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Ross Ensign 16 – 20 Camera

October 22, 2010 1 comment

Ensign
  • In 1834 George Houghton joined the Frenchman Antoine Claudet to manage a glass warehouse in London, under the name Claudet & Houghton. It became George Houghton & Son in 1867, then George Houghton & Sons in 1892.

The company’s headquarters at 88/89 High Holborn were called Ensign House in 1901, and the production of the roll film brand Ensign began in 1903. The first Ensign logo was a shop sign with the letter “N” inside, and was replaced in 1911 by the name ENSIGN written inside the British marine flag.

  • In 1903, the company was incorporated as George Houghton & Sons Ltd., and in March 1904 it absorbed Holmes Bros. (the maker of the Sanderson cameras), A. C. Jackson, Spratt Bros. and Joseph Levi & Co., to form Houghtons Ltd. The new company carried on the production of the smaller companies it had absorbed, and notably continued production of the Sanderson cameras until 1939.

In the early 1900s the company built a factory for the production of cameras on the Fulbourn Road in Walthamstow. In 1908 this was the biggest British camera factory.

Houghton was a renowned maker of magazine cameras like the Klito. Another characteristic product of Houghton was the Ensignette, a folding camera developed by the Swedish engineer Magnus Neill.

  • In 1915, Houghtons Ltd. came into a partnership with W. Butcher & Sons Ltd, founding the joint venture Houghton-Butcher Manufacturing Co., Ltd. to share the manufacturing facilities. (This agreement was essential for Butcher, which had no manufacturing plant and was mainly trading imported German cameras before the outbreak of World War I.) The two companies Houghtons and Butcher continued to trade separately, and the camera designs remained distinct.

The two trading companies finally merged on January 1st, 1926 to form Houghton-Butcher (Great-Britain) Ltd., which was renamed Ensign Ltd. in 1930. (The manufacturing company based at Walthamstow kept the name Houghton-Butcher Manufacturing Co., Ltd. until 1945.) The new trading company kept many of Houghtons and Butcher’s camera ranges. In 1939 it introduced the Ensign Ful-Vue box camera, one of the most popular cameras of its time in the UK.

The headquarters of the trading company Ensign Ltd. were destroyed by an air raid on the night of September 24–5, 1940. The assets of this company were taken over by Johnson & Sons, but the trademark Ensign was kept by the manufacturing company Houghton-Butcher Manufacturing Co., Ltd., which assumed the advertising and distribution of the Ensign cameras alone until 1945.

  • In 1945, Houghton-Butcher Manufacturing Co., Ltd. associated with the film maker Elliott & Sons Ltd. (maker of the film brand “Barnet”) and became Barnet Ensign Ltd. In 1948 Ross and Barnet Ensign were merged to Barnet Ensign Ross Ltd., which was finally renamed Ross-Ensign Ltd. in 1954.

After World War II, the company soon abandoned the sophisticated Ensign Commando rangefinder camera and continued the range of Ensign Selfix and Ensign Autorange folding cameras, while introducing new models like the Ensign Ranger or the Snapper. Among simpler cameras, a new version of the Ensign Ful-Vue was released in 1946, which was further developed to the Ful-Vue Super and Fulvueflex pseudo-TLR..

Ross

Of Optical Works, 3 North Side, Clapham Common, London, SW4 (1922)

Ditto Address. Telephone: Battersea 3876-7. Cables: “Rossicaste, Phone, London”. (1929)

Ditto Address. Telephone: Macaulay 2472. Cables: “Rossicaste”. (1947)

  • 1830 The Ross firm was founded by Andrew Ross in Wigmore Street, London.
  • c1840 Ross started making lenses for cameras. The lenses were engraved A. Ross, London.
  • 1858 Andrew Ross died, a year before the firm moved premises.
  • After Andrew died the firm was run by his son T. R. Ross, and the lenses were engraved Ross, London.
  • 1859 The firm moved to Brook Street with a sales department in New Bond Street.
  • 1922 Listed Exhibitor – British Industries Fair. Manufacturers of Cinematograph Projectors, Photographic Lenses, Lenses for Aeronautical Cameras, Photographic Cameras, Prism Field Glasses, Telescopes, Sporting, Military and Naval. (Stand No. G.61d)
  • 1929 Advert in British Industries Fair Catalogue as an Optical, Scientific and Photographic Exhibit. Manufacturers of Photographic Lenses, Cameras, Prism Binoculars, Field Glasses, Opera Glasses, Telescopes, Terrestrial, Astronomical, Cinematograph Projectors, Search-light Arc Lamps, Equipment, Optical Lanterns, Aeronautical, Astronomical and Nautical Instruments, Lenses, Prisms of all kinds. (Scientific Section – Stand No. O.32)
  • 1937 Aero lenses, binoculars and telescopes.
  • 1947 Listed Exhibitor – British Industries Fair. Manufacturers of Cinematograph Projectors, Arc Lamps, Epidiascopes, Photographic Lenses, Binoculars, Telescopes, Scientific and Optical Instruments including Autocollimating Goniometer and Optical Benches and Special Optical Systems. (Olympia, Ground Floor, Stand No. D.1692)
  • 1948 Ross Ltd joined with Barnet-Ensign Ltd. to form Barnet Ensign Ross Ltd. Clearly it was hoped that with the addition of Ross’s quality lenses to their existing range of cameras, B.E.R. would become a force to be reckoned with.
  • 1954 It was about then that the company changed its name again to Ross Ensign and it produced classic 50s roll film cameras, like the Selfix and Autorange, which are still popular today with many collectors.
  • By 1955 Ross Ensign had moved production from Walthamstow to Ross’s Clapham Common factory, where they continued to produce cameras along with lenses and binoculars.
  • By 1961, Ross Ensign had gone.

