This camera took me a long time to acquire and, as far as I can
tell, it's the only example the collector community has seen. It
defied my attempts to identify it back then, and still does now.
Yet what a wonderful design. There are no markings and I do not
believe it is a prototype. Concept and prototype apparatus are
typically crude and non-working. This 4¼ x 5¼ inch format camera
(more than likely uses 4" x 5" plate holders) has first rate
craftsmanship and the brass hardware fabrication has a lot of
The rack and pinion, front focusing design mimics what is known as
an English Compact body pattern, yet the hardware is a more
advanced and complex. (This design means that the front lens
standard lies against the bed when being closed and, after the
lens is removed, everything packs into the rear portion of the
body.) There is an odd shutter-like assembly inside the lens
housing, two unusual shutter blade controls, and a rather large
Brass hardware is substantially more robust than what is typically
seen on cameras of this style. The disproportionate use of heavier
brass and inclusion of "bindings" (hardware added to reinforce
wood corners to prevent wood warping and splitting) is rare for
This camera also has a full range of movements such as front
rises/falls and front and rear tilts/swings. There is also an
incredibly novel ground glass extension mechanism that also relies
on excessively heavy brass.
This camera will probably remain unidentified, but it has character.