Help identifying lens

Discussion in 'Large Format Cameras and Accessories' started by Whiteymorange, Nov 21, 2012.

  1. Whiteymorange

    Whiteymorange Member

    Jul 27, 2004
    Boston area
    Multi Format
    I have a lens in front of me that has me a little baffled. It is a "Wide Angle Portable Symmetrical" lens, with wheel stops that are not clearly labeled. A cursory search through all the usual sources shows that name to be most commonly associated with Ross, London. There is, however, no makers name on the lens. What is there is an inscribed letter "G" inside a diamond. I know I have seen this trademark before, but can't place it. Any help?
  2. Mustafa Umut Sarac

    Mustafa Umut Sarac Member

    Oct 29, 2006
    35mm RF
    I tried to help you , found 200 logos of later makers and no G in Diamond. G in triangle is an mason logo.
    I found list of British makers starts with letter G. I will look in to German makers also and publish a list.

    Good luck!

    Company NameLouis Gandolfi & Sons 1932 -
    Louis Gandolfi 1885 - 1932

    Company AddressBorland Rd. Peckham 1928 -
    84 Hall Rd. Peckham Rye 1913 - 1928
    752 Old Kent Rd. London - 1913
    15A Kensington Place. Westminster

    The firm was established in 1885 by Louis Gandolfi who had previously worked for Lejeune & Perken. Gandolfi made extensively for the trade (e.g. Watson, Sands & Hunter) and supplied many government departments with specialised cameras.

    The Gandolfi family lived at the Old Kent Rd premises and later at the Hall Rd address. At his death the effects of Louis Gandolfi (b. 1864 Clerkenwell, d.22/1/1932) amounted to the considerable sum of £1505. The business was continued by his three sons: Thomas Joseph, b.1890; Frederick Louis, b.1905 and Arthur Ernest b.1907.

    References: Gandolfi - Sci. Mus. leaflet. BJA 1933, p. 304.

    Company NameJohn Garland Listed as phot. manu.

    Company Address32 Hermes St. Pentonville. London 1879
    4 Rodney St. Pentonville. London 1878 - 1879
    30 Rodney St. Pentonville. London 1870 - 1878

    Garner, C
    Company NameC. Garner

    Company Address10 Poland St. London

    Agents for Ica, Ernemann and Mimosa prior to the formation of Garner & Peeling in 1927.
    Garner & Jones
    Company NameGarner & Jones

    Company AddressPolebrook House. Golden Sq. London

    Formed around 1931 after Garner & Peeling was dissolved. Agents for Ihagee. Later (1940) at 103 The Ridge. Orpington.
    Garner & Peeling
    Company NameGarner & Peeling

    Company AddressPolebrook House. Golden Sq. London

    Garner & Peeling was formed in 1927 as agents for Zeiss-Ikon in the UK. The firm was wound up at the end of 1930 when Zeiss-Ikon Ltd was formed. C. Garner had previously been the agent for Ica and Ernemann; Peeling & Van Neck (which continued in business) had been the agent for Goerz. After the firm was wound-up Garner formed Garner & Jones which handled Ihagee in the UK.

    References: Lon. Gaz. 26/12/1930, p. 8334.

    Gask & Co
    Company NameArthur Gask & Co. 1933 -
    Arthur Gask Ltd 1928 - 1933
    Arthur Gask & Co. c.1924 - 1928 Possibly also as A.H. Gask

    Company Address50 Mortimer St. London 1932 -
    60 Conduit St. Regent St. London W c.1924 - 1932

    Retailer, especially of high quality cameras. Gask was previously a manager at London Stereoscopic.
    Company NameAlexis Gaudin 1861 - 1865 Importers
    Alexis Gaudin & Brother 1855 - 1861
    Alexis Gaudin 1854

    Company Address5 Sermon Lane. London 1859 - 1865
    26 Skinner St. London 1855 - 1859
    67 Newgate St. London 1854 And at 9 Rue De La Perle. Paris

    Gem Dry Plate
    Company NameGem Dry Plate Co. Ltd 1895 -

    Company AddressVilliers Rd. Willesden Green. 1895 - 92 or 92A Villiers Rd

    Established in January 1895, T.E.H. Bullen was Managing Director, T. Thorne Baker was chemist to the firm and, in 1904, a director. Bullen resigned in 1904. Curiously the company was wound up in 1901 and reformed.

    References: Phot. Dealer Aug/1903, p. 31. Lon. Gaz. 12/11/1901, p. 7321.

    Company NamePhoto Produits Gevaert
    Gevaert & Co.
    Gevaert Ltd. London office.

    Company Address115 Walmer Rd. London. W10. London c.1918 - c.1938 London office.
    26 & 27 Farringdon St. London 1909 - London office.

    Founded on 28th June 1894 by Lieven Gevaert (b.1869, d.1935). From 1899 their products were distributed in Britain by L. Trapp & Co. Budge Row London. In 1909 an office under their own name was opened in London.

    References: BJA 1910, p. 363. BJA 1936, p. 216. BJA 1954, p. 556.

    Goerz Optical Works Ltd.

    See also Peeling & Van Neck.
    Company NameGoerz Optical Works Ltd. 1908 - 1917
    Goerz Optical Works 1899 - 1908

    Company Address1-6 Holborn Circus London 1901 -
    4-5 Holborn Circus. London 1899 - 1901

    The firm handled the distribution of Goerz products in the UK, it was wound up during WW1 under the 'trading with the enemy' act. Paul Ponge was running the business when it was founded.

