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Houghton Ensign Popular Reflex favori envoyer Print
Photos by RR text by RR. From the collection of RR
France Version française

Chronology of the Houghton brand  New window

Manufactured in Grande-Bretagne from after 1908 until prior to 1915.
Index of rarity in France : Rare (among non-specialized garage sales)
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Inventory number: 5370

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Houghton Ensign Popular Reflex

This unit is quite bulky and heavy. It is covered leather mahogany. It uses 6 x 9 cm plates, but it was also proposed a film pack. The choice of the horizontal or vertical images is by pivoting the plate holder.

As the maximum vertical focal plane shutter speed reaches 1/1000 of a second, the manufacturer recommends it for sports reporting.

The lens is interchangeable: telephoto lenses and an accessory for macro photography were offered. The shift in height of the entire lens holder is driven by a toothed lever.

A protective plate covers the lens when it is not used and once raised, it serves as a sun shade

The framing can be carried out from the top of the camera, or by the ground-glass at the back (first raising the mirror). The focussing is made by means of a knob on the side of the camera, which extend the bellows.

George Houghton and French Antoine Claudet (lens manufacturer) did create in 1836 the company Claudet and Houghton for manufacturing glasses, optical equipment, then later on photographic equipment.
The company has changed its name several times: George Houghton & Son (1867), Houghton's Limited (1904), Houghton-Butcher Manufacturing Co. (1915), Ensign Limited (1930) and other names until 1961, when Ross Ensign stopped activities..

This camera bears the name Houghton Limited, which suggests that it was built after 1904 and before 1915, but the patent on the shutter (15548-98) allows us to further specify the date: The shutter was designed by FP Whitehead and WF Giles in 1908.

A similar camera, the Popular Pressman was manufactured under the brand W. Butcher & Sons Ltd..