

Further Information:
  • William Isaac Chadwick
  • Born: 1848
  • Married: Alice Elizabeth F Lucas 1900
  • Died: 6 Jun 1913. The Bower, Lawson's Lane, Thornton-le-Fylde
  • 1892: Shop at 2 St Mary's, described as Photographic Appliance Maker

Chambers & Co.

Company Name

Chambers & Co.

Company Address

251 Goswell Rd., London- 1878

Chambers are listed as photographic paper manufacturers they also advertised the Uranium Dry Plate. The Uranium Dry Plate Co. name was used for a while from the mid 1870s. Herbert Kerr was in partnership with George Mason trading as William Chambers & Co., the partnership was dissolved in Oct 1873. Formed part of the Photographic Artists' Co-operative Supply Association in 1877.

Lon. Gaz. 31 Oct 1873 p. 4792.

Chapman, J.T.

Company Name

J.T. Chapman Ltd.1907 - 1968Then as Foxall & Chapman
J.T. Chapman1874 - 1907

Company Address

62 King St., Manchester1965 -Nov 1965
7 Albert Sq., Manchester1884 - 1965The move to Albert Sq. took place on 1 Jan 1884
168 Deansgate, Manchester- 1884Sometimes shown as Imperial Bldgs
162 Deansgate, Manchester1874 -

The company was founded in 1874 after the partnership with J.B. Payne (trading as Payne & Chapman) was dissolved. Chapman started work in 1858 for Josiah Thomas Slugg, a chemist in Manchester, he then moved, in 1868, to work for Robert Hampson (previously the business of J.J. Pyne at 63 Piccadilly) a chemist who supplied photographic goods. On the retirement of Hampson (1871), Chapman and a fellow employee took over the business to form Payne & Chapman.

The firm operated as dispensing chemists as well as dealing in photographic goods, the dispensing side of the business was later dropped allowing Chapman to concentrate on photographic items which included the manufacture of an early dry plate. A relationship developed with Joshua Billcliff, they jointly patented cameras and Billcliff cameras, such as the British, were sold under the Chapman name.

On the death of J.T. Chapman in 1907 the firm was run by William Hughes. James Gardiner Chapman the son of J.T. Chapman became Managing Director in 1917. In 1962 Josiah's grandson E.H. Richards became Managing Director.

Cameras sold by Chapman sometimes carry the maker's name, examples being: "Made by J.L. Lane & Sons for J.T. Chapman" and "Lejeune & Perken made for J.T. Chapman". Another has the label "The Artists Tailboard made for J.T. Chapman 168 Deansgate"

A photograph of J.T. Chapman is in the Photographic Dealer for June 1902.

BJA 1890, p. 26. BJA 1884, p. lxxxi. BJA 1908, p. 556. Lon. Gaz. 3/4/1874, p. 1994. Phot. Dealer Jun/1902, p. 148. Phot. Dealer May/1904, p. 125.
Chapman, Manchester & Photography. Gives the introduction of the 'Manchester' camera as around 1883. In 1900 works were set up in Brazennose street to handle developing and printing and that in 1920 larger premises were built in Old Trafford. The book also includes a photograph of the Hampson premises.
Richards, The Manchester Camera Shop.

Further Information:
  • Josiah Thomas Chapman
  • Born: 1843 Staverton, Wiltshire
  • Spouse: Elizabeth
  • Died: 28 June 1907, Alexandra Rd. South Withington. The effects are listed as £31,850
  • 1881: Living at 98 Bishop St

Sotheby Cat. 26/6/1981 lot 167. Christie's Cat. 20/10/1994 lot 402. Christie's Cat. 20/9/1990 lot 170.

Chapman, Lloyd

Company Name

Lloyd ChapmanActive 1861 - 1865Agents for Derogy lenses. Paper importers

Company Address

70 Cannon St., London1862 - 1865And 5 Abchurch Yard. Same building as 70 Cannon St
27 Broad St., Bldgs., London1861
196 Strand, London1859

Lon. Gaz. 25/11/1859. Lon. Gaz. 1/1/1869.

