Antique & Vintage Photographic Equipment

Scott's Patent Camera

J L Lane & Sons (for J T Chapman)

Name: Scott's Patent Camera
Type: Hand & Stand
Manufacturer: J L Lane & Sons (for J T Chapman)
Country of Origin: United Kingdom
Construction: Mahogany and brass construction with narrow tongue and groove joints, with narrow brass inlays in the side panels. Lens panel extends on brass tracks built into solid baseboard.
Production Period: 1885 - 1897?


Plate / Film Size: 7½ x 5"
Lens: Fallowfield 8½ x 6½ Rapid Doublet (Serial 1215) with 6 waterhouse stops
Shutter: Thornton-Pickard Time & Instant rollerblind shutter
Movements: Rising front; tilting back; reversible back
Dimensions (w x h x l):  
Date of this Example: c1890
Serial Number: None
  • Common [ ]
  • Uncommon [ ]
  • Hard to Find [x]
  • Scarce [ ]
Inventory Number: 584


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The camera bears a label that states "Made by / J. L. Lane & Sons / London / for / J. T. Chapman / Albert Square / Manchester" and on the rising front carries a further label "Scott's Patent No 12389".

So we have Lane in London making a camera for Chapman in Manchester based on Scott's patent!

Mahogany and brass construction with narrow tongue and groove joints, with brass inlays to the sides (similar position and size to the ebony inserts on the Billcliffe made Chapman The British camera). Screw heads are all nicely aligned. Signs of wear to the body, such as tripod ring marks on the base and a split across the baseboard adjacent to the tripod bush. The internal surfaces of the camera are in good condition.

The camera has a reversible back. The camera came with three unmatched DDS, two of which are standard ½ plate and are so badly damaged they are only fit for spares. The third is of unusual format and appears to be for a plate size of 7½ x 5", which also matches the inner frame size behind the ground glass screen and the screen itself. The DDS is a perfect match to the camera back and is likely to be original. This DDS also has an adapter insert to accept 3½ x 2½ plates.

Maroon, tapered square section double extension bellows, which are in remarkably good condition.

The lens is marked "Fallowfield London / Rapid Doublet / 1215". The Lens Vade Mecum reports that a similar lens at no 137x shows a Lambeth address, meaning that it pre-dates 1891, and therefore so must this one (which ties in with the likely date of the camera).

The lens is complete with a set of 6 brass waterhouse stops, marked 10, 12, 17, 24, 36 & 44, complete with their original leather slip case. These fit the aperture slot in the lens.


According to Channing & Dunn, this patent relates to the rising front. However the Early Photography web site identifies the patent as describing a folding bed camera with a double-slotted link connecting the baseboard and the back.