Is this the Houghton Mascot no. 1 ?
                    A "no Name" Magazine Detective Box camera

"Patent" impressed in the leather on the front and underneath the strap you'll find a mark in the shape of a penny which says "British Made" illuminated with a picture of a camera .No name of the manufacturer . So one has to look around and try to find a photo from a "look a like". And I found one on Carl & Annie pages. The camera is almost the same. Only the shape of the viewfinders differs from their camera. Mr. Eaton Lothrop found out that this camera might be a Mascot as the same camera with square front windows is shown in a 1905 listing.  Especial  the diaphragm dial on the outside of the box is very uncommon and rare. It has 4 options 11,16,22 and 32. To close the lens opening you can turn the disc on "Dust Cover".
Meniskus lens . Fix focus 11,4 cm

The unknown Magazine Detective Box Camera shining in all it's beauty after restoring.  Imagine you are looking at it in a window from a London Camera-shop in the first decade of the last century.

Recently I bought this camera in a desolate state. It was very dirty and one couldn't look through the finders. The mechanism to transport the plates was malfunctional and the lens was untransparent. Carefully I dismantled the box and I was surprised that I could not find one screw on the camera house with one exception, the one from the diaphragm dial. All the rest was NAILED. Inside on the back of the front cover I found the guillotine shutter and after cleaning it worked as new( 1/25 sec). Then I took care of the plate transport mechanism including the counter. I removed it from the camera house and cleaned it carefully in gasoline. A little bit of Vaseline has to keep it working for the next 50 years or so.  This magazine box detective has a simple but good working and reliable mechanism to transport the exposed plates down to the magazine.
To achieve this, the plates have notches on the upper side to allow the mechanism to pick them one by one. The notches at the bottom keeps the plate on a kind of rail, prohibiting them to stick. At last two bent steel springs  get them down smoothly. Cleaning the mirrors and the square finder-lenses was very easy and the result beautiful.
After that, it's a piece of cake to mount it together. (you have to use a hammer!) .
Then the finishing touch is to shoe-shine the box until it's in its old  "new condition"

As I said before, these are the cameras that gives you great satisfaction to restore, as it is not difficult at all. Everybody, not necessarily born with two left hands, can do the job.

Not a sign of a brand, but on top of the camera-house this little mark.

Front cover removed. Mirror and lenses asking for cleaning.

Back of the front cover as it came off from the camera.

1/4 plate, also called US Lantern Slide 8 x 10,5 cm .
The notches on the bottom of  the plate fit in the rail.
The mechanism on the upper side of the box drops  the plates one by one,  caused by the notches on the upper side of the plate .The 2 bent springs on the back of the front side breaks the fall of the plate.

Cut your 4 x 5"  sheet film to 8 x 10,5 cm, to fit into the holders. If there are still glass plates in the holders leave them and slide the film-sheet over  the glass plate (left picture).
Before shooting, check your shutter-speed.
Look for not fast moving subjects (perhaps a Basset ?) (1/25 sec) Bright daylight = Diaphragm 22.

keuze knop terug naar hoofd menu