Antique & Vintage Photographic Equipment

The Folding Scout

Houghtons Limited

Name: The Folding Scout
Manufacturer: Houghtons Ltd.
Country of Origin: United Kingdom
Construction: Vertical format folding camera, but with D-shaped profile (flat back). Leather covered wooden body; maroon leather bellows.
Production Period: Unknown


Plate / Film Size: 3¼" x 2¼" rollfilm (Ensign 2¼B)
Lens: Single Achromatic
Shutter: Single speed, T & B
Movements: Rising front
Dimensions (w x h x l):  
Date of this Example: c1905
Serial Number: Serial 330 stamped into inner edge of nickel plates slide rail for lens standard; 246 & 85148 stamped into inside of sliding rear door panel. 246 repeated on the edge of the film chamber.
  • Common [ ]
  • Uncommon [ ]
  • Hard to Find [ ]
  • Scarce [x]
Inventory Number: 640


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This is an early rollfilm camera, with a D-shaped profile (flat back). It has a wooden body but with an aluminium baseboard. The maker was unknown when the camera was first acquired, but has since been identified as a Houghton's Folding Scout camera The camera takes exposures of size 3¼" x 2¼" (Ensign 2¼B rollfilm).

The camera is fitted with a brass shutter assembly with wheel stops marked in unusual units (12, 17 & 34). The shutter is described as "Ever-set Time, Bulb and Instantaneous; trigger release" in a Houghton advert (see Notes).

It is equipped with a reflecting finder fitted to the top of standard, which can be rotated for use in landscape mode. The camera has a rising front. Metal components are nickel plated. The camera has deep maroon bellows that are in fine order.

The film spool is released by first moving a catch that holds the winder in place, which can then be removed. With the camera back off, the spool can then be withdrawn from the camera

The catches that hold the camera in its open position are similar to those seen on early German folding cameras and it seems likely this was made in Germany for Houghton, possibly by Krugener.


The Houghton advertisements in the BJPA 1905 includes this camera in a full page entry (p 351). The camera is also shown in an advert in the 1904 BJPA, but it has a different format for the shutter and lens standard supports. This earlier pattern also appears as an illustration in the text of Photography with Roll Films - The Primus Handbook, published by W. Butcher & Sons in 1903.