Meagher Tailboard - Antique and Vintage Cameras

Improved Portable Bellows Camera

Extending front version

P. Meagher

London

England

Image of Improved Portable Bellows Camera

Lens:
f8, 8", Dallmeyer Rapid Rectilinear marked 6 x 5, slot for Waterhouse stops. Serial no. 47620 (c. 1890).

Shutter:
None.

Construction:
Brass bound Spanish mahogany, dovetail joints, brass binding and fittings. Leather square cornered bellows.

Format:
4" x 5" plates held in double dark-slides.

Focusing:
Bellows. Double extension, rack and pinion (diagonal cut) movement to rear standard.

Attributes:
'Meagher' side support. Reversing back. Front standard pulls forward to give double extension and is locked by two brass struts.

Movements:
Rising front, cross front. Tilting back about centre axis.

Notes:
Address on camera: Meagher. 21 Southampton Row. London. (1865 - 1897).

With:
3 double dark-slides (1 - 6). Lens cap.

Improved Portable Bellows Camera

Extending front version

Mid 1880s

P. Meagher

London

England

Image of Improved Portable Bellows Camera

Lens:
f8, 13" Dallmeyer Rapid Rectilinear, marked 10 x 8. Waterhouse stops. Serial no. 37013 (c. 1885).

Shutter:
None.

Construction:
Mahogany, dovetail joints, brass fittings, Russia leather, square cornered, bellows.

Format:
6 " x 8 " plates held in double dark-slides.

Focusing:
Bellows to 43". Double extension. Rack and pinion (straight cut) to rear standard.

Attributes:
Extending front and 'Meagher' side support. Top rail to support rear/middle standards. Two Thornton-Pickard plumb bobs. Two tripod sockets. Hinged focusing screen.

Identification:
Concave moulding to lens panel.

Movements:
Rise and cross front, tilting and swing back.

Notes:
Sand & Hunter address: 20 Cranbourn St. London. Meagher address: 21 Southampton Row. High Holborn. London. W. C.

With:

  • 3 double dark-slides (1 - 6). Lens cap. Focusing cloth. Focusing magnifier.
  • Detachable frame view-finder by Sands & Hunter.
  • Plate carrying box for 6 " x 8 " plates stamped P. Meagher. Plate carrying box for 4 " x 6 " plates stamped P. Meagher.
  • Fitted Pine trunk with stencilled name: "H.H. M??DOCK".

The camera has a side-wing support and is usually fitted with Meagher's extending front, though this was optional. Other options were for brass binding and Russia leather bellows. Either a worm screw or rack and pinion focusing was employed. A tilting back was present and at an extra cost a centre pivoted side swing. The camera was light, portable and very suitable for field work. The extending front provided double extension for copying or long-focus work with one half of the lens removed. Originally available in sizes from 6 " x 4 " to 10" x 8" and later quarter-plate to 15" x 12" or larger to order.

The side-wing was introduced by Meagher in the 1860s. The 'Portable Bellows Camera' was a development of the 'New Folding Camera' of c. 1867, it was of lighter construction than the earlier camera and "especially suitable for dry-plate". The style of address on the second example - High Holborn - was generally adopted until the early 1890s.

References & Notes:
BJA 1884, p. clxxxii. BJA 1890, p. 884. BJA 1892, p. 1164. YBP 1887, p. iii. YBP 1889, cover. YBP 1895, cover.

Further Information:
Smith, Antique Cameras, p.47.


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