Talmer - Antique and Vintage Cameras


1893 Model

Talbot & Eamer



Image of Talmer

f9, T.T.H. lens, wheel stops to f16.

Two-blade guillotine moving in same direction, speeds 1 - 1/30, T. Spring powered, friction regulated.

Polished mahogany.

12, 3 ¼" x 4 ¼" plates held in bag type changing box.

To 6 feet.

Two reflecting view-finders with spring action covers.
Changing the plate tensions the shutter and moves the exposure counter. Apart from convenience this prevents double exposure and blank exposure.
Memorandum tablet. Spirit level.

Serial Number:
101393 .

Marked: Tattersall's Patent, Newman & Adams Patent.

An interesting feature of the Talmer is that the shutter is tensioned by changing the plate. There are two distinct models of the Talmer and a number of variations.

The first model, introduced in 1890, had the plate lifter on the side of the camera and lifted the exposed plate into the changing bag. In the base of the camera was a strip of red glass, there was no exposure counter but a divider separating the exposed and unexposed plates could be seen through the glass. It had a handle on the top of the camera, a single small view-finder and no spirit level. The door of the changing compartment contained a narrow memorandum tablet. The finish was either polished or ebonised. The lens was a fixed-focus f10 landscape or a rapid rectilinear (introduced after the landscape) fitted with rotating stops. The camera was available in quarter-plate or 9 x 12 cm. These cameras are marked Tattersall's patent and Samuel's patent. The latter refers to the sheaths carrying the plates, it is not clear what 'Tattersall's Patent' refers to. A cord, accessible on the base of the camera, is pulled to set the shutter prior to the first exposure. A spirit level was added during 1890 or 1891. The type of shutter fitted to these models is not clear, at some time a variable speed shutter was fitted, but the earliest examples may have a simple T and I setting. The cost was £3.15.0.

In 1891 larger view-finders were fitted. At around this time the memorandum tablet was made larger. Several sizes and models were introduced:

  • No. 1. Quarter-plate, fixed-focus, f10 Rapid Landscape lens, rotating stops, one or two finders.
  • No. 2. Quarter-plate, fixed-focus, f9 Rapid Rectilinear lens, rotating stops, one or two finders.
  • No. 3. Quarter-plate, focusing, f6 Rapid Euryscope, f4 Paragon or T.T.H. lens, iris diaphragm. Two finders.
  • No. 4. 5" x 4", focusing, f6 Euryscope, f4 Paragon or T.T.H. lens, iris diaphragm. Two finders.
  • No. 6. Half-plate, focusing, f6 Euryscope, f4 Paragon or T.T.H. lens, iris diaphragm. Two finders.
The numbering was not continued for long, though the camera continued to be available with different lenses.

1893 Model
In 1893 a new model was introduced, this had the plate lifter on the end of the camera and so lifted an unexposed plate. An exposure counter was fitted which replaced the red window. A two-blade guillotine shutter was fitted with a setting lever on the front of the camera above the lens. The lens is now usually described as being by T.T.H. Either 12 plates or 24 cut-films could be loaded. Several models are listed at various times, but the range shown in advertisements varies and was probably flexible:
  • Quarter-plate, fixed-focus, f11 Rapid Landscape lens.
  • Quarter-plate, fixed-focus, f9 T.T.H. Rapid Rectilinear lens.
  • Quarter-plate, focusing, f9 T.T.H. Rapid Rectilinear lens.
  • 5" x 4", focusing, f9 T.T.H. Rapid Rectilinear lens, iris diaphragm.
  • Half-plate, focusing, f9 T.T.H. Rapid Rectilinear lens, iris diaphragm.
An f6.5 Cooke is shown in later advertisements.

Around 1899 the Talmer was available leather covered.

1893 Shutter
The shutter is a two-blade guillotine type with both blades operating in the same direction, it is spring powered with a separate friction device controlling the release of the second blade.

The image below shows the shutter in the unset position. When set the blades are moved to the right and the springs A and B, connected to the blades are tensioned. Spring C, attached to the Speed Control Carriage is also tensioned. Spring D is put in compression.

The shutter speed is set on the cam at the top of the camera, this sets the tension in spring F which tends to turn lever E anti-clockwise. The end of lever E rests on a cork-covered pin attached to the Speed Control Carriage. During the exposure the Speed Control Carriage is pulled to the left by spring C, its speed of travel (and hence the exposure time) is determined by the friction between the cork pin and the lever E. The greater the tension in spring F the greater the friction between lever and pin and the longer the exposure.

On release Spring A pulls blade 1 across the lens opening to start the exposure. Blade 2 is held by the end of lever E. The Speed Control Carriage is pulled to the left but is slowed by friction with lever E. When the Speed Control Carriage reaches the end of its travel lever E is free to rotate and so release blade 2 which is pulled to the left by spring B.

The shutter is set by a lever in the camera moving the blades to the right, the lever is acted on by a further lever moved by the changing mechanism.

References & Notes:
PA 1891, pp. cxc, 329. BJA 1892, p. 348. BJA 1893, p. 1228. BJA 1894, p. 1144. BJA 1899, p. 1498. YBP 1891, p. xxvi. YBP 1892, p. lx. YBP 1893, p. 489. YBP 1894, p. 546.

Further Information:
At the Lothrop sale of June 2010 a very early Talmer is shown with plate lifters on each side of the camera.

Company Details:

Talbot & Eamer




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