Antique & Vintage Photographic Equipment

The "British" (Miller's Patent) Camera

J. T. Chapman

Name / Model: The "British" (Miller's Patent)
Manufacturer: J. T. Chapman
Country of Origin: United Kingdom
Construction: Black painted (ebonised) wooden body.
Production Period: c1890 - 1900. See notes.


Model / Variant: Magazine plate camera
Plate / Film Size: ¼ plate
Lens: Dallmeyer No 2 Stigmatic Series II, f6, No 58219
Shutter: Thornton Pickard Snap Shot roller blind shutter
Dimensions (w x h x l):  
Date of this Example: c1900
Serial Number: Lens has serial #58219 engraved on rim. No obvious serial on the camera itself.
  • Common [ ]
  • Uncommon [x]
  • Hard to Find [ ]
  • Scarce [ ]
Inventory Number: 142


Black ebonised detective / falling plate magazine camera. Date taken from estimate in McKeown. Rack focusing driven by key on base, with distance scale indicator on side of camera. Label inside camera that declares the camera name, as shown in name field, with "J.T.Chapman Photographic Chemist Manchester" below. Black painted wooden body.

Shutter is string set / activated (2 strings). There is a third string that operates a blanking vane behind the lens, which is lightly sprung. In this example, it can only be made to close over the lens by turning the camera upside down and lightly tapping to get it to swing closed as the surface has rusted slightly and sticks. This was used to shut off light from the plate chamber while setting the T-P shutter.

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The general design of this magazine camera was patented by T. Miller (hence the name) who also sold it as the Adelphi Hand Camera. The camera was introduced in about 1890 and was still available in the early 1900s.