Ticka - Antique and Vintage Cameras

Ticka

1906

Early model

Houghtons Ltd

London

England

Image of Ticka

Lens:
f16, 25 mm achromatic, fixed aperture.

Shutter:
Guillotine, spring powered T & I settings. Not capping.

Construction:
Nickel plated body.

Format:
25, ⅝" x ⅞" exposures on 11/16" wide roll-film held in cassette. Paper leaders are attached to the film making it light-tight.

Focusing:
Fixed.

Attributes:
Removable direct-vision view-finder sold as an accessory.
Click indicates correct amount of film advance. Exposure counter.

Identification:
Version with "Patented throughout the world", square film counter window and wire film advance handle. Dull finish to case.

With:
Direct-vision view-finder (type A).

Ticka

Early model

Image of Ticka

Identification:
Version with "Patented throughout the world", square film counter window and wire film advance handle. Bright finish to case.

With:

  • Brilliant view-finder, box-shaped version (type B).
  • Cassette without film. Pouch.

Ticka

Second version

Image of Ticka

Identification:
Version with "Patented in most countries", round film counter window and thick film advance handle. Bright finish to case.

With:

  • Brilliant view-finder, swivel version (type C).
  • Two Cassettes one in cardboard box. Instruction book. "Useful Hints", short instructions. Cardboard box for camera, small version with coloured top.
  • Time shutter.
  • Printing box, for 2 ¼" x 3 ¼" prints. The negative is held between two glass plates. Simple shutter blade.
  • Post-card Printer, for printing two 2 ½" x 3 ½" images on a postcard. In box.

Ticka

Second version

Image of Ticka

Identification:
Version with "Patented in most countries", round film counter window and thick film advance handle. Dull finish to case.

With:

  • Direct-vision view-finder (type A).
  • Cassette.

The Ticka, designed by Magnus Nièll, was one of the more popular disguised cameras. In Britain it was manufactured by Houghtons, in the US it was sold as the Expo and introduced a year earlier in 1905. The shape is roughly that of a thick pocket watch. It is notable for being the first camera to use drop-in cassettes, i.e. film and take-up spool in one unit.

Early versions of the Ticka have "Patented throughout the world" stamped on the case and have a square window for the frame counter, those made a year or two later have "Patented in most countries" and a round window. The film advance handle also varies, some are of wire (early), later a thicker plate is used. The finish of the plating is either bright or dull, both early and second versions exist with each type of finish.

Many accessories were produced for the Ticka:

  • Time shutter. This is a simple spring-powered flap shutter for making time exposures without resorting to the lens cap.
  • Finders. Three finders were produced, referred to in advertisements by letter:
    A - direct-vision;
    B - brilliant, box form fixed for landscape;
    C - brilliant, able to swivel for portrait or landscape.
    A ground glass version available for the Expo does not seem to have been sold with the Ticka.
  • Printing box.
  • Postcard Printer. This attaches to the Printing Box and allows two images to be printed on postcard-size paper.
  • Developing and printing outfit.
  • Magnifying glass.
  • Printing frame.
  • Tripod.
  • Printing papers and chemicals.

The images on the right show the Time shutter, the Printing Box and the Postcard Printer.

Other models of the Ticka were produced: Watch face, Solid silver model, and one with a focal-plane shutter and Cooke lens. As well as the small box shown above the camera was sold together with film cassettes in a larger grey/green box and as an outfit complete with chemicals and printing equipment.

Patents 31, 32 and 14409 of 1908 by Nièll describe an improved form of Ticka that was not put into manufacture.

References & Notes:
BP 21295/1904. BJA 1907, pp. 340, 905. BJA 1908, p. 283. BJA 1909, pp. 294, 715.

Illustrations:
Prague Cat. 508, 509. Focal-plane model. Christie's Cat. 17/7/2001 lot 122, 1/9/1994 lot 168 Focal-plane model. Christie's Cat. 17/2/04 lot 150. Shows a large box for several rolls of film.


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