Chappuis, Paul Emile

Company Name

P.E. Chappuis & Co.1868 - 1872
Paul Emile ChappuisActive 1856 -

Company Address

69 Fleet St., London1856 - 1872Shown as a photographer from 1860

Patentee and maker of stereoscopes, publisher of stereo slides and views. Photographic dealer. Bankruptcy proceedings were started in 1859, which he seems to have survived. Later he was in partnership with Charles Granvill (as Chappuis & Granvill), this was dissolved in 1869. Patented an improved stereoscope in 1857 that used a reflector to cast light on the card (reviewed in the Athenaeum Nov 1857) and folding stereoscopes in 1858.

Lon. Gaz. 25/11/1859. Lon. Gaz. 1/1/1869. Athenaeum 7/11/1857, p. 1393.

Further Information:
  • Paul Emile Chappuis
  • Born: 1816 Paris
  • 1871: Optician

A single lens stereo camera stamped Chappuis is listed in Christie's Cat. 14/1/1993 lot 26. A Chappuis folding stereoscope is shown in Stereoscopes: The First One Hundred Years, p. 32.


Company Name

Christie & Hodgson1922 -
Jas. Christie & Sons Ltd.1914 - 1922
Jas. Christie & Sons
James Christie

Company Address

246 West Street, Sheffield1911 -
270 Glossop Street, Sheffield1909 - 1911
129 & 131 West Street, Sheffieldc. 1898 - 1909
129 West Street, Sheffield- c. 1898

James Christie was active from the 1890s or before, in the 1900s they sold lantern accessories. Around 1906 they took over Lonsdale Brothers.

Further Information:

City Sale & Exchange

See also entries for Wallace Heaton.

Company Name

City Sale & Exchange (1929) Ltd1929 -Post war (1929) was dropped from the name
City Sale & Exchange Ltdc. 1925 - 1929
City Sale & Exchange1881 - 1925

Company Address

84 Aldersgate St., London EC11931 -
81 Aldersgate St., London EC1898 - 1931Adams was at this address until late 1897.
EC1 from 1917
54 Lime St., London ECAt this address from before 1893. EC3 from 1917
90-94 Fleet St., London ECAt this address from around 1902-1903. EC4 from 1917
93 & 94 Fleet St., London EC1901 -
13 Arcade, Broad St/Liverpool St., London EC1915 -EC2 from 1917
59 & 60 Cheapside, London EC21933 -
59 Cheapside, London EC21930 - 1933
52 Cheapside, London EC21922 - 1930
26 & 28 Kings Rd., Sloane Sq., London SW1906 - c. 1927Sometimes given as 26-28 Kings Rd. SW3 from 1917
105 Cannon St., London EC41919 - 1927March 1919
Westmorland Bldgs., Aldersgate, London ECWorkshops, address also given as Bartholomew Close
1 Leadenhall St., London EC31950s
23 St. Mary Axe, London1950s
63 - 66 Cheapside, London1950s

C. S. & E. was founded in 1881, in the early 1900s the owner is given as Richard Green. It became part of Wallace Heaton in 1929 but continued to trade under its own name. The Central Wholesale Photographic Supply Co. was also operating from 81 Aldersgate in 1899, with R. Green as manager.

C. S. & E were retailers but also sold cameras under their brand name of Salex.

BJA 1918, p.515A

Further Information:
The BJA of 1938 has drawings of the premises.

Clarke, Wm.

Company Name

Wm. ClarkeActive 1861 - 1865Listed as manufacturer

Company Address

2 Halford Terrace, Penton Place, London1861 - 1865

Clifford, Charles

Company Name

Charles E. CliffordActive 1848 - 1865Manu. of phot. materials and artist's colorman.
In 1847 Edward Clifford (father of C.E. Clifford), tea dealer,
was at 30 Piccadilly and 52 Grosvenor Sq.

Company Address

30 Piccadilly, London1848 - 1865

Clifford's catalogue of c. 1863 shows several high quality cameras including items from Ottewill. Clifford is also listed as a photographer at the same address. From the mid 1860s the business concentrated on artist's supplies and the sale of prints.