Extreme Spider Photos

August 20, 2010 4 comments

I came across these photos while surfing the web and just had to blog them, they are fantastic. The detail in these pictures is second to none, the photos were taken by a photographer called Tomas Rak in London.

Saitis Barbipes

Phidippus Audax

Euophrys Frontalis

Phidippus Regius

Saitis Barbipes

Phidippus Audax

Phidippus Regius

Euophrys Frontalis

I think you would agree that these are great photographs.

 

source: The Daily Mail

Vietnam War

August 10, 2010 Leave a comment

Nick Ut’s 1972 image of a naked girl fleeing her napalmed village.

Kim Phuc running from a Napalm attack is a memorable picture vividly depicting the art of war.

Vietnam War By Nick Ut's

Photographer Huynh Cong Ut, known by his colleagues as Nick, was working there as a photo journalist for Associated Press at the time and took a number of photographs of the villagers trying to escape the napalm.

Kim Phúc and her family were residents of the village of Trang Bang, South Vietnam. On June 8, 1972, South Vietnamese planes, in coordination with the American military, dropped a napalm bomb on Trang Bang, which had been attacked and occupied by North Vietnamese forces. Phúc joined a group of civilians and South Vietnamese soldiers heading for the safety of South Vietnamese–held positions.

A South Vietnamese Air Force pilot mistook the group for enemy soldiers and diverted to attack. The bombing killed two of Phúc’s cousins and two other villagers.

Associated Press photographer Nick Út earned a Pulitzer Prize for his photograph of the aftermath. It also was chosen as the World Press Photo of the Year for 1972.

The image of Phúc running naked amid the chaos became one of the most haunting images of the Vietnam War. In an interview many years later, she recalled she was yelling, “Nóng quá, nóng quá” (“too hot, too hot”) in the picture.

" To hot, To hot "

After snapping the photograph, Nick Út took Kim Phúc and the other injured children to Barsky Hospital in Saigon, where it was determined that her burns were so severe that she probably would not survive.After a 14-month hospital stay and 17 surgical procedures, she was able to return home. Nick Út continued to visit her until he was evacuated during the fall of Saigon, three years later.

Audio tapes of then-president Richard Nixon, in conversation with his chief of staff, H. R. Haldeman, reveal that Nixon doubted the authenticity of the photograph, thinking it might have been “fixed “.

After the release of this tape, Nick Út commented:

“Even though it has become one of the most memorable images of the twentieth century, President Nixon once doubted the authenticity of my photograph when he saw it in the papers on 12 June 1972…. The picture for me and unquestionably for many others could not have been more real. The photo was as authentic as the Vietnam war itself. The horror of the Vietnam war recorded by me did not have to be fixed. That terrified little girl is still alive today and has become an eloquent testimony to the authenticity of that photo. That moment thirty years ago will be one Kim Phúc and I will never forget. It has ultimately changed both our lives”.

Omayra Sanchez

August 7, 2010 1 comment

Many see this photo from 1985 as the beginning of what we nowadays call “media globalization”, because Omayra Sanchez’s agony was followed by television cameras from all over the world. Despite all the footage that was recorded by those TV cameras, it was this photograph, of a shocking reality and humanity, that went down in history as the first broadcast of the pain and death of a human being.

Omayra Sanchez By Frank Fournier

Omayra Sanchez, 13 years old, was the victim of volcano Nevado del Ruiz’s eruption in 1985, that devastated the Armero village, in Colombia. Omayra was trapped for three days under the mud, clay and water that was left from her own house. When the paramedics, with scarce resources, tried to help her, they sadly realized there was nothing they could do, since to remove her from the deadly trap they would have to amputate her legs and the lack of a specialists on the scene would result in her death.

According to the paramedics and the journalists that surrounded her, Omayra was strong until the last minute of her life. For the three days her agony lasted she thought only about going back to school, her studies and her friends. Photographer Frank Fournier took this photo of Omayra that traveled the world and generated a worldwide controversy about the indifference of the Colombian government before the victims of natural disasters such as this.

The photograph was published months after the girl’s death and Frank Fournier was awarded the 1986 World Press Photo Premier Award for this picture.

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