Flash Equipment & Lighting - Antique and Vintage Cameras

Kristall

1903

B.J. Edwards & Co. Ltd

London

England

Image of Kristall

Circular magnesium ribbon holder, scale of inches marked on circumference.

References & Notes:
Phot. Dealer Feb/1903, p. 54.

Pistol Flashmeter

c. 1910

Magnesium ribbon holder. Priced 9d.

With:
Box and magnesium.

References & Notes:
Butcher's British Cameras, p. 118. Photographic Fashions, p. 134.

Flashmeter

c. 1907

Circular magnesium ribbon holder. Priced 6d.

References & Notes:
Sinclair Cat, p. 97. N&G Cat. 1908, p. 145. N&G Cat. 1911, p. 154. Photographic Fashions, p. 134. Butcher's British Cameras, p. 118.

Boots Flasher

c. 1907

Boots

England

Circular magnesium ribbon holder.

Kodak Magnesium Ribbon Holder

Eastman Kodak Co.

Rochester

USA

  • Wedge-shaped holder in black and yellow.
  • Wedge-shaped ribbon holder in blue and cream.
Intended for use in printing but also suitable for camera work. Priced at 1/- in 1939.

Pocket Sunshine Lamp

1925

Boehm Werke

Germany

Image of Pocket Sunshine Lamp

Magnesium ribbon holder in a silver case similar to a cigarette case. This version has one flare. The price was 3/6.

Notes:
In Britain the lamp was sold by Pathe. Versions with two or five flares were also made.

With:
Ribbon.

References & Notes:
BJA 1927, pp. 327, 739.

Combined Ribbon Holder and Exposure Meter

c. 1929

Boehm Werke

Germany

Meter Type:
Extinction.

Two flare model. Also includes a tape measure.

Calibration:
Shutter speed 1/250 - 500s; Aperture: f3.5 - f36.

References & Notes:
BP 334220/1929.

Agfa Flash Lamp

Improved model

1909

Aktien Gesellschaft für Anilin Fabrikation

Berlin

Germany

Image of Agfa Flash Lamp

Small tray to hold flash powder, spring driven flint wheel. Removable handle.

Notes:
Importer's label on box: Chas. Zimmermann & Co. (Photographic) Ltd. 13 Bartlett's Buildings. Holborn Circus. London. EC.

With:
Box.

The original Agfa Flash Lamp used matches to ignite the powder, that method was replaced by a wheel turned by a spring moving against a flint. As well as being used in the hand a small stand could be attached in place of the handle and fired by a bulb or wire release. A version with a larger tray was also produced. The price was 4/9.

References & Notes:
BJA 1910, p. 669. BJA 1911, pp. 649, 650, 1033. Clemitson Cat. p. 73. DRP 230110.

Agfa Flash Lamp

Improved model

1909

Aktien Gesellschaft für Anilin Fabrikation

Berlin

Germany

Image of Agfa Flash Lamp

Small tray to hold flash powder, spring driven flint wheel. Removable handle.

Notes:
Retailer's label on box: J. Woodhouse, Birkenhead.

With:
Measuring spoon. Box.

Similar to the previous entry.

Flash Tray

c. 1911

A long tray to hold flash powder. Possibly the Houghton Spred Lite.

References & Notes:
BJA 1912, p. 710. Ensign Handbook, p. 83.

Kodak Amateur Flashlamp

c. 1923

Eastman Kodak Co.

Rochester

USA

Consists of a small tray to hold the flash powder which is tipped into a lighted taper held at one end of the tray. The tray and chemicals pack into the metal tube which is also a handle for the tray. The price in 1939 was 3/-.

References & Notes:
AP 2/1/1924, p. XV. Westminster Cat. 1939, p. 154.

White Band Flash Powder

White Band & Co.

England

One of the two tubes, B, is now missing. The contents of tubes A and B mixed together give the working flash powder.

Notes:
White Band was active from c. 1907 to c. 1927.

With:
Box and touch papers in envelope.

Johnsons Flash Powder

Johnson & Sons Manufacturing Chemists Ltd

London

England

  • 1 oz tin with touch paper in wrapper. Comprises two powders that are mixed together prior to use.
  • Two glass tubes and a packet of touch papers. 23 Cross Street address.

References & Notes:
Ensign Cat 1932, p. 87.

Sashalite

1932

Image of Sashalite

  • Flash bulb. Foil, bayonet cap. Two examples both in boxes marked GEC. The price in 1939 was 1/3.
  • Flash bulb. Foil, wax coated, small screw fitting. Two examples.

References & Notes:
BP 324578/1930. BP 357239/1931. BP 368383/1932. BP 368531/1932. BJA 1933, p. 268. Westminster Cat 1939, p. 157. Minit&Cine 1938, p. 243. GEC Cat. 1937, p. 40.

GEC No. 5 Flash Bulb

G.E.C.

London

England

Flash bulb. Wire. Eject fitting. Three examples in box.

Photoflux Flash Bulb

Phillips

Flash bulb. Type PF38E. Wire, Edison screw, blue safety spot. Three examples in box.

References & Notes:
Ensign Cat. 1934, p. 76. Ensign Cat. 1936, p. 68.

Mazda Type 5 Flash Bulb

Flash bulb. Wire, bayonet cap. In box of six.

Leitz Flash Unit

1951

E. Leitz G.M.B.H.

Wetzlar

West Germany

Image of Leitz Flash Unit

Consists of a folding fan, battery holder/condenser, synchroniser and lead, two-way connector with sheath.

With:
Ever-Ready battery. Box.

