Aptus Ferrotype Camera - Antique and Vintage Cameras

Aptus Automatic Ferrotype Camera


Moore & Co.



Image of Aptus Automatic Ferrotype Camera


Single-blade pivoted return, B setting.

Cloth covered wood body.

2 " x 1 " ferrotype plates.

By sliding the lens.

Direct-vision (lens/post) view-finder
Tank beneath camera with two troughs.

3 unused plates. Tank. Plate box. Jaynay quickset tripod.

This is probably the most popular of the ferrotype cameras. It produced quite large photographs similar in size to the earlier carte de visite. It would have been used at fairgrounds and the like.

The plates are loaded into the base of the camera in a box. The plate is lifted into the focal plane by bringing down on to the plate an arm with a suction pad, a rubber bulb works the suction. After exposure the plate drops down into the developer/fixer solution.

Several versions exist:

  • Some models took 3 " x 2 " plates or, by an alternative back both 3 " x 2 " and 2 " x 1 ".
  • Revolving backs for landscape format were fitted to better models.
  • Various lenses and shutters were used including an f3 anastigmatic.
  • Iris or wheel stop diaphragms were fitted.

The basic shape and design of the camera remained throughout its life; it was on sale until at least the mid 1950s. The developing tank was divided into two, allowing development to continue in one whilst removing plates from the other. A combined developer/fixer was used which took about 30 seconds to produce a plate. In 1927 a camera taking 'ferrotype cards' was introduced which had a different internal mechanism.

References & Notes:
BP 19198/1908 (Tripod). BP 285543/1926. BP 9342/1912. BJA 1914, p. 1368. BJA 1915, pp. 537, 974. BJA 1920, p. 809. BJA 1922, p. 709. BJA 1926, p. 765. BJA 1928, p. 699. BJA 1931, p. 659. BJA 1932, p. 609. BJA 1933, p. 585. BJA 1935, p. 525. BJA 1955, p. 236.

Company Details:

Moore & Co.

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