Antique camera identification, please save my hair, I'm pulling it out.

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hamishunger

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Hello, I'm new to this site. I'm not sure if this site is the right place for me, basically I am find myself becoming more and more immersed in antique cameras - I am learning a lot but I have a long road ahead of me. Could somebody here please help me to identify this J L Lancaster 1/2 plate camera? I have searched all over the internet and I haven't been able to find a match, it's either quite a unique model or some kind of horrific Frankenstein mash up. The ivory label on the body says it is "the 18?3 extra special patent."
 

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MattKing

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Welcome to Photrio and good luck with your quest.
Images need to be moderate in size - maximum 2mb, but preferably smaller - in order to be uploaded here. Some images may need to be re-sized first.
 

Sirius Glass

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Welcome to APUG Photrio!!
 

gordrob

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It looks like a Lancaster "Extra Special" Field Camera. They came in a variety of plate sizes 3¼×4¼, 4¾×6½, 8½×6½, 8x10, 10x12, 12x15''. It should have triple extention bellows and was manufactures between 1890 and 1900
 
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hamishunger

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It looks like a Lancaster "Extra Special" Field Camera. They came in a variety of plate sizes 3¼×4¼, 4¾×6½, 8½×6½, 8x10, 10x12, 12x15''. It should have triple extention bellows and was manufactures between 1890 and 1900
 
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hamishunger

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Thank you so much, I eventually found a website that led me to the same conclusion. What baffled me originally was that this camera has a Thorton Pickard stamped fixing on it. What is the connection between TP and J L Lancaster I know they they made very similar cameras? Any idea what the fixing is for?

IMG_4613.jpeg
 

Ian Grant

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There was no connection, these Thornton Pickard levels could be bought separately, it's been added later. With the camera on a tripod it tells you if the camera is level. The Patent is 1893.

What's unusual is the Lancaster "Extra Special" Field Camera uses a tongue and groove extension system, this is one of the hallmarks of most German Reisekameras.

Ian
 
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hamishunger

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There was no connection, these Thornton Pickard levels could be bought separately, it's been added later. With the camera on a tripod it tells you if the camera is level. The Patent is 1893.

What's unusual is the Lancaster "Extra Special" Field Camera uses a tongue and groove extension system, this is one of the hallmarks of most German Reisekameras.

Ian
 
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hamishunger

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This is all news to me, thank you for sharing some of your expert knowledge!
 

jnk

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hamishunger
there is a library of historic cameras at historic cameras dot com .. I think it had images of yours but it is hard to tell. if you find yourself with other historic cameras you might be able to find catalog and modern images on that site to match up what you have it is a helpful site. I might be confusing it with another site but I think it also has sales information too so you can gawk at high or low prices. there used to be one for box cameras that had falling plate, brownie type and other unfocusable cameras found at box cameras dot com. you will have to use the internet archive to find that website it is gone.
 

MattKing

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Be careful with the "historic cameras dot com" link.
Our security controls block posts links to it, and if you make your way to the site (carefully) it is absolutely full of click bait and other problematic issues.
 

jnk

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Be careful with the "historic cameras dot com" link.
Our security controls block posts links to it, and if you make your way to the site (carefully) it is absolutely full of click bait and other problematic issues.

my-bad. I was just there and didn't get any nefarious content, glad you caught it.
 

Ian Grant

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Be careful with the "historic cameras dot com" link.
Our security controls block posts links to it, and if you make your way to the site (carefully) it is absolutely full of click bait and other problematic issues.

The website has changes for the worse, it didn't use to be like this. I have Total Adblock enabled and this shields me to a large extant. It's never been a worthwhile as in useful website anyway.

Ian
 
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