Park Victoria - Antique and Vintage Cameras

Victoria

1887

Henry Park

London

England

Image of Victoria

Lens:
f6, 6.4" Stigmatic Series II, No. 3. Iris diaphragm with external pointer to f45. Serial no. 58115 (c. 1897).

Construction:
Spanish mahogany, dovetail joints. Black square cornered, tapered leather bellows.

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

Focusing:
Bellows. Double extension, rack and pinion movement to inner frame. Rear standard slides along the camera base.

Attributes:
Reversing back. Removable lens panel. Kinnear type collapsing arrangement.

Identification:
Version with screw to tighten rear standard to base.

Movements:
Rising front, tilting front, swing back, tilting back.

Notes:
Address on plaque: 5 Station Buildings. Acton Street. Kingsland. London.

With:
Lens cap.

This example can be dated to 1890, it has the later address of Station Buildings which dates from 1890 and it uses a screw to fix the rear standard which was replaced in 1890 by a lever arrangement. The lens dates to a few years later. The leather tab to lift and disengage the bellows must have been a weak point as a spare tab is screwed to the rear standard.

Victoria

1890 Model

Henry Park

London

England

Image of Victoria

Construction:
Spanish mahogany, dovetail joints. Aluminium and brass fittings. Brass has been used where aluminium would have been too soft, it has been nickel plated and blued, in some places there is evidence of the aluminium fittings having been blackened. Black square cornered, tapered leather bellows.

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

Focusing:
Bellows. Double extension, rack and pinion movement to inner frame. Rear standard slides along the camera base.

Attributes:
Reversing back. Removable lens panel. Kinnear type collapsing arrangement.

Identification:
Version with lever to tighten rear standard to base.

Movements:
Rising front, tilting front, swing back, tilting back.

Notes:
Address on plaque: Station Buildings. Acton Street. Kingsland. London.

With:
3 double dark-slides.

The Victoria is a very well-made camera advertised in sizes from half-plate to 24" x 20". An extremely dark red Spanish mahogany is used for the camera body and the brass work is finished with distinctive worm marks. The Kinnear method is used to fold the camera, the front of the bellows lift up from the front standard, a leather tab being used to grip the bellows. The baseboard on the models shown here are unusual and not really integral to the camera base. It does not cover the full length of the camera and seems to be a development of an arrangement used earlier by Park where a narrow, dovetail shaped, board on the base of the camera fitted to a matching part on the tripod. The rear standard can be positioned close to the front standard for wide-angle work.

There were three distinct models of the Victoria:

  • When first advertised in 1887 the camera was called the New Patent and was produced in two versions No. 1 and No.2. The No. 1 had a small front standard fitted only with rising front. Park's dovetail method of fitting the camera to the tripod (BP 11386/1885) was used. This version was then advertised as the Victoria. The No. 2 had a much larger front standard with both rise and cross movements, parallel sided bellows were fitted giving the camera the appearance of a tailboard camera.
    The rear standard can move along the base, the brackets of the rear standard move within slots formed by brass plates fixed to the top and bottom of the base, they are fixed by a screw.
    This model is known from wood-cuts of the period which are not always accurate but they clearly show the dovetail tripod fixing on the No.1.
  • The dovetail tripod fitting was replaced by a conventional tripod socket fitted in a wider board.
  • In 1890 the brackets of the rear standard were modified to move in shallow slots on the top edge of the base and were fixed by a lever.

The aluminium model, shown here, is fitted with Shew-pattern dark-slides similar to those used on Xit cameras. The focusing screen is also similar to those fitted to Xit cameras in the way the glass is held within the frame rather than being held in place by metal clips. These points and also the general appearance of the camera might indicate that Park was the manufacturer of at least some Shew Xit cameras. It is known that he manufactured for Fallowfield, possibly Shew as well.

References & Notes:
BP 14262/1886. BJA 1888, p. 79. BJA 1889, p. 141. YBP 1888, p. lv. YBP 1890, p. xcvii. YBP, p. 1891, p. cxxxii. PA 1891, p. cxviii.

Illustrations:
Wills, History, p. 47. Shows a later model with a lever to tighten the rear standard to the base.


Company Details:

Park, Henry

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