Boots field camera

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The Boots Cash Chemists Field Camera dates from circa 1906. Construction is typical for field type folding cameras of the period. The chain Boots had pharmacy branches in just about every town in England in the early 1900s. There are a couple of other surviving Boots field camera examples, and none of them carry a manufacturer's name—they simply have a Boots label or (like the example here) are marked B.C.C. (Boots Cash Chemist)

Surely the cameras were made for the pharmacy chain by one of the UK camera manufacturers, but no records have come to light to enable us to be sure which one made them.

The Boots field camera is important for two reasons: First, this was the first time a camera was sold bearing the retailers name, not the manufacturer's (that set the scene for the next 100 years); and for the first time the serious amateur photographer could buy a sophisticated camera from a high street chain store. Thus a link between the high street chemist shop and photography was forged.

Technical Details

  • Format : dry plate 3.25” x 4.25”
  • Construction  : Mahogany and brass field type camera with full range of movements.
  • Shutter : Blind type 5 speeds and T
  • Lens : B.C.C. Planomat f8