Antique & Vintage Photographic Equipment

Flush Back Ensign

Houghtons Limited

Name: Flush Back Ensign
Manufacturer: Houghtons Ltd.
Country of Origin: United Kingdom
Construction: Conventional vertical format folding camera, but with special back as standard to allow it to be used for plates or rollfilm. Leather covered wooden body; black leather bellows.
Production Period:  


Plate / Film Size: 3¼" x 4¼" rollfilm & ¼ plates
Lens: Taylor Hobson Cooke Luxor Anastigmat f6.8
Shutter: Marked Ilex below shutter and 'General' on dial with speeds of 1/5, 1/10,1/25, 1/50, 1/100, T & B
Movements: Rising front
Dimensions (w x h x l):  
Date of this Example: c1910?
Serial Number: 340 impressed into the side of the camera body. Inner sleeve of box carries a small ticket with the name "3¼ Flush Back Ensign F 13327".
  • Common [ ]
  • Uncommon [ ]
  • Hard to Find [x]
  • Scarce [ ]
Inventory Number: 239

<Photographs to be added>


The camera is designed to accept rollfilm or plates (but it is not a combination camera as this would require that it could accept either without the film having to be removed). However the design and constructions leads to the camera being slimmer than other models that had the option of an auxiliary plate back - hence the name.

The name is carried on the orange Ensign box that came with the camera. The body carries the round Houghtons Ltd badge, but no other markings.

The camera is very stiff to pull out on its rails. Black bellows are slightly twisted at lens end with a partial misfold. Paintwork on lens standard and viewfinder are fragile - some paint comes away all too easily on the aluminium lens standard.

Rising front mechanism. Focus range has three settings for rollfilm (F), plate (P) and Klito plate pack (K).


This camera and the equivalent Butcher Flush-Back Carbine were sufficiently successful that Kodak bought out a similar camera for the European market, namely the No 3 Flush-Back Kodak.