Rover - Antique and Vintage Cameras

Rover

1890

J. Lancaster & Son

Birmingham

England

Image of Rover

Lens:
f10, c. 5 ½", single achromat, iris diaphragm scaled f10, f20, f30.

Shutter:
Lancaster See-Saw, two-blade guillotine, pneumatic release (bulb), self-capping.

Construction:
Polished mahogany.

Format:
12, 3 ¼" x 4 ¼" plates held in internal changing mechanism.

Focusing:
Fixed.

Attributes:
Reflecting view-finder.

With:
Leather case for concealment.

The Rover is a very distinctive detective camera with rounded ends and polished mahogany finish.

It was produced in five sizes:

  • No1 - 3 ¼" x 3 ¼".
  • No2 - 3 ¼" x 4 ¼".
  • No3 - 5" x 4".
  • No4 - 6 ½" x 4 ¾".
  • No5 - 7 ½" x 5".

Unexposed plates are held in a chamber at the top of the camera, moving a lever on the side of the camera moves a spring in the chamber and allows a plate to drop to the bottom of that chamber. Moving the lever in the opposite direction opens the chamber allowing the plate to slip into the exposing position. After exposure a flexible shutter (tambour type) is opened by a slide on the base of the camera and the exposed plates drops into a rear chamber.

First the lever moves the frame shown in green in the accompanying diagram to the right which depresses the spring in the upper chamber shown in mauve. Moving the lever in the opposite direction causes the frame to rotate and the floor of the upper chamber, shown in blue, to open. The plate, shown in red, falls and is held against the tambour, shown in orange, and the frame as it returns on releasing the lever. The tambour is shown partly open.

In the late 1890s the camera was improved by having two view-finders, focusing and a leather finish. Around 1901 a further change was the fitting of an 'Iris' shutter and a leather handle. The Rover was probably discontinued around the middle 1900s. The price was £3.3.0.

References & Notes:
BP 18167/1889 (shutter). BP 15495/1890. PA 91, pp. 336, ciii. BJA 1892, p. 399. BJA 1900, p. 460. BJA 1902, p. 484.


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