Sanderson Cameras

Sanderson cameras, both field and 'Hand and Stand' forms, are based on F.H. Sanderson’s patent of 1895. This describes how the lens board is held between two pairs of slotted struts, a screwed bolt, connected to the lens board, passes between the slots to clamp the lens board to the struts. When unclamped the lens board is free to move vertically, tilt and move forward or backwards. This allowed the photographer to roughly focus and compose the subject, then with the struts unclamped a single movement would move the lens board to critical focus and bring the rising front into play. On later models there would be pre-set catches to set the front standard in a vertical position.

The second aim of the Universal Swing Front was to allow the camera baseboard and therefore the tripod to remain level and do away with the necessity of tilting the camera and tilting the back. When taking subjects such as buildings a problem would be the amount of foreground shown on the screen, to overcome this the photographer would tilt the camera up, this will introduce converging verticals which was remedied by tilting the back so that it was vertical. In Sanderson’s design the camera bed is kept level and the lens is raised, for which there is ample rising front available, and tilted as required. A test took place in Cambridge in 1897, the results were widely reported in the photographic press and substantiate Sanderson’s claim for his camera over the use of tilting back models.

Frederick Herbert Sanderson was born in Cambridge in 1856, he worked as a cabinet maker and wood and stone carver. As a photographer he specialised in architectural subjects, not finding a suitable camera for his purposes led him to design the Universal Swing Front which is the basis of the Sanderson camera. He died in July 1929.

The cameras were sold by Houghton and made by Holmes Brothers of Islington who, at the time, were associated with G. Houghton & Son and later (1904) formed part of Houghtons Ltd.

Field Cameras

The original model appeared in 1895 and was shown at the RPS of that year, a year or so later an improved model, the ‘A’ pattern, was brought out. It was especially suitable for wide-angle work as the rear standard could be racked close to the lens and the front struts could tilt backwards and still have the lens board vertical. The double extension model was also very suitable for long-focus lenses, by use of the struts further extension was possible giving effectively a triple extension.

The compound front, fitted to the 'A' pattern, comprises a small removable circular lens panel fitting within a rectangular carrier which in turn fits into a large circular panel inset into the front standard. The large circular panel could revolve in the front standard and the rectangular carrier could shift within the circular panel. The result being that the lens could be shifted in any direction, it also gave the usual rise and cross front. This may have been easier to use but gave no more functionality than a normal rise and cross front.

In 1899 the Popular (later known as the Regular Popular) was introduced, this was a cheaper model than the ‘A’ and did not have the compound front.

In the late 1930s the Tropical model in the 12" x 10" size was the only Sanderson field camera still advertised, priced at £40 without a lens.

Original

Introduced in 1895. The camera at this time was known as "Sanderson's Universal Swing Front Camera" or, with the addition of the compound front, "Improved Universal Swing Front Camera". Two models were advertised - No. 1 and No. 2 - presumably for single and double extension.

  • Universal Swing Front.
  • Rear standard attaches directly to baseboard without pivoting to close the camera.
  • Without struts to the rear standard.
  • Baseboard hinges to close camera. Loose panel in baseboard slides across hinge to lock in place.
  • Single or double extension. The focusing knob is at either the front (double extension) or rear (single extension) of the bed.
    On single extension models the rear standard moves on a short rack.
    Double extension model - rear standard slides on baseboard and is clamped by vertical rods passing through the standard.
  • Square cornered bellows.
  • Dovetail joints on rear standard.
VersionDateCharacteristics
1895
  • Large, plain, lens panel.
  • Front struts possibly curved.
1895/96
  • Compound front secured by lever.
  • Front struts are straight.

References:
BJA 1896, p. 1339. Phot. Journal 1895, p. 22.

A Pattern

Introduced in 1896 (the term 'A' was used to describe the camera shown at the RPS late in that year. A model 'B' is also mentioned and, confusingly, a model 'C'). The 'A' was available in single or double extension versions, illustrations of the time show the double extension model had a modern look with a rear standard that pivoted onto the baseboard. Woodcut illustrations of the single extension show a model similar to the Original with the rear standard not pivoting. The single extension version could, then, be similar to the Original or, more probably, old woodcuts were used. In their 1899 catalogue Houghtons state that they have a few of the Original No. 1 and No. 2 models still available; this indicates that they saw a distinct difference between the Original and the model 'A', which lends weight to the idea that the 'A' introduced the pivoting rear standard and the woodcuts of the single extension 'A' model are incorrect.

