Antique & Vintage Photographic Equipment

Imperial Pocket Camera

Thornton-Pickard Manufacturing Company Ltd

Name: Imperial Pocket Camera
Type: Folding Plate Camera
Manufacturer: Thornton-Pickard Manufacturing Company Ltd, Altringham
Country of Origin: United Kingdom
Construction: Wooden bodied folding plate camera of simple, but conventional, construction.
Production Period: 1911 - ? (see Notes)


Model / Name: No 00
Plate / Film Size: ¼ plate
Lens: Unmarked achromatic lens f11
Shutter: Chronos 3 speed, B & T
Movements: None
Dimensions (w x h x l):  
Date of this Example: c1916
Serial Number: None
  • Common [ ]
  • Uncommon [x]
  • Hard to Find [ ]
  • Scarce [ ]
Inventory Number: 620


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The Imperial Pocket Camera produced by Thornton-Pickard is a simple wood bodied folding plate camera, covered in black leather. Circular name plate identifying camera by name and the manufacturer is located on one side of the body. It has a simple slide focus (no rack & pinion), with an infinity catch on one side of the baseboard and a focus scale on the other (5 foot to infinity).

From Tom Holliday's notes [9], it looks like this may be the No 00 version, introduced in 1916.

The ground glass screen with viewing hood is intact on this example. No DDS with the camera.


Generally mahogany & brass or reflex cameras are the ones associated with Thornton-Pickard, plus their well known shutters of course, but they did also produce more humble box and folding cameras (plate and rollfilm).

Other sources suggest that the Imperial Pocket camera was first introduced in 1911. Certainly the first reference I have found to it appears in the 1912 BJPA, with the appearance of the No 1 and No 2 models. The No 00 and No 0 first appear in the 1916 BJPA catalogue entry, and the description of the No 00 certainly matches this camera. These models were available in a number of sizes other than the ¼-plate example shown here. Other sizes available in 1916 were 9 x 12cm, Post Card, and 10 x 15