Antique & Vintage Photographic Equipment

Soho Model B Camera

Soho Ltd

Name: Soho Model B
Type: Folding Rollfilm
Manufacturer: Soho Ltd
Country of Origin: United Kingdom
Construction: The Model B is a strut format camera moulded in maroon bakelite, rather similar in form to other bakelite cameras of the period such as the Kodak Hawkette No 2.
Plate / Film Size: 120 rollfilm for pictures 3¼ x 2¼ inches (or 6 x 9 cms)
Production Period: Unknown (see Notes)


Lens: Meniscus
Shutter: T & I (single speed)
Movements: None
Dimensions (w x h x l):  
Date of this Example: c1931
Serial Number: None
  • Common [x]
  • Uncommon [ ]
  • Hard to Find [ ]
  • Scarce [ ]
Inventory Number: 574


Photos copyright © 2014 David Purcell. Do not use without permission.
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The Soho Model B is a maroon coloured bakelite strut camera for 6 x 9 photos on 120 rollfilm. This example is in good condition although a little grubby and with some marks through use on the bakelite body shell.

The camera has two fold out footrests attached to the inside face of the lens standard, one for each of landscape and portrait orientation.

This example of the Soho Model B has two features of particular interest. The first is to note that it is fitted with metal strips along both sides of the main body of the camera that overlap with the removable back, and are set into the moulding of the main body shell. In this case, they have been finished to colour match with the maroon bakelite. You might encounter examples where the strips are finished in chrome; certainly I have seen examples of the Soho Cadet with chrome side strips. John Vaughan in the Kershaw Camera Story [17] suggests that the strips were intended to provide strengthening for the bakelite body of the camera. While this may be true, I would suggest that the metal strips were also a design change made to help align the two halves of the camera shell when the removable back was being put back into position. On later models of the Model B and Cadet, the moulding of the two parts of the body shell was changed to add a raised ridge around the perimeter of the removable back and a corresponding gulley on the mating surface on the rear of the camera body. The later Soho Cadet in my collection exhibits this subsequent design change to the mouldings, which I believe made the side strips redundant.

Inside the removable back of the camera it is marked with patent 22350/29, though I have not been able to identify what this relates to. This is the second feature of interest in the development of the Model B camera. John Vaughan identifies another camera whose form is virtually identical to the Model B, but bearing the name "Soho Junior Folding" on the faceplate. The only other difference he reports between the Soho Junior folding camera and the Model B is that the few examples seen of the Junior camera carry the patent number 22350/29 embossed inside the removable back, while he noted that the Model B shows patent number 330438/29. However my example brings it into question that the patent number is one of the only two differences between the Junior and Model B cameras, since my early example of the Model B shown on this page carries the same patent number of 22350/29 (refer to photo below). Later examples of the Model B that I have seen do indeed carry the patent number 330438/29 (as does the Soho Cadet). This leads me to wonder if there was a deliberate change in the name of the camera, perhaps because the "Junior" tag implied a rather basic model? Very few examples of the Junior Folding camera have been found (I have never seen one), suggesting that the adoption of the "Model B" name happened very early on in the production of the camera.

Image of Soho Model B (rear view)


Unlike the Soho Cadet camera that was also produced in maroon bakelite in the same period, the Model B does not appear in Soho camera advertising of the period. There is evidence to suggest that the Model B may have been a premium camera in common with several other cameras of the period of similar construction, notably the Kodak Hawkette No 2 and Rajar No 6.

I have a gift token for B.D.V. cigarettes produced by Godfrey Phillips Ltd. (London) that lists the "Rosewood folding camera" in return for 175 tokens. A cowhide case was available for a further 60 tokens. This could equally relate to the Soho Junior Folding camera or the Model B camera, as shown on this page.

Image of BDV Coupon Image of BDV Coupon
Image of BDV Coupon Image of BDV Coupon

In the Kershaw Camera Story by John Vaughan [17], a page from a 1932 B.D.V. gift catalog is reproduced that shows a camera that is very similar to the Model B. However it is not named in the text and the catalog picture shows a camera with no markings on the face plate, although it notes that it is made by Soho Limited, describing it as The "Rosewood" Folding Camera.