The ‘A’ could be adapted for stereo use either by replacing the removable panel that held the compound front and replacing it with a simple panel holding two lenses or by using a single lens and the cross front movement. If the single lens arrangement was used the back would be adapted to take a sliding panel to block off one half of the plate.

  • Compound front.
  • Double or single extension. Pinion on rear standard if single extension.
  • Dovetail joints.
VersionDateCharacteristics
1896
  • Rear standard pivots on to baseboard to close camera.
  • Single extension model may have retained the non-pivoting rear standard as on the Original model. (See comments above).
  • Compound front secured by lever.
  • Short strut to rear standard.
  • Rack on single extension model extended closer to front standard.
  • Without front standard bolts.
  • Square cornered bellows.
By 1897
  • Wooden front strut on large sizes.
1901
  • Tallbody feature.
  • Rack and pinion movement on compound front.
  • Brass binding option.
1902
  • Sliding catch to lock front standard struts in vertical position.
  • Early front standard bolts.
  • Front standard has one wooden strut.
  • Curved or angled rear struts.
  • Side swing to back.
c.1904
  • Only double extension.
  • Diagonal cornered bellows.
  • Short strut added to front struts to lock them into vertical position.
  • Pinion on rear standard of double extension model.
1910
  • Facility to lock front standard forks in forward position. The struts are connected to a quadrant shaped plate.
Sizes:
In-stock sizes were 3 ¼" x 4 ¼" to 15" x 12".

References:
BJA 1897, p. 1312. BJA 1899, p. 416. BJA 1902, p. 376. BJA 1906, p. 339. BJA 1911, p. 305. YBP 1898, pp. 151, 481. Houghton Cat. 1899, p. 271. Houghton Cat. 1901, p. 282. Houghton Cat. 1903, p. 360. Phot. Journal 1896, p. 32.

B Pattern

Introduced in 1896. Only sold for a few years.

  • Single extension.
  • No compound front.
  • 'Struts fold inside camera'.
Sizes:
Quarter-plate, half-plate and whole-plate.

References:
Houghton Cat. 1899, p. 279. Phot. Journal 1896, p. 32.

Introduced in 1899. Quarter-plate models continued to use metal struts after the introduction of a wooden strut in the larger sizes. The cross front movement was also not fitted to smaller sizes, this left a plain lens board looking much like those fitted to the 'Hand & Stand' models.

  • Universal Swing Front.
  • Double extension.
  • Optional turntable.
  • Finger joints.
VersionDateCharacteristics
1899
  • Square cornered bellows.
  • Very tall lens panel with brass retaining strip.
  • Without front standard bolts.
  • Straight rear struts.
1901
  • Tallbody feature.
  • Brass binding option.
1902
  • Early pattern front standard bolts.
  • Sliding catch to lock front standard struts in vertical position.
  • Curved or angled rear struts.
1903
  • Cross front panel added.
c.1904
  • Diagonal cornered bellows.
  • Short strut added to front struts to lock them into vertical position.
  • Pinion on rear standard.
1910
  • Facility to lock front standard forks in forward position. The struts are connected to a quadrant shaped plate.
Sizes:
Originally available in quarter-plate, to whole-plate sizes, later increased to 15" x 12".

References:
BJA 1900, pp. 274, 896. BJA 1902, p. 376. BJA 1905, p. 340. BJA 1906, p. 340. BJA 1911, p. 305. Houghton Cat. 1899, p. 288. Houghton Cat. 1901, p. 282. Houghton Cat. 1903, p. 366.

Royal

Introduced in 1901.

Only sold for around 1 year.

  • Compact version of Popular with narrow rear standard
  • Rear standard fixed to baseboard.
  • Optional turntable.
Sizes:
Half-plate

References:
Houghton Cat. 1901, p. 329.

Introduced in 1902.

  • Single extension version of Poplar with very thin baseboard

References:
BJA 1903, p. 375.

Introduced in 1903.

  • Without independent rising front.
  • Square cornered bellows.
  • One wooden front standard.
  • Short strut to front struts to lock them into vertical position.
  • Early pattern front standard bolts.
  • Curved rear struts.

Tropical

Introduced in 1904.

