Antique & Vintage Photographic Equipment

Unknown Folding Camera

W. Butcher & Co.

Name: Unknown Folding Camera
Manufacturer: W. Butcher & Co.
Country of Origin: United Kingdom
Production Period: Unknown


Plate / Film Size: 3¼ x 4¼ rollfilm & ¼ plate
Lens: "Ensign" Symmetrical f8
Shutter: Bausch & Lomb 3 speed shutter
Movements: Rising & cross front on lens standard
Dimensions (w x h x l):  
Date of this Example:  
Serial Number: Serial 173 stamped into back
  • Common [ ]
  • Uncommon [x]
  • Hard to Find [ ]
  • Scarce [ ]
Inventory Number: 152


Folding camera that appears to take the same film size as No 3 FPK (118), but has a combination back to allow use of plates.

Distance scale is marked for both film and plate.

The "Ensign" name on the lens that suggests that this might be a Houghton, but the winder key is in the shape of a 'B', which suggests that it is a Butcher camera. Either way it may be one of the many that were made in Germany. Single piston B & L shutter (3-speed).

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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).

With the onset of the First World War, Butchers combined their manufacturing with Houghton, with the Houghton-Butcher Manufacturing Co. Ltd being formed in 1915. However the two companies continue to sell under their own names and it wasn't until 1926 that their selling operations were combined. This camera may date to the period where the two had pooled their resources, but were selling under their own names.