Further Information:
  • Charles Edward Clifford
  • Born: 1822 London
  • Spouse: Elizabeth
  • Died: 25 Aug 1903, 16 Seagrove Rd. Portsmouth


Company Name

A. Coiffierc. 1857 - 1868

Company Address

56 Hatton Gdn., London- 1884 -As Société des Lunetiers
13 Hatton Gdn., London- 1875 - 1880 -As Société des Lunetiers
36 Brooke St., London1867 -
28 Wilmington Sq., London1864 - 1866
37 Hatton Gdn., Londonc. 1857 - 1864

Shown as optician, lens maker, dealer and importer. Later listed as manager of other optical companies. In later years he was connected with the Société des Lunetiers, presumably importing goods from France.

Collings, A.E.

See Friese Greene.

Company Name

Esme Collings Ltd.Photographer
A.E. CollingsPhotographer

Company Address

120 Western Rd., Brighton1893 - 1906Then as Esme Collings (Hove) Ltd
69 Western Rd., Brighton1888 - 1892
26 Old Bond St.1912 - 1913
171 New Bond St.1906 - 1911
175 New Bond St.1894 - 1905
52 New Bond St.1893
69 New Bond St.1890 - 1893

Arthur Albert Collings used the name Arthur Esme Collings during his time in photography.

Esme Collings Ltd was registered in 1901 with the large capital of £20,000. The first directors were: Sir C. G. Walpole, C. B. Fry, A. A. Collings, R. B. Hope, and C. E. Lyon. The firm was put into liquidation in April 1907.

From the early 1900s Collings tended towards portrait painting rather than photography, the studios in London, Liverpool and Manchester were managed by Richard Berwick Hope. The Hove outlets became Esme Collings (Hove) Ltd. It is not clear what day-to-day involvement Collings had in the studios. Collings' wife, Keturah, was also a photographer and ran studios in London.

Lon. Gaz. 2/11/1888, p. 5964. Lon. Gaz. 26/8/1890, p. 4687. Lon. Gaz. 21/5/1897, p. 2865. Lon. Gaz. 16/7/1897, p. 3990. Lon. Gaz. 12/4/1907, p. 2522. Lon. Gaz. 5/2/1909, p. 972. BJP 22/11/1901, p. 747. [accessed 2023].

Further Information:
Allister, 'Friese-Greene Close-up of an Inventor' has some interesting information on the partnership between Friese-Greene and Collings.
  • Arthur Albert Collings. Arthur Esme Collings
  • Born: 1859 Weston Super Mare
  • Married: Keturah Anne Beedle 1887
  • Died: 1936
  • 1889: Living at 70 Western Rd. Hove
  • 1890: Living at 59 Dyke Rd. Brighton
  • 1894: Living at 59 Dyke Rd.
  • 1899: 13 Alexandra Villas Brighton
  • 1904: 13 Alexandra Villas
  • 1911: 25 Hillcroft Crescent, Ealing
  • 1912: 30 Corfton Rd. Ealing
  • 1932: 29 Queens Gate Terrace SW7

Collings, J.W. & A.E.

Company Name

J.W. & A.E. CollingsPhotographer

Company Address

69 New Bond St.1888 - 1889

Collings, Whyte Ltd

Company Name

Whyte Collings LtdPhotographer, or James Whyte Collings

Company Address

69 New Bond St.1889 - 1890
404 Oxford St.1889 -1890
53 Kensington High St., London1888


Company Name

Chas. G. Collins

Company Address

13 Greek St., Soho, London1896
56 Cochrane St., St John's Wood, London1870 - 1895
28 Cochrane Terrace, St John's Wood, London1867 - 1870
38 Cochrane Terrace, St John's Wood, London1866 - 1867
15 Wells Mews, Oxford St., London1861 - 1866

Chas. G. Collins was established in 1858 and listed as a camera manufacturer. They probably made cameras for the trade but around the mid 1880s started advertising under their own name. In 1887 T.J. Collins patented a method of locking the front standard of a camera, an advertisement from the same year from Chas. G. Collins shows a drawing of the patent. For one year (1889) T.J. Collins is also listed as a manufacturer at 29 High St. St John's Wood, but the following year the address is occupied by his widow Mrs. H.F. Collins. Collins were granted a licence to use McKellen's patents. Bankruptcy proceedings are recorded in 1874.