  • Teak version of Popular.
  • Diagonal cornered bellows.
  • Tallbody feature.
  • Cross front panel.
  • Side swing to back.
  • Rack and pinion movement to rear standard.
VersionDateCharacteristics
1904
  • Short strut to front struts to lock them into vertical position.
1910
  • Facility to lock front standard forks in forward position.

References:
BJA 1905, p. 341. BJA 1911, p. 305.

Hand & Stand

The first model 'Hand & Stand' Sanderson appeared in 1899. It incorporated the Sanderson swing front which had proved successful on the Sanderson field cameras. In 1902 the Original model was improved and named the Regular. At the same time other models were introduced:

  • De Luxe - Similar to the Regular but having the Tallbody feature.
  • Tourist - A more compact camera with a shorter body.
  • Roll-film - Essentially a Regular with a permanent roll-holder attached. Shaped like the Kodak Cartridge cameras.

Other models followed in later years:

  • Junior - A simplified model.
  • Tropical - Made of teak, rather than mahogany and intended for the tropics and other extreme climates.
  • Post-Card - When introduced this was a separate model. From 1911 it was a size within the Regular, de Luxe and Tropical models.
  • Tropical de Luxe - Although not advertised a few of these cameras exist, they have the features of the de Luxe but are not leather covered. They are of teak or heavily brass bound Spanish mahogany.

The 'Hand and Stand' models were continually improved until around 1910 when little further was changed until 1928 when the Regular model was updated with a revolving back and a finish of black and nickel. That model was still advertised to the late 1930s.

Original

Introduced in 1899.

  • Leather covered mahogany body, polished interior.
  • Very early models have a fine pebble finish leather covering, later the grain is more pronounced.
  • Lacquered brass fittings on interior, blackened exterior.
  • Early front standard struts.
  • Square cornered bellows.
  • No wide-angle rack.
  • Type 1 wide-angle flap catch.
  • Type 1 front standard lock.
  • Without front standard bolts.
  • Lens panel held by swivelling clips.
  • Friction rising front.
  • Straight cut rack & pinion on extension slide.
  • Type 1 back catch.
VersionDateCharacteristics
1st version1899
  • Solid brass extension rack. Without infinity stop.
2nd versionc.1900
  • Extension slide changed to wood with brass strips.
3rd versionc.1901
  • Bow spring infinity catch added to extension slide.
Sizes:
Quarter-plate, 5" x 4", half-plate (c.1900), 9 x 12cm, 13 x 18 cm.

References:
BJA 1900, p. 271. BJA 1901, p. 911. Phot. Journal 1899, p. 25. Houghton Cat. 1899, p. 244. Houghton Cat. 1901, p. 208.

Regular

Introduced in 1902.

  • Leather covered mahogany body, polished interior.
  • Lacquered brass fittings on interior, blackened exterior.
  • Later front standard strut arrangement.
VersionDateCharacteristics
19021902
  • Finger grip recesses in back.
  • Square cornered bellows
  • No wide-angle rack.
  • Type 2 wide-angle flap catch.
  • Type 1 front standard lock.
  • Type 2 'Cotton reel' grip incorporating infinity spring with studs on extension slide.
  • Early pattern front standard bolts.
  • Lens panel held by sliding plate.
  • Friction rising front.
  • Type 1 back catch.
c.1904
  • Diagonal cornered bellows.
  • Type 2 back catch.
c.1904
  • Without finger recesses.
c.1904
  • One piece of brass on extension slide.
19071907
  • Type 2, ring shaped clamp to front standard.
  • Type 3 infinity catch.
  • Tongue & groove lens panel without sliding plate.
c.1908
  • Wide-angle rack added.
  • Rack & pinion rising front.
19091909
  • Central catch to reversing back. Type 3.
  • Late front standard bolts. From 1909/1910.
Last
model
1928
  • Black finish to the wood and nickel or blued metal parts.
  • Revolving back.
  • Type 4 - wide-angle flap catch.
Sizes:
Quarter-plate, 5" x 4", half-plate, post-card (c.1911), 9 x 12cm, 13 x 18 cm.

References:
BJA 1902, p. 372. BJA 1903, p. 372. BJA 1906, p. 336. BJA 1908, p. 282. BJA 1909, p. 289. BJA 1910, pp. 288, 719. BJA 1917, p. 160. YBP 1903, p. 469. Photograms of the Year 1928, p. 29.

De Luxe

Introduced in 1902, though it was shown at the RPS exhibition in the autumn of 1901, which may indicate that the camera was being sold in late 1901.

