Antique & Vintage Photographic Equipment

Box Carbine No 2 Camera

W. Butcher & Co.

Name: No 2 Carbine Box Camera
Manufacturer: W. Butcher & Co.
Country of Origin: United Kingdom
Production Period:  


Model / Variant: Brown leatherette covering
Plate / Film Size: C20 Carbine Films (2¼B)
Lens: Unknown
Shutter: Simple rotary shutter
Movements: None
Dimensions (w x h x l):  
Date of this Example: c1920?
Serial Number: Serial number C2066 stamped into inside of rear door below film label.
  • Common [ ]
  • Uncommon [x]
  • Hard to Find [ ]
  • Scarce [ ]
Inventory Number: 59


Basic box camera with wire frame view finder as well as twin reflecting finders. Oval badge on front of camera carrying name.

Film label appears inside rear door with an image of a heron sitting on a Butcher's film box. This distinctive artwork and the film name ought to help confirm the date, but I have as yet to research this!

This style of camera was continued under Houghton-Butcher; the two companies came under a common sales organisation in 1926 although they had combined their manufacturing capabilities in 1915, as a consequence of difficulties encountered at the outbreak of the First World War. Prior to 1915, both companies had largely relied upon German imports.

Some wear to corners and general condition is well used. Minor paint loss to metal parts, which is not uncommon on these cameras from the examples I have seen (particularly apparent on the decoration around the top viewfinder).

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William Butcher established a chemist business in Blackheath (SE London) in 1860 and by 1895 were manufacturing their own goods under the "Primus" name as well as importing cameras and other photographic goods from Germany (Huttig and subsequently Ica).

There are many cameras in circulation bearing the Butcher name, but few of the "Primus" cameras seem to have survived. I have seen very few examples and do not possess one in my collection.