Watson Acme - Antique and Vintage Cameras

Watson Acme

1889

W. Watson & Sons

London

England

Image of Watson Acme

Lens:
f8, 8" Watson Rapid Rectilinear, iris diaphragm with external pointer to f64. Removable lens panel. Serial no. 5323 .

Shutter:
None.

Construction:
Spanish mahogany, dovetail joints, brass fittings, leather bellows with square corners.

Format:
6 " x 4 " plates held in double dark-slides.

Focusing:
Bellows to 34". Double extension, rack and pinion (diagonal cut) movement to inner frame.

Attributes:
Reversing back. Turntable.

Movements:
Rising front, tilting front, tilting back. Small swing movement to back.

Serial Number:
12266 .

Notes:
Watson trade label in case: W Watson & Sons. 313 High Holborn. London. 16 Forrest Rd. Edinburgh. 78 Swanston Rd. Melbourne. 9, 10, 11, 16, 17 Fullwoods Rents. (1898 - 1905). Case is stamped F. Le S. Manufactured after 1892, from stepping ring.

With:

  • Ross-Zeiss Combinable lens set of 3 elements: 14" f12.5 - f64, focus: infinity only; 11.5", f12.5 - f64, focus to 4 '; 9", f12.5 - f64 focus to 3'. Combining to give: 5 ", f7 - f45 focus to 2'; 6 ", f8 - f64 focus to 2'; 7", f7 - f64 focus to 2'. In box with lens cap and end ring. Six diaphragm scales marked on barrel. Serial no. 8195.
  • 3 double dark-slides (1 - 6) with two 3 " x 4 " reducers. Lens box for Rapid Rectilinear. Dark cloth. Fitted case by Watson.

Watson Acme

1889

W. Watson & Sons

London

England

Image of Watson Acme

Lens:
f8, 8" Watson Rapid Rectilinear, iris diaphragm with external pointer to f64. Removable lens panel. Serial no. 1955 .

Shutter:
None.

Construction:
Spanish mahogany, dovetail joints, brass fittings, dark mauve leather bellows with square corners.

Format:
6 " x 4 " plates held in double dark-slides.

Focusing:
Bellows to 29". Double extension, rack and pinion movement to inner frame.

Attributes:
: Reversing back. Turntable.

Identification:
The camera is much thinner than the later example shown above. It has straight (rather than spiral) focusing pinion.

Movements:
Rising front, tilting front, tilting back. Small swing movement to back.

Serial Number:
7631 .

With:
3 double dark-slides (1 - 6). Serial no. 8343.

The Acme was one of the finest field cameras made. The range of movements was not especially great but was adequate for most purposes. In advertisements emphasis was placed on the camera's compactness and rigidity. The half-plate was the smallest size in the range that went up to 30" x 24", although 15" x 12" was the largest generally advertised. Usually the camera was partly brass bound, as an option full binding was available at an extra cost. Aluminium binding and fittings were also available. For attaching to a tripod either a solid baseboard with tripod screw or a turntable was fitted.

In 1895 a spiral rack and pinion was introduced.

In the early 1900s an Improved model was offered with triple extension, an improved rising front and graduated circle for the turntable, (the earlier model was still advertised). The inclusion of triple extension made the baseboard wider, the rear standard remained the same width and was fixed to the top of the baseboard rather than the side edges.

In the 1900s the camera was advertised with a diaphragm shutter - Compound or Koilos. A stereo model with removable septum was also made. The Acme was advertised into the 1940s.

The Zeiss lenses with the first example are series V11 Anastigmats (Protars). A stepping ring is used to attach the Rapid Rectilinear lens to the flange on the lens panel. The thread of the flange was patented in 1892.

In the 1890s the half-plate model with lens and case cost 17.9.0. The Zeiss lens set cost 14.15.0.

References & Notes:
BP 18099/1888 (T.P. Watson, camera). BP 319/1884 (turntable). BP 3019/1892 (stepping ring). BJA 1890, pp. 639, 723. BJA 1892, p .912. BJA 1900, p. 46 (Zeiss lens). BJA 1900, p. 1116. BJA 1902, p. 1152. BJA 1904, p. 1202. BJA 1905, p. 1176. BJA 1906, p. 1176. BJA 1907, p. 1164. BJA 1908, p. 962. BJA 1909, p. 948. BJA 1910, p. 908. BJA 1911, p. 908. BJA 1912, p. 911. YBP 1891. PA 1891, pp. 280, xxxix. Phot. Journal 1895, p. 21.


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Watson & Sons

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