  • Leather covered mahogany body, polished interior.
  • Lacquered brass fittings on interior, blackened exterior.
  • Later front standard strut arrangement.
  • Tallbody feature.
  • Type 2 or 3 wide-angle flap catch.
  • Lens panel held by sliding plate. The lens is mounted below the centre of the panel, it has a rack on both ends so that it can be inverted so bringing the lens towards the top of the front standard.
  • Rack & pinion rising front.
  • Type 2 back catch.
  • Removable focusing hood.
VersionDateCharacteristics
1902
  • Type 1 front standard lock.
  • Type 2 'Cotton reel' grip incorporating infinity spring with studs on extension slide.
  • Early front standard bolts.
  • Square cornered bellows.
c.1904
  • Locking wheel to rising front.
  • Diagonal cornered bellows.
1906
  • Type 3 front standard lock.
  • Type 3 bow spring infinity catch.
  • Wide-angle rack added.
1910
  • Late front standard bolts.
Sizes:
Quarter-plate, 5" x 4", half-plate, post-card (c.1911), 9 x 12cm, 13 x 18 cm.

References:
BJA 1902, p. 374. BJA 1907, p. 330. BJA 1908, p. 285. BJA 1910, p. 289. Houghton Cat. 1903, p. 282. Phot. Journal 1901, p. xxiii.

Tropical de Luxe

  • Lacquered brass fittings.
  • Later front standard strut arrangement.
  • Tallbody feature.
  • Type 2 or 3 wide-angle flap catch.
  • Lens panel held by sliding plate.
  • Rack & pinion rising front.
  • Type 2 back catch.
  • Removable focusing hood.
VersionDateCharacteristics
n.d.
  • Polished Spanish mahogany with brass binding.
  • Type 1 front standard lock.
  • Type 2 'Cotton reel' grip incorporating infinity spring with studs on extension slide.
  • Early front standard bolts.
  • Diagonal cornered bellows, possibly square cornered fitted to early models.
n.d.
  • Type 3 front standard lock.
  • Type 3 infinity catch.
n.d.
  • Polished teak with brass binding.
  • Type 2 front standard lock.
  • Type 3 infinity catch.
  • Early front standard bolts.
  • Diagonal cornered bellows.

Tropical

Introduced in 1904.

  • Polished teak body.
  • Lacquered brass fittings.
  • Type 2 wide-angle Flap Catch.
  • Later front standard strut arrangement.
  • Diagonal cornered bellows.
VersionDateCharacteristics
1904
  • Wooden extension slide with brass strips.
  • Type 1 or Type 4 front standard lock .
  • Type 2, 'Cotton reel' grip incorporating infinity spring with studs on extension slide or
    Type 3 infinity catch.
  • Early pattern front standard bolts.
  • Tongue & groove lens panel.
  • Friction rising front.
  • No wide-angle rack.
  • Type 1 back catch.
c.1904
  • One piece of brass on extension slide.
c.1906
  • Type 2 back catch.
1907
  • Type 2 front standard lock.
1909
  • Wide-angle rack added.
  • Rack & pinion rising front.
  • Type 3 back catch.
c.1910
  • Late front standard bolts.
Sizes:
Quarter-plate, 5" x 4", half-plate, post-card (c.1911), 9 x 12cm, 13 x 18 cm.

References:
BJA 1905, p. 341. BJA 1906, p. 337. BJA 1907, p. 339. BJA 1908, p. 284. BJA 1910, p. 289.

Junior

Introduced in 1903.

  • Morocco leather or Seal grain leather covered mahogany body, polished interior.
  • Lacquered brass fittings on interior, blackened exterior.
  • Later front standard strut arrangement.
  • Type 1 front standard lock.
  • Type 1 or 2 back catch.
VersionDateCharacteristics
1903
  • Square cornered bellows.
  • Small, square, lens panel with sliding plate at top.
  • Finger grip recesses in back on some examples.
c.1904
  • Normal lens panel with sliding plate at side.
  • Friction rising front.
n.d.
  • Tongue & Groove lens panel.
  • Diagonal cornered bellows.
n.d.
  • Type 2, ring shaped clamp to front standard.
  • Without finger recesses.
1910
  • Late front standard bolts.
Sizes:
Quarter-plate, 5" x 4", half-plate.

References:
BJA 1905, p. 338. Houghton Cat. 1903, pp. 280, 284.

