Antique & Vintage Photographic Equipment

Fallowfield Tailboard Camera

Fallowfield, J

Name: Unknown Tailboard
Manufacturer: Fallowfield & Co. (but probably made by Henry Park)
Country of Origin: United Kingdom
Production Period: Unknown


Plate / Film Size: ½ plate
Lens: Ross Wide Angle Landscape, f16 No 47569
Shutter: None
Movements: Tilting back and a rising front
Date of this Example: c1890
Serial Number: None
  • Common [ ]
  • Uncommon [ ]
  • Hard to Find [x]
  • Scarce [ ]
Inventory Number: 543


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The camera bears a label on the top edge that reads "Fallowfield & Co. / Manufactures / Lambeth / London". It does not have any additional labelling, but is very similar in form to "The Rambler" camera by Henry Park, illustrated on p97 Channing & Dunn [2] taken from the 1890 BJPA, but available from 1884 (or possibly earlier).

The camera is well-constructed from good quality Spanish mahogany (rich dark colouring). It is a standard tailboard design, but with a wing for stability, and fine dovetailed joints. It has a pivoted tilting back and a rising front. Square section parallel bellows in maroon leather (cloth lined), which are in very good condition.

It is equipped with a substantial Ross Wide Angle Landscape Lens (the barrel is over 2" in diameter), fitted with wheel stops. According the the Lens Vade Mecum, this lens was available from an early date, but was reintroduced (probably using different glass) in 1890, with serial numbers in the 40,xxx to 50,xxx range. According to Channing & Dunn the Lambeth address on the label dates this camera to 1890 or earlier.

The main body is in good order. Only the lower edge of the main section shows wear. However, the ground glass screen is not original - it does not fit correctly into the slot, but it is serviceable.


This particular camera was bought some years ago from a collector / dealer at Photographica, the annual camera fair organised by the Photographic Collectors Club of Great Britain (PCCGB).