    References: Lon. Gaz. 6/2/1917, p. 1315. Phot. Dealer Jul/1899, p. 15. BT 31/18480/98680.


    Company NameRobert Gogerty Active 1837 - 1856 Optician and instrument maker

    Company Address72 Fleet St. London 1847 - 1856
    32 King St. Smithfield. London 1842 - 1847
    14 St John's Sq. Clerkenwell. London 1838 - 1842
    19 Gt. Sutton St. Clerkenwell. London 1837 - 1838

    Company NameI and A Gosling 1948 -
    Arthur G. Gosling - 1948 Established in 1935

    Company Address10 Princes St. Cavendish Sq. London - 1951 -
    Red Lion Sq. London 1946 -
    33 Feltham Av. East Molesey. Surrey Also at Ilford

    Manufactured an exposure meter.
    Company NameT.K. Grant Agents for Lumière

    Griffin & Sons
    Company NameGriffin & George Ltd
    Griffin & Tatlock Ltd 1930 -
    John J. Griffin & Sons Ltd - 1930 Ltd from before 1890
    John J. Griffin & Sons To after 1885
    John J. Griffin

    Company Address28 St John's Lane. London EC1 1942 -
    Kemble St/Kingsway Corner. London 1905 - 1942
    20 - 26 Sardinia St. London 1898 - 1905 From October 1898
    22 Garrick St. London WC - 1898
    2 Long Acre. London EC c.1893 - 1898
    10 Finsbury Sq. London Mid 1850s
    53 Baker St. London Prior to 1854
    119 Bunhill Row. London 1862 - Factory. Later factories at East Molesey and Clerkenwell
    119 & 120 Bunhill Row. London - 1862 Factory

    An 1854 catalogue mentions a Richard Griffin & Co. of Glasgow. The Playfair Collection catalogue states that the brothers Richard Thomas and John Joseph Griffin set up as dealers and manufacturers of chemical apparatus in Glasgow. This may have been as early as 1826 and was certainly before 1837 for which date there is an apparatus catalogue. The London branch was started around 1848.

    Charles Griffin was running the firm in 1885 when was discharged from bankruptcy. John Ross Griffin (d.1921), grandson of John Joseph G., worked at the firm at some point. For a short time, c.1890 - c.1892, Richard C. Murray managed the photographic side of Griffin. A.W. Green ran the photographic side from 1911 taking over from a Mr. Ibetson.

    Griffin's involvement in photographic supplies expanded in the late 1890s and early 1900s. They were distributors for Velox paper and still manufactured albumen paper. Griffin took over the sensitised paper business of J.D. Mucklow in 1900.

    References: Anderson, R G W. The Playfair Collection and the Teaching of Chemistry at the University of Edinburgh 1713 - 1858. The Royal Scottish Museum 1978. BJP 7/4/1911, p. 272. Lon. Gaz. 24/3/1885. Phot. Dealer Sep/1899, p. 38, has a article on Griffin and illustrates the Sardinia St. premises. A sensitising factory at Shepherd's Bush is mentioned. Phot. Dealer May/1900, p. 101. Phot. Dealer Sep/1902, p. 226, has an article on the Avern Works factory East Molesey.

    Further Information: A sliding box model with two widely spaced positions for the plate holder is in Christie's Cat. 25/11/1993 lot 372, (Finsbury Sq address).

    Company NameGriffiths Camera Co. Ltd. 1901 - 1905
    W. Griffiths & Co. Ltd. c.1891 - 1901
    Walter Griffiths - c.1891

    Company AddressHighgate Sq. Moseley St. Birmingham

    Griffiths' earliest advertisements are for photo-lithography and printing services. Enlargers were later sold as a speciality of the firm. In the 1890s cameras were patented and manufactured, in particular the Guinea detective camera. The limited company was formed in 1901 with capital of £2000 and wound up in 1905.

    References: Phot. Dealer Apr/1901, p. 97. Phot. Dealer Jun/1903, p. 159. Lon. Gaz. 4/7/1905, p. 4658.

    Company NameGrumel & Michel Active 1861 - 1867 Dealer, importer. Possibly Francois Remy Grumel who patented a type of photo. album

    Company Address96 Newgate St. London 1863 - 1867
    77 Hatton Gdn. London 1861 - 1863
  3. Ian Grant

    Ian Grant Subscriber

    Aug 2, 2004
    West Midland
    Multi Format
    It could well be a Ross lens, they redesigned their WA Symmetrical towards the end of the 1890's so it would be 1897 or earlier, the G may well be the Agents//Company who sold the lens. I have seen a Ross Wide Angle Portable Symmetrical without the Ross name on it.

    Rodd had links with Goerz and Ross making their lenses in the UK and for export to the British Empire.

  4. OP

    Whiteymorange Member

    Jul 27, 2004
    Boston area
    Multi Format
    And just as I was about to despair of receiving any information, I get a boat-load! Thank you, Mustafa and Ian. I have seen this symbol before, and I will keep looking through the collections of lenses I am most familiar with to find the other piece with this mark on it. Maybe that will settle it in my mind. I believe you may be right, Ian, in that it is a seller's rather than a maker's mark.