Roll-Film

Introduced in 1902.

  • Leather covered mahogany body, polished interior.
  • Lacquered brass fittings on interior, blackened exterior.
  • Later strut arrangement to front standard.
  • Type 2 wide-angle Flap Catch.
  • Diagonal cornered bellows.
VersionDateCharacteristics
Early version
  • Wooden extension slide with brass strips.
  • Type 1 front standard lock.
  • Type 2 ‘Cotton reel’ grip infinity catch.
  • Early front standard bolts.
  • Lens panel held by sliding plate.
  • Friction rising front.
  • No wide-angle rack.
Late version1903
  • Cross front added.
c.1904/05
  • One piece of brass on extension slide instead of brass strips.
1907
  • Type 2, ring shaped clamp to front standard.
  • Tongue & groove lens panel.
  • Type 3 infinity catch.
1908
  • Wide-angle rack added.
1909
  • Rack & pinion rising front.
1910
  • Late front standard bolts.
Sizes:
Quarter-plate (Kodak size 119), 5" x 4" (size 104), half-plate (size 115).

References:
BJA 1903, p. 374. BJA 1905, p. 339. YBP 1903, p. 470. Houghton Cat. 1903, p. 283.

Tropical Roll-Film

Introduced around 1909.

  • Polished teak body.
  • Lacquered brass fittings.
  • Later strut arrangement to front standard.
  • Type 2 wide-angle Flap Catch.
  • Diagonal cornered bellows.
  • Cross front.
  • One piece of brass on extension slide instead of brass strips.
  • Type 2, ring shaped clamp to front standard.
  • Tongue & groove lens panel.
  • Type 3 infinity catch.
  • Wide-angle rack.
  • Rack & pinion rising front.

Tourist

Introduced in 1902. The Tourist has a shorter body than the Regular model, this was achieved by shortening the bellows and fitting diagonal cornered bellows. It was advertised as being suitable for ladies and travellers. Two other examples are known with similar serial numbers.

  • Focusing wheel in middle of baseboard.
  • Bellows only extend to 12" rather than 14 ½" on the quarter-plate model. Body depth is reduced by ⅝".
  • Diagonal cornered bellows.
  • Flatter focusing screen back without side pieces to hood.
  • n.d. Normal position of focusing wheel.
Sizes:
Quarter-plate, 5" x 4", half-plate.

References:
BJA 1903, p. 372. Houghton Cat. 1903, p.281.

Post-Card

Introduced in 1905. From 1911 the Post-Card was included as a size in the Regular, de Luxe and Tropical range.

  • 1908 Wide-angle rack added.
  • 1909 Rack & pinion rising front.

References:
BJA 1906, p. 338. BJA 1907, p. 330.

Identification Points

Strut Arrangement - Hand & Stand

  • Original - The struts consisted of two arms each side of the front standard, one had a curved slot the other straight. A screw attached to the lens board passed through the slots allowing the lens board to be clamped to the struts by means of a nut. Loosening the nut freed the struts and allowed the lens board to move up, down, forward, backwards and tilt. To easily set the lens board in the vertical position there are two hinges on the bottom of the front standard, when raised the lens board slots into these and can only move vertically, when lowered the struts are free to move and the lens board can pivot.
  • Later - From 1902 the struts consist of one straight and one bent arm, both slots are straight. These operate in a similar way to the Original arrangement. The vertical setting is maintained by a small leaf spring attached to the outer struts, a stud attached to the spring engages a hole in each strut. A lever can lift the spring so allowing the struts, together with the lens board, to tilt. The lens board clamps to the struts as before. Two spring-loaded bolts engage in the slots of the struts, by disengaging the bolts the lens board can tilt independently of the struts, such as when the struts are fixed forward to give extra extension.

Extension slide - Hand & Stand

  • Original - Solid brass, only found on very early models of the Original.
  • Wood with separate brass strips at the edges and centre of the slide.
  • A single piece of brass is used with a cross piece in the centre. On some cameras the underside of the slide where it grips the baseboard is aluminium, generally it is wood.
  • As above but without the cross piece.
  • Early models, up to c.1902, had a straight cut rack and pinion after this it was diagonal. On some models two racks are present rather than a single central rack.