Further Information:
  • Charles G Collins
  • Born: 1833 Marylebone
  • Spouse: Mary Ann
  • 1861: Cabinet maker
  • 1881: Living at 56 Cochrane St. Described at manager of stores

  • Tom J Collins. Son of Charles G Collins
  • Born: 1854 St. Pancras London
  • Married: Harriet Fanny Smith June 1877
  • Died: 29/6/1890
  • 1881: Living at 25 Cochrane St. Cabinet Maker

A field camera signed C.G. Collins with the 56 Cochrane address was in the Christie's sale of 20/7/1995 lot 444.

Columbia Optical and Camera Co.

See also Mangold Photo Works

Company Name

Columbia Optical and Camera Co.1900 - 1902
Goldman & Co. Ltd.

Company Address

42 Goswell Rd., London1900 -
2 Old St., London- 1900

These two companies are closely connected, in 1900 Columbia took over Monroe Camera Co. and Goldman & Co. Ltd, S.L. Goldman was in charge of Columbia. Columbia ceased trading in 1902 when J. Levi purchased their remaining stock. Goldman were at one time agents for the Monroe Camera Co. and shared an address. It would seem that, in Britain, Monroe existed in name only and that distribution was by Goldman. With the merger of Monroe in the United States into the Rochester Optical and Camera Company, the agency for Britain was lost. To preserve the firm, Columbia was created to distribute cameras made by Mangold in the UK. In its short existence Mangold/Columbia may have modified left over stock rather than manufactured cameras from scratch, advertisements show models that are clearly of American origin.

Phot. Dealer Nov/1899, p. 113. Phot. Dealer Mar/1900, pp. 54, 55. Phot. Dealer Nov/1900, p. 119. Phot. Dealer Aug/1902, p. 198. Phot. Dealer Nov/1902, p. 274. Lon. Gaz. 27/3/1900, p. 2072.

Compass Cameras

Company Name

Compass Cameras Ltd

Company Address

Coombe Leigh. Kingston Hill. SurreyDec 1941 -
45 Cambridge Rd., Kingstonc. 1940 - 1941
57 Berners St., London W11937 - c. 1940

Compass Cameras Limited was incorporated in 1936, it went into voluntary liquidation in September 1939 and was dissolved in 1948.

For a description of the Compass camera and information on Pemberton Billing see Compass II.

Lon. Gaz. 19/9/1939, p. 6373. BT 31/33658/313524.


Company Name

Contessa Camera Werke
Drexler & Nagel

Formed in 1908 by Carl Drexler and Dr. August Nagel, in 1919 they acquired Nettel to form Contessa-Nettel. In the UK Conetssa cameras were distributed C.W. Casswell and for a time used the trade mark Countess, Countess Cameras the showroom for Contessa opened 1911. The following year, 1912, the distributors were O. Sichel & Co. the Countess name was by then dropped.

BJP 1/9/1911, p. 673. BJA 1929, p. 683.

Further Information:
In 1926 Contessa-Nettel merged with other companies to form Zeiss-Ikon. Nagel joined the new firm but left after a short while to form Dr. Nagel-Werke in 1928. In 1932 that company became part of Eastman.

Cooke, John

Company Name

James Moody Cooke1880 - 1883
John CookeActive 1862 - 1880

Company Address

47 Tabernacle Walk, London1880 - 1883
126 Hoxton High St., London1866 - 1880
63 Hoxton High St., London1862 - 1866

Primarily chemists and druggists, they also sold photographic equipment and supplies. Albumen paper is advertised which they probably produced themselves. Portrait lenses with their signature are known.

