Bob (cardboard)

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The Bob (one of many cameras by Ernemann to have this name) is a cylindrical card-bodied box camera for 4.5x6cm plates. The camera body comprises top and bottom half-boxes mated together. Five plates are arranged around the sides of the inner box, held in place between shallow flaps. There is a hole in the inner box, opposite each plate. The lens is mounted on a short tube on the side of the outer body. The outer body is rotated to bring the lens in line with each hole in turn, to bring the lens to throw its image on the corresponding plate. A trapezoidal tube in the centre stops light spilling onto other plates. There is no shutter; only the lens-cap.

The camera is an obvious copy of the metal-bodied American Photake, patented a few years earlier in 1895. Since it was made by Ernemann, it seems very likely they did so legally, licensing the Photake's design if required.


  • Bob at Collectiblend, including a photo of an example sold at a Rahn Auction.