A Houghtons "Duchess" Half Plate camera - my latest restoration project
Seen here prior to a light restoration. As the camera is in reasonable condition it just needs a little French polish and the
brass work cleaning and polishing. The original brass tripod ring is missing from the bottom so a plate will be needed
with a modern tripod socket. In addition a second back will be fabricated to allow the use of modern 5"x4" film holders, & later
possible a third back for 7"x5".
Manufactured between 1906 & 1920 by Houghtons Ltd of High Holborn, London, the "Duchess" camera was part of a
range that included the "King", "Queen", "Empress", "Victo", "Victo-Superb", and "Tropical Victo".
The company also
manufactured a wide range of other types of camera as well as the Sanderson range of cameras. Later they merged with Butchers to form Houghton-Butcher
eventually changing their name to Ensign and manufacturing precision range finder roll film like the Commando as well as budget cameras like the Ful-Vue until the early 1960's.
There were no lens panels so two new ones are being fabricated.
The original focus screen had obviously been broken and replaced by a rather poor attempt at a home made screen, this was removed, the edges cleaned up and then re-ground.