This works with the Leica 111c camera. The shutter speed dial of the camera is replaced with one incorporating a cam. The synchroniser fits over the normal shutter release button. On making the exposure the speed dial revolves and at a certain point makes contact with the synchroniser which closes a circuit and fires the flash. The shutter operates at 1/10s.

Code Names:
CAVOO F - flash gun. VACU - synchroniser. CUMOO, CNXOO - flash connector.

Gilbert Synchrogun

Durachrome Ltd

London

England

Consists of: reflector; camera bracket; battery holder; bulb adapter.

With:
Box.

References & Notes:
BJA 1947, p. 386.

Hakosyn

Synchroniser consisting of a cap fitting on the speed dial of a Leica which when rotated moves a trigger on the accessory shoe a conventional flash gun fits into the accessory shoe.

With:
Instructions. Case.

References & Notes:
BJA 1953, p. 243.

Wata Flash Calculator

Edmund Wateler

Braunschweig

West Germany

Dial type calculator, the film speed is set against the flash bulb type or the Guide No. is set against an index, the aperture can then be read against the subject distance. Calibrated: 3.5 - 60 feet, 1 - 20 m; f1.4 - f32; 12 - 800 ASA, 12 - 30 DIN.

With:
Instructions, wallet.

Solenoid Shutter Release

Graflex Inc.

Rochester

USA

This clips to the lens board and connects to the release lever of the shutter, the lower part connects to the flashgun. When the flash is triggered the solenoid moves downwards and pulls on the shutter release.

References & Notes:
US 2161355. US 2293477.

Ikoblitz 5

Zeiss-Ikon

Stuttgart

West Germany

Image of Ikoblitz 5

Compact flash unit for bulbs, the reflector folds into a streamlined plastic housing when not in use. Two versions were available, one with a normal accessory shoe and flash cable fitting, the other version fitted directly to sockets on the camera. Bounce flash facility. Guide number 20 - 250 (when measuring in feet), 10 - 80 (when measuring in metres).

Notes:
Retailer's label Holden, 51 Fishergate, Preston.

With:
Instructions, box.

Sportslight

1958

Ilford Ltd

Ilford

England

Flash unit for PF1 and PF5 bulbs, folding reflector of 3 ¾" diameter. Co-axial connector. Made in West Germany.

With:
Box.

References & Notes:
BJA 1959, p. 167.

Olympus Flash CL

Olympus Optical Co.

Tokyo

Japan

Flash unit for AG-1, AG-1B and AG-3N bulbs.

With:
Instructions, box.


Early use of magnesium and flash powder was limited to fairly specific circumstances such as a restricted location or where a portable light source was required. The smoke and debris produced, as well as the distraction of the flash, prevented their general use in studios where other light sources were used; ideas to burn the powder within a glass container did not materialise. There were early proposals to synchronise the camera shutter with a magnesium powder flash but usually an 'open flash' was used where the shutter was opened, the flash fired and the shutter closed.1 Greater use was made from the 1890s when amateurs started using the simpler devices coming on the market.2

Magnesium Ribbon Holders
Generally these consist of a reel of magnesium ribbon or, earlier, wire which can be moved either mechanically or by hand from a container. They date from the 1860s, though little used, fairly elaborate feeds such as clockwork were employed. By the 1900s simple, cheap, devices were being produced. The light produced was continuous, only dependent on the amount of ribbon. Also used in enlarging.

Magnesium Powder
These work by passing magnesium powder through a flame and date from the 1880s. The typical arrangement was to blow, by means of a rubber bulb, powder through a spirit flame producing a flash as opposed to a continuous light. The well-known Todd-Forrett lamp is of this type.3

Flash Powder
Flash Powder is magnesium powder mixed with potassium chlorate, unlike pure magnesium powder, flash powder is readily ignited by a spark, flint wheel or by a flame. Although there was some earlier suggestions for using additives with magnesium powder, wide use followed the publication of Gaedicke and Miethe's proposals.4 Available from the 1890s. A variant was to coat a wooden rod with flash powder which was then ignited.

Flash Bulbs
The earliest flash bulbs contained aluminium foil in a bulb of low pressure oxygen. Later wire was used in place of foil. Available from the early 1930s.

References & Notes:
Coe, Cameras has some good information on early equipment.

[1] Slingsby, BP 3571/1890. Hart, BP 2789/89.

[2] The price of magnesium fell considerably in the mid 1880s which may have increased its use in photography. BJA 1887.

[3] BP 10482/1891.

[4] BP 7035/1887.

Selo Lighting Set For Indoor Photography

1937

Ilford Ltd

Ilford

England

Image of Selo Lighting Set For Indoor Photography

Consists of: Anodised folding reflector; Stand and reflector holder; 3 yards of twin flex with bayonet cap, Bakelite lamp holder and plug adapter; Outside octagonal reflector cup; Inside octagonal cup; Instructions.

With:
Box.

The model introduced around 1935 had a fixed, spun aluminium, reflector, the version with a folding reflector was introduced in 1937.

References & Notes:
BJA 1936, p. 292. BJA 1938, p. 281.

Osram Photoflood Bulb

G.E.C.

London

England

220/230 volt, pearl, bayonet fitting.

Mazda Photoflood Bulb

220 volt, 230 watt.

Camera Accessories

Lens - Filters

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View-finders, View-meters

Rangefinders, Distance Meters

Focusing Magnifiers

Delayed-Action, Self-Timers

Levels

Tripods and Stands

Flash Equipment & Lighting

Close Up - Stands

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Miscellaneous