Front Standard Lock - Hand & Stand

  • Type 1 - a screw attached to the front standard presses onto the focusing rack.
  • Type 2 - a lever, with 'O' shaped handle, clamps the front standard to the side of the focusing rack.
  • Type 3 - the handle of the lever is changed to a solid knob.
  • Type 4 - a screw attached on the front standard is attached to a brass plate that runs in a channel in the extension slide. Tightening the screw clamps the plate to the extension slide. This arrangement was used on half-plate models.

Infinity Catch - Hand & Stand

  • Type 1 - fixed bow springs on the focusing rack engage studs on the front standard.
  • Type 2 - the studs are now on the extension rack and engages a large spring attached to the front standard. The spring has a 'cotton reel' finger grip. Introduced in 1902.
  • Type 3 - a bow spring attached to the focusing rack is used (similar to Type 1) the spring can be swung out of line when not required, it can also be adjusted to the exact focus of the lens.
  • Type 4 - the bow spring is attached to the baseboard. Found on very late models.

Front Standard Bolts - Hand & Stand

  • Early - the bolt moves in a slot shaped like an upside down 'L'.
  • Late - the slot has an angled section. The change was made around 1910.

Lens Panel Retainer - Hand & Stand

  • Original - the lens panel is retained by two swivelling clips. Found only on the Original model.
  • Early - the lens panel is retained by a sliding plate attached to the lens board.
  • Late - the lens panel has a tongue which engages a groove in the lens board.

Rising Front - Hand & Stand

In early models the lens panel was held by friction, later a rack & pinion was added. On some de Luxe cameras there was also a clamping nut on the pinion.

Lens Panel - Hand & Stand

  • Regular - when fitted, the rack of the rising front is at the top left of the panel.
  • De Luxe - the lens panel has a rack at the top left and bottom right, the lens is mounted in the panel off centre so that the panel can be inverted giving greater movement.
  • Junior - early models of the Junior had a square lens panel.

Wide-angle Rack - Hand & Stand

Early models could be used for wide-angle work by disengaging the front standard struts and dropping the bed, the lens board could then be tilted back close to the focusing screen. Later a short bed was added to the back of the camera with a rack & pinion movement. The handle of the pinion came in two forms.

  • Type 1 pinion handle, contoured.
  • Type 2 pinion handle, smooth. This pre-dates the contoured handle, the change to the Type 1 handle was made around 1910.

Wide-angle Flap Catch - Hand & Stand

  • Type 1 - Catches on underside of flap. Only found on the Original model.
  • Type 2 - 'L' shaped spring on the side of camera engages a slot in a plate on top of the flap. On roll-film models the spring is straight and extends from the bellows chamber. On some de Luxe models the spring is straight as the wide-angle flap extends the width of the camera.
  • Type 3 - 'L' shaped spring on top of flap engaging a pin on the side of the camera. Found on some models of the Junior and de Luxe models.
  • Type 4 - Eccentrically mounted discs on the underside of the flap. Found on late models only.

Reversing Back Catch - Hand & Stand

  • Type 1 - The back is retained by 'L' shaped catches at the corners on top of the camera.
  • Type 2 - The catches are similar but on the side of the camera.
  • Type 3 - The catches are on the top of the camera and linked so that pressing a central button releases both catches.

Dark-Slide Fitting - Hand & Stand

  • Early - The dark-slide and focusing screen push into grooves in the reversing back and are held by large bow springs.
  • Late - A spring loaded catch is added that presses into a notch in the side of the slide. Introduced before 1909.

Focusing Screen - Hand & Stand

  • Hooded - The focusing screen is a single unit with a hinged cover with flexible sides forming a hood.
  • Simple - As above but without the flexible sides. Present on some plate back adapters for the Roll-Film model.
  • De Luxe - The hooded cover unclips from the frame carrying the glass.

Closing Catch - Hand & Stand

The camera is held in the closed position by a spring on the underside of the wide-angle flap engaging a notch in the baseboard.

  • Early - Wedge shaped spring held by two screws. At first this was of brass but was nickel plated during the Original model period. Shown as Type 1 below.
  • Later - 'T' shaped spring made of brass held by three screws. Introduced during the '1902' version.
  • Very Late - nickel plated 'T' shaped spring held by three screws. At some point the position of the screws changed to that shown below. Shown as Type 4.

Reversing Frame Shape - Hand & Stand

  • Early - the back has a curved section, present on the Original model.
  • Later - without curved section.

Finger Recess - Hand & Stand

Some models have a recess at the back of the body to help grip the dark-slide.

