André and Lieutier

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Société André et Lieutier was a firm of chemists in Marseille in the late 19th century.[1][2][3][4] The company is known for only one camera, a falling-plate magazine camera with clockwork mechanisms to automate some camera functions, designed by Marius Constantin Guitton de Giraudy.[5][6] The rotary shutter is operated and the plate-counter advanced by one clockwork, and a second, triggered by the first, operates the screw-feed of the falling-plate mechanism.[5][7]

The camera body is wooden, with black leather covering in some examples.[8][9][10]

The camera was made for plate sizes 9x12 and 13x18 cm (and perhaps others).[11] It has an f/9 Zeiss lens, with an iris diaphragm and helical focusing down to about two metres.[8][9] It has brilliant finders and bubble levels for vertical and horizontal orientation. It has a plate-counter dial on the front of the body, where also are located the winding keys for the two clockworks: the exact arrangement of the controls varies between examples.[10] The shutter speed is controlled by a lever selecting between instantaneous or 'B' ('Pose') shutter, and a dial offering four instantaneous speeds (numbered 1 to 4).[9] The shutter release is a large button at the front of the right side of the camera. A contemporary report of the camera shows an engraving (presumably produced by the maker) of a man using it held sideways across both arms, the lens pointing to his left, and pressing the shutter button with his left index finger.[11] The clockwork mechanisms supposedly allow a full magazine of twelve plates to be exposed in succession in fifteen seconds.[10] However, the falling-plate mechanism only works immediately with the camera held upright, i.e. for a horizontal photograph; when used in vertical orientation, the exposed plate falls as soon as the camera is returned to the upright position.[11]

There is a leather handle on the top of the camera, a maker's plate identifying the camera as the 'Appareil Guitton de Giraudy', and in some examples, Guitton de Giraudy's signature (as 'G. de G.') is engraved in the wood.[9]


  1. Le Figaro, 10 February 1911, p8 (top of column 4); an advertisement lists Pharmacie André et Lieutier, at 9 Rue Pavillon, as the Marseille supplier of Vixol, a treatment for asthma and bronchitis; archived at the Gallica digital archive of the Bibliothèque national de France. The maker's plates on some cameras (cited below) give the same address.
  2. A titrimetric analysis kit, 'Nécessaire acidimétrique André et Lieutier pour le titrage de l'acidité dans les huiles' (kit for measurement of acidity in oils) was offered for sale at in 2014 (item 44827401); the kit won medals at Marseille exhibitions in 1906 and 1922, so must date no earlier than that.
  3. The Rue Pavillon address also appears on a ceramic ointment pot previously illustrated at Victorian Ointment Pots; the legend on the pot describes André et Lieutier as 'pharmaciens de 1ère classe'.
  4. The British Patent (also cited below) gives the address 21 Boulevard Poissonnière, Paris, for both the company and inventor. It seems highly likely, however, that this was the address of their patent lawyer: this was the address of a M. Armengaud, who published a guide to industrial patent law in various countries. See: Armengaud, ainé (Armengaud senior)(1889) Instructions Pratiques à l'Usage des Inventeurs; Maison Armengaud Ainé, 21 Bvd Poisonnière, publishers. Archived at Gallica.
  5. 5.0 5.1 British Patent 6985 of 1894, Improvements in automatic photographic apparatus, filed 7 April 1894 and granted 9 February 1895 to Guitton de Giraudy as assignor to André et Lieutier; at Espacenet, the patent search facility of the European Patent Office. Also Swiss Patent 8157/183, Appareil à photopraphier à fonctionnement automatique (automatic-functioning camera), granted on 5 January 1895, and being an extension of an earlier patent 8157 dated April 1894. The British Patent also refers to an earlier patent, perhaps the same one, from which the protection under the British Patent takes its commencement date of 9 September 1893.
  6. A M. Guitton de Giraudy is described as assayer to the Bank of Marseille in a Spanish report of mineral analyses in 1899: Riquesa Metalúrgica de los valles del 'Ter' y 'Freser' (Metallurgical wealth of the Ter and Freser valleys) In: Industria e Invenciones Vol. XXXII, No. 1 (July 1899) p5. Archived at Hemeroteca Digital archive of the Biblioteca Nacional de España.
  7. US Patent 536514, Magazine camera, filed 25 April 1894 and granted to Guitton de Giraudy as assignor of one half the rights to André et Lieutier; at Google Patents (OCR text, with three diagrams).
  8. 8.0 8.1 9x12 cm Guitton de Giraudy camera with 150 mm f/9 Carl Zeiss Jena Anastigmat, and with black leather covering; offered for sale at Camera Auction 26, on 21 November 2014, by Westlicht Photographica Auction (now Leitz Photographica Auction); several excellent photos of the camera, the same one as previously sold at the December 2009 auction.
  9. 9.0 9.1 9.2 9.3 13x18 cm Guitton de Giraudy camera with 172 mm f/9 CZJ Series IIIa anastigmat, and with polished, uncovered wooden body; sold by Antiq-Photo of Paris; several excellent photos of the camera.
  10. 10.0 10.1 10.2 9x12 cm camera previously in the stock of Photonicéphore, with different arrangement of controls from that at Westlicht. The dealer's notes on the camera stated that twelve plates can be exposed in fifteen seconds.
  11. 11.0 11.1 11.2 A contemporary report of the camera only mentions one size, 12x18 cm; but this is surely a mistake: Léon Vidal (1895) Appareil photographique à main de M. Guitton de Giraudy. Le Moniteur de la Photographie: Revue Internationale et Universelle des Progrès de la Photographie & des Arts qui s'y Rattachent. Année 1895 No. 4, pp51-3. Page-images 54-57 of 401 formerly archived at E-Corpus (archived).