BREAKING NEWSCollection de stéréoscope par Weber jean francois | Lyon lumière, c'est ce weeke... par Rémy LECO | Alain amateur de vieux appare... par Eric Carlhan | Bon anniversaire jean marc (cha) par Bernard Ladroue | Fred - nouveau et pas vraimen... par Sylvain Halgand | [majoral] agrandisseur solaire par Patrick FOURNERET | Porst cr7 par Sylvain Halgand | Présentation par Sylvain Halgand |
Houghton Ensignette n°1 favori envoyer Print
Photos by JM text by JM. From the collection of JM
France Version française

Chronology of the Houghton brand  New window

Manufactured in Grande-Bretagne from after 1911 until Circa 1920.
Index of rarity in France : Rare (among non-specialized garage sales)
Sold listing on Ebay.com New window
Inventory number: 4029

See the complete technical specifications New window
Houghton Ensignette n°1

Houghton has produced a large number of Ensignette variations (Adrian Richmond has counted 57!), Miniature camera designed by the Swedish engineer Magnus Neill (also designer of the Pocket Watch Camera  "Ticka"),developed during about ten years (1909 to 1920) and marketed until 1927. It has even existed some luxe models, e.g. silver plated or equipped with enhanced shutters and lenses.
This Klapp has met a great success. The version presented here is, according to McKeown's, the first in its variation after 1911. This is a basic model in black lacquered brass. The lens is a meniscus with a 11 aperture.
In the left circle on the front (camera held horizontally), it is written "Patent - 1907-28464" and in the right circle is shown the Union Jack with the name "Ensign" and "British made". Below the lens set out in small letters "Made by Houghtons Ltd. London." (take note of the S of Houghton).
The selection of the diaphragm (f 11, f 16 and f 22 - valves type diaph.) is on the front of the box to the left. The shutter is released at approx. 1 / 25th of a second.
The klapp struts, the trigger, the mode selector (Instant or Time) and small table leg are nickel plated.
The exposed film on brand specific film (# 1) is 1 ½ x 2 ¼ inches (approximately 4 x 6 cm). Kodak also produced from 1912 to 1941, a compatible format, 128 specially created in 1912 for Ensignette No. 1.
"The Ensignette became so popular that in 1913 Kodak took the unprecedented move of producing film for the Ensignette, the only time they manufactured a film specifically for use in another makers camera, Kodak film 128 fitted the No.1 and 129 fitted the No.2". 

According to Adrian Richmond from which is extracted the above quote, the Ensignette was a great commercial success because it was truly the first miniature camera that anyone, because it was cheap, could have in pocket. The Ensignette # 1 did have two successor families : the Ensignette # 2 (with a slightly larger format and also receive a film from Kodak, the No 129) and finally marketing a Ensignette accepting the film 127, so again a little bit smaller.