Antique & Vintage Photographic Equipment

Maxim No 1 Box Camera

W. Butcher & Co.

Name: Maxim No 1 Box Camera
Manufacturer: W. Butcher & Co.
Country of Origin: United Kingdom
Production Period: 1903 - 1920


Plate / Film Size: Ensign 2¼A or No 1 Brownie Film
Lens: Unknown
Shutter: Simple instantaneous shutter
Dimensions (w x h x l):  
Date of this Example: Not known
Serial Number: Serial number that might be 127 stamped inside on film carrier. This might be a manufacturing batch number rather than a unique serial.
  • Common [ ]
  • Uncommon [x]
  • Hard to Find [ ]
  • Scarce [ ]
Inventory Number: 337


Basic box camera for 2¼" square pictures. The fold over card inside the camera that goes over the film when loaded identifies the film as Ensign 2¼A or No 1 Brownie Film.

The camera is in very good condition, with only very minor signs of age and use. The round Butcher decal is very clear on the front face "Butchers Famous | Maxim | British Made". The handle is intact and is embossed "No 1 Maxim".

The condition would suggest that this might be a late model, but it is as yet unclear how this might be verified.

Image of Maxim No 1 Box Camera made by W Butcher & Sons

Notes for Collectors

The Maxim came in several different model numbers (4 known), each corresponding to a different film size, of which the No 1 was the smallest. The camera was intended to compete with the Kodak Brownie camera (as evidenced by the declaration on the inside of the camera that it could use 2¼A or No 1 Brownie film).

Image of film carrier from the Maxim No 1 Box Camera

This camera is very similar in form to an early Ensign Box-Form camera sold by Houghtons, suggesting that the same camera body may have been retailed by both. The two cameras are shown side by side below.

Image of the Maxim No 1 and Ensign Box Cameras