Lawley Field Camera - Antique and Vintage Cameras

Field Camera

c. 1881

Walter Lawley



Image of Field Camera

Mahogany, dovetail joints, square cornered leather bellows.

6 " x 8 " plates held in an integral changing box. Plates changed by inserting hands into the camera through light-tight sleeves.

Bellows. Double extension. Two positions for front standard.

Rising front.

Name plaque: WALTER LAWLEY. 78 Farringdon St. London E.C.

A provisional patent was granted to Walter Lawley in 1881. It described a similar camera to this example, the difference being that trays were used to hold the sensitive plates rather than the changing box used in this example.

The purpose of the plate changing arrangement was to do away with the dark-slides usually employed in this type of camera. Although cumbersome to operate the camera would have weighed less and taken up less space than a camera with several dark-slides. The camera would have been used for field work and perhaps more than one box employed. There are no grooves in the changing box to separate the plates, presumably paper would have been used as stated in the patent. When mounted on a tripod a trap door is opened in the camera base, the changing box is then inserted via the back of the camera and suspended through the trap door.

The first position for the front standard is only 6" from the image plane, this would have been for a wide-angle lens.

Another camera using light-tight sleeves was patented in the previous month to the Lawley camera. BP 4967/81.

References & Notes:
BP 5598/1881. BJA 1884, p. 114 (similar camera is described).

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