Antique & Vintage Photographic Equipment

Eclipse Field Camera

Atkinson, John

Name: Eclipse (Unconfirmed)
Manufacturer: Atkinson, John
Country of Origin: United Kingdom
Production Period: Not known


Plate / Film Size: ½ plate
Lens: Unmarked
Shutter: None
Movements: Rising front and tilting / rotating back
Dimensions (h x l x w):  
Date of this Example: c1891?
Serial Number: Mark in Roman numerals on inner face of lens support and rear of lens standard = 'XXXVIII'.
  • Common [ ]
  • Uncommon [ ]
  • Hard to Find [x]
  • Scarce [ ]
Inventory Number: 360


The camera bears no name, but does have a plate identifying the maker (or supplier at least) as "Atkinson, Manchester St, Liverpool". Channing & Dunn [2] describe the ECLIPSE from an advertisement in Photography Annual for 1891, as "mahogany and brass, taper bellows and double extension", which fits this camera. McKeown [1] has several cameras listed for this maker, but not a field camera of this form.

The camera has a rising front for the lens and the back can be tilted. The lens standard is fixed in position by two screw fittings built into the pillars that support the lens standard. There are no rails on the inner part of the camera shell, and once retracted the whole assembly 'floats'.

The purpose of the set of 4 holes on the front of each support pillar on the lens standard is a mystery.

The ground glass screen is present and in good order. A small screw is missing from one hinge. No DDS came with the camera. The back can be rotated for portrait / landscape.

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