Further Information:
  • John Cooke
  • Born: 1821 Cornwall
  • Spouse: Charlotte

  • James Moody Cooke
  • Born: 1855 Shoreditch
  • Spouse: Frances


Company Name

J.M. Copeland & Co.c. 1884 - 1887

Company Address

15 Barbican, LondonAnd Australian Av. Probably a corner premises

Dealers. The two addresses were then occupied by the Photographic Apparatus & Chemical Co. Ltd. Joseph Montague Copeland.


Company Name

K.G. Corfield (Sales) Ltd
K.G. Corfield1959 -N. Ireland
K.G. Corfield- 1959

Company Address

1 - 3 Charlotte St., London W1c. 1961 -
33 Newman St., London1960 - c. 1961
Merridale Works. Wolverhamptonc. 1949 - c. 1960

K.G. Corfield (Sales) Ltd. (Charlotte St. and Newman St. addresses) was a sales office after the manufacturing branch moved from Wolverhampton to Northern Ireland. Camera production ended around 1962/63.

Further Information:
Photographica World no. 71 has an article from a talk given by Sir Kenneth Corfield in which he covers the development of the company. For a detailed history of Corfield see John E. Lewis' book - Corfield Cameras. A History & Collectors' Guide.


Company Name

Coronet Ltd1946 -
Coronet Camera Co.1926 - 1946

Company Address

310 Summer Lane
48 Great Hampton St.

In 1939 the firm was owned by Frederick John Pettifer. The style of name used by the company does not seem to be correct as Coronet Camera Co. Ltd was used in a Ministry of Home Security document dated 1940. The firm was later part of Dufay Ltd.

The main works were destroyed by bombing in the war.

Lon. Gaz. 21/2/1939, p. 1236. PTB May/1941, p. 24.

Further Information:
  • Frederick John Pettifer
  • Born: 1899
  • Died: 1989


Company Name

Fredk. J. Cox- 1882

Company Address

26 Ludgate Hill, London EC1866 - 1882
22 Skinner St., London1856 - 1866At around this time Skinner St. was demolished
to make way for Holborn Viaduct
100 Newgate St., London- 1856

The Cox families (there was a lot of them) sold general scientific and optical equipment. In an 1858 catalogue Cox claims the firm has been established for 130 years. F.J. Cox started in business around 1856/57 and for one year listed the 100 Newgate Street address as well as Skinner Street. His father, Frederick Cox (1810 – 1900), had premisses at 100 Newgate Street and later 98 Newgate Street that firm became Frederick Cox & Co. The family was probably related to the Cox firm at the Barbican.

F.J. Cox was an important manufacturer and suplier of photographic equipment especially during the wet-plate period. He was a practising optician and produced early versions of the Sutton panoramic lens. From 1882 the business of F.J. Cox was continued by H & E.J. Dale at 26 Ludgate Hill.

The Skinner street address is sometimes styled "City of London Photographic Establishment", it is in the area of Snow Hill.

In 1882 Frederick James Cox was living at The Laurels, High St. Dulwich, sometime before 1891 he moved to Eastbourne where he is shown as an optician (probably at 56 Terminus Rd).

Books by F.J. Cox: Photographic Tourist. Compendium of Photography, 1856.

Lon. Gaz. 3/10/1882. Electrical Review 16/11/1882, p. 477.

Further Information:
See Sutton Panoramic for a description of Cox's involvement with the Sutton lens.
  • Frederick James Cox
  • Born: 13 July 1834 Shoreditch
  • Married: Fanny Daw Hutton 23 Apr 1857
  • Died: 11 Jul 1907, 35 Jevington Gdns. Eastbourne
  • Freemason
  • 1858: Freedom of the City Admission Papers
  • 1863: Living at 29 Skinner St.
  • 1871: 26 Ludgate Hill, employing 5 men
  • 1891: 17 Jevington Gdns. Eastbourne

Early cameras by Cox are in Christie's Cat. 1/1/2001 lot 361, 11/12/2002 lot 135 and 21/2/1985 lot 188.


See Photo Ltd.

Criterion Ltd

See Birmingham Photographic Co.


