The 1893 Instantograph Patent Camera
Copyright ©2002 by Rob Niederman - ALL RIGHTS RESERVED
This Lancaster Instantograph is a 1/4-plate model complete with Lancaster's Patent Intantaneous Lens and scarce rubberband shutter. It is a robust camera made of polished mahogany and a brass bound rear standard to provide additional strength. The red bellows is a double extension, tapered square cut design. A manufacturer's reference for Lancaster's Instantograph can be seen in the 19th Century Camera Advertising page or click on the image.

Lancaster's Instantograph series was appealing to advanced amateurs such as the English photographer James Coventry. Mr. Coventry was a gifted amateur photographer, active in the 1890s and early 1900s, who used a 1/4-plate Lancaster Instantograph similar to the camera shown above.
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The 1893 Instantograph Patent Camera
J. Lancaster & Son, Birmingham, England
Also refer to:
The Instantograph Catalogue Reference page
The 1888 Patent "Le Merveilleux" page
Lancaster Stereo Instantograph page
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A monograph about James Coventry by Gerald Ponting and Anthony Light entitled “James Coventry - Gentleman Photographer” was released on October 2, 1999. The book is a rich chronical about James Conventry's photography and late victorian English Life. Follow this link for more information about the this fascinating study.

The 1/4-plate Instantograph is very small for a view camera (about the same size as the 1/4-plate Le Merveilleux) and well suited for field use. It's body walls and bed have the same thickness as the larger 1/2-plate model -- making it a rugged little camera. Included with the camera is a changing box that allowed dry-plates to be transferred between the storage box and plateholders without the aid of a darkroom. Special dry-plate holders incorporated a sliding door allowing the glass plates to be transfered to and from the changing box.