British photographic history

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Hello everyone,

As a new member this is my first discussion. I'm looking for help with information on the latest addition to my camera collection. It's a half plate camera called "The Guildford" and made for Taylor's Drug co Ltd. Leeds and London. It's fitted with a Bausch & Lomb rectilinear lens in an Eastman triple action shutter. This may not be the original lens/shutter as the lens board has certainly been replaced. I can find nothing about this camera on the internet, so any info would be greatly appreciated. 

Thanks in advance,   Gerry.

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Hi Gerry,
At a guess I would say it's made by Thornton-Pickard. I believe the bigger retail outlets could commission their own versions of popular makes and that included being given the ability to rename the camera.
Looks very similar to T-P cameras that I've seen online but I don't have one. I do have a Lancaster Instantograph, a Sanderson Junior hand and stand, a 1/2plate Century Grand and until recently a Gundlach-Manhattan Criterion View (now at Manchester University Photographic department following my refurb from a complete wreck to a working camera).
Maybe you could have a look at some T-Ps online and compare the hardware especially.
Hope you get a satisfactory conclusion.

Hi Gordon,

Thanks very much for that info. I'd almost given up hope that anybody was going to reply. I shall certainly check out your suggestion and let you know how I get on.

Best regards,


Hi Gerry,
I'm on another forum site - just Google "Large Format Photography Forum" - there you will get more replies, many will conflict with each other, some will end up fighting and disagreeing violently but you may get to the bottom of it there.

Ps welcome!
Pps - would like to know final answer.

The Guildford is briefly reviewed in the Photography Annual of 1898, it was available as a camera body or as a 'set' which included a lens, roller-blind shutter and tripod. The company address is given as Guildford Street.

Hi Rob,

Thanks for that info, I looked through every one of the 1200 plus pages, but couldn't find the reference to the Guildford anywhere. Sorry to be a pain, but could you give me a clue as to where in the Annual it is. 

Best regards,



Must be a different book, this is the Photography Annual 1898 edited by Henry Sturmey pages 501 and 511. There is very little extra information and no advertisement unfortunately. But it gives a rough date for the camera.


Thanks Rob, I'll try and find an online version of the book and check it out.

Best regards,


I think you've already seen "The Albion" on ? Maybe made by Watkinson?


and scroll down to Watkinson. There was a connection between them and Taylor's.

Thanks very much for those links Gordon. I had seen one or two before when I was searching. I think it probably was made by Watkinson, but we may never know for sure.  

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