Company Name

Henry Crouch1893 -
Henry Crouch Ltd.c.1890 - 1893
Henry Crouch1866 - c.1890
H & W Crouch1862 - 1866

Company Address

66 Barbican, London1873 - c.1897
141 Oxford St., London1891 -1892
51 London Wall, London1870 - 1873
54 London Wall, London1868 - 1870
64A Bishopsgate St., London1864 - 1867
Regent's Canal Dock. Commercial Rd. East, London1862 - 1866

Crouch are best known as makers of microscopes, they advertised camera lenses and cameras from the late 1880s until the early 1890s. H. & W. Crouch are recorded at 64A Bishopsgate St. in the 1860s, this partnership was dissolved in 1866, Pearce Henry Crouch (known as Henry) continued to trade under the H. & W. Crouch name. Crouch was before the bankruptcy court in 1907.

Lon. Gaz. 21/9/1866, p. 5158. Lon. Gaz. 23/3/1894, p.1757. Lon. Gaz. 26/2/1907 p. 1452. Lon. Gaz. 4/1/1907, p. 176.

Further Information:
  • William Manning Crouch. Father: Henry Crouch
  • Born: 1841 Millwall.
  • Married: Sarah Dalman 15 Dec 1866
  • 1901: Mathematical instrument maker

  • Pearce Henry Crouch. Father: Henry Crouch
  • Born: 1839
  • Married: Elizabeth Jane Halbert 1863
  • Married: Gertrude Emily Donbavand 31 Mar 1885
  • Died: 1916
  • 1861: Opticians apprentice
  • 1871: Maker of optical instruments employing 8 men and 3 boys. Living in Stepney
  • 1891: Manufacturer of photo lenses, living in Woodford, at one time he is Grove Hill, Woodford
  • 1911: Microscope Maker. Living at 3 Ashley Road, Hornsey Rise, London N. Widowed


Company Name

Thomas Hanmer CroughtonActive 1856 - 1865

Company Address

27 Greenhill Rents, Smithfield Bars, London1856 - 1865

Listed as camera maker and cabinet maker for scientific apparatus.

Lon. Gaz. 4/5/1866. Phot. News 25/2/1859, p. 299, letter regarding a two-lens stereo camera used on a rail.

Further Information:
  • Thomas Hanmer Croughton
  • Born: 1819 Philadelphia
  • Spouse: Ann
  • Died: 19 Mar 1865
  • 1851: Cabinet maker. Living in the Whitecross Street area of London

A single lens stereo (moving along a rail) by Croughton was at auction. Sotheby Cat. 20/3/1981 lot 190.

Crowther, S.

Company Name

Samuel Crowther

Company Address

14 Peter St., Manchester- 1862 -

Cubley & Preston

Company Name

J. Cubleyc. 1889 -Until after 1906
Cubley & Preston- c. 1889From before 1884

Company Address

105 Butcher's Pool, Sheffield1904 -
56 Fargate, SheffieldMoved to here between 1894 and 1898
4 High St., SheffieldFrom before 1884

Cusworth, C.

Company Name

Charles CusworthActive 1887 - 1894

Company Address

20 Bridgewater Sq., London
Eagle House. Hainault Rd., Leytonstone

Charles Cusworth is listed in the LPOD directories between 1887 and 1894 at the Bridgewater Sq. address, which is a manufacturing area. C. Cusworth is listed in the BJ Almanac in 1892 and 1893 showing the Leytonstone address. He is also advertising a detective camera, the Repeater, and dark slides in the Photography Annual for 1891. A C. Cusworth was awarded a patent for a field camera in 1887 (BP 4710/1887), examples of which exist.

Further Information:
  • Charles Cusworth
  • Born: 1853 Borrowbridge
  • Married: Annie Eliza Bowyer 1884
  • 1881: Joiner, living at 49 Hemingford Rd. Islington
  • 1891: Photographic equipment manu. Eagle House Leyton
  • 1901: Photographer, Normanton Derbyshire
  • Emigrated to the United States in the 1900s working as a photographer

Cutter, Wm.

Company Name

Wm. CutterActive 1858 - 1861Cabinet maker, later stereoscope manu.

Company Address

19 Lower Whitecross St., LondonActive 1858 - 1861




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