Information and discussion on all aspects of British photographic history
I am trying to discover whether writing on a dark slide I have can help in any way to identify its origins. I have a mahogany and brass double dark slide, half plate size (for film 4.75 x 6.5 inches). In black lettering 1/4inch tall at one end of the slide is written "A.P.8819". It looks as though the lettering has been done by a professional sign writer in black enamel paint. The high number - 8819 suggests that this was not simply a photographer with the initials AP numbering his or her dark slides. The dark slide doesn't have a maker's name on it. Inside there is a matt black painted tin spacer - part of the mechanism to hold the film in place, which has stamped on it A.D.PATT. F5/8745. Does any of this ring any bells with anyone please? Any suggestions gratefully received. Thanks. Les Waters email@example.com
The initials could stand for many things, but I suspect that it might be for Arthur Pentose (later became Hunter-Penrose).
Arthur Penrose started business in 1893, and died in 1913.
You are a star - this makes sense now. Many thanks
I am reasonably confident that it is of the right period, especially with the brass corner reinforcements.
Any chance you have a camera to go with it ?
Hi.. The AP marking is nothing to do with A P Penrose / Hunter-Penrose. The AP plus number is seen on photographic, scientific and other items purchased by government. My understanding is that the AP signifies the purchasing body e.g. AM=Air Ministry and the number the contract number. AP stands for Admiralty Pattern. Their number started in 1885 but I do not know of any published list relating to photographic equipment or where to go to check for these.
The designation is seen on cameras and photographic equipment from the first world world to at least the 1950s e.g. Reid & Sigrist 35mm cameras. W Watson and Sons certainly supplied tailboard cameras to government.
Hope that helps.
Aha - even more complicated than I thought. This came from an old camera shop which bought govt surplus photographic materials after WW2 - which fits with your suggestion Michael. Unfortunately I don't have the camera to go with it. Thanks for solving the mystery for me. Les