Model Plaque - Hand & Stand

A small brass plaque is found at the lower edge of the lens panel on some cameras, this carries the model type - Regular, Tropical or De Luxe. However it is not always correct.

Front Strut - Field

  • Both struts are brass on very early models they are curved later straight.
  • One strut is brass the other wood.

Front Strut Lock - Field

  • None.
  • Vertical sliding catch on one of the struts engages the plate to which the struts are hinged.
  • Short strut hinged to one of the main struts hooks onto the focusing rack.
  • Struts are attached to a quadrant shaped plate that is screwed to the focusing rack. A spring operated rocking plate pivoted on one of the struts engages notches in the plate. The notches position the struts in the vertical and extreme forward position.

Rear Strut - Field

  • None.
  • Straight, simple arrangement of clipping to a stud on the rear standard.
  • Curved with slot.
  • Angled with slot.

Rear Focusing Rack - Field

On some models the rear standard moves along a rack.

Swing Back - Field

The usual method of clamping the rear standard to the baseboard where two screws tightened the rear strut to the side of the camera gave limited swing movement, this would not be possible when the rear standard was fitted with a focusing rack. Some models had a separate arrangement of two hinged extension plates each side of the camera.

Front Standard - Field

Some typical front standards are shown below. The Tropical is similar to late Popular models fitted with a cross font.

Front Standard Bolts - Field

  • Early - the bolt moves in a slot shaped like a deformed 'L' with a small projecting piece. Different to those fitted to early Hand & Stand models.
  • Late - the slot has an angled section similar to that fitted to the Hand & Stand models.

Collapsing - Field

On the Original model the baseboard hinges to close the camera. A loose panel in the baseboard slides across the hinge to lock the baseboard in place.

Rising Front Indicator - Field and Hand & Stand

  • Early - there are two index lines one on the lens panel the other on the fixed lens board or struts.
  • Later - one of the index lines is carried on a small ivorine plate.

Tallbody - Field and Hand & Stand

Tallbody feature to prevent bunching of the bellows from obscuring the image.

Name Plaque - Field and Hand & Stand

Trade Mark Plaque - Field and Hand & Stand

On some cameras there is a circular Trade Mark plaque.

  • Pre 1911 this consisted of a letter N inside a hanging shield.
  • From 1911 the word Ensign was placed inside a British (Ensign) flag.

'Patent' - Field and Hand & Stand

The struts sometimes carry the words Sanderson's Patent or Patents. This is either in upright or slanted script.

  • Pre 1902 - Sanderson's Patent (singular) in upright script.
  • From 1902 - Sanderson's Patents in slanted script.
  • Later - Sanderson's Patents in upright script. The change over to this form occurred around serial numbers 13,000 and 16,000 but not at a definite number. This corresponds to c.1906/07.
  • Very Late - not present.

Bellows - Field and Hand & Stand

  • Square cornered.
  • Diagonal corners.

Patents

613/1895 Sanderson front standard support struts.

20860/1900 Use of spring plate and studs to locate the front standard on the baseboard.

20862/1900 Tallbody feature to prevent bunching of the bellows from obscuring the image.

114/1901 Device to set the front standard at any angle. Covers the front standard bolts.

2442/1902 Method of inserting and retaining film spools.

17408/1904 Mostly covers the Tudor range of cameras but also shows the method of clamping the front standard to the focusing rack used on the Sanderson.

14916/1907 Describes a spring operated rocking plate pivoted on one of the front standard struts that engages notches in a slide plate. The notches position the strut in the vertical and extreme forward position. Used on Sanderson field cameras.

19108/1907 Describes a mechanism that releases the catches to a reversing back by use of a central button. Used on Sanderson cameras.

References & Notes

A lot of the dating and classification of Sanderson features is taken from Terry Chalk's work, a summary of which appeared in "The British Hand & Stand Camera Exhibition Catalogue". Ted Holmes provides some interesting information on Sanderson and illustrates several models.

Falchenberg, "The British Hand & Stand Camera Exhibition Catalogue", 1987. BJA 1930, p. 301. Holmes, "An Age of Cameras".

Field Cameras

Original

A Pattern

B Pattern

Popular (Regular Popular)

Royal

Compact Popular

Junior Popular

Tropical

Hand & Stand

Original

Regular

De Luxe Tropical de Luxe

Tropical

Junior

Roll-Film Tropical Roll-Film

Tourist

Post-Card

Identification Points

Patents

References & Notes

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