Milbo Photographic

Jump to: navigation, search
This article needs photographs. You can help by adding some. See adding images for help.

Milbo Photographic Limited was a photographic goods dealer and distributor in London in the 1950s. The company distributed Bilora cameras and accessories, among other brands.[1]

Milbo also made at least one camera. Harold Williamson of Milbo held a patent for a 'special-duty' camera, designed to take close-up photographs of fingerprints, valuable items (stamps, jewelery, etc.) and medical subjects.[2][3] This camera comprises a body in two parts; the lens and shutter, with two flashbulb holders, in a front panel, and the film- or plate-holder back, joined by a short bellows. The bellows extends on three telescopic struts, which end at holes in the front panel. The camera was supplied with a number of wire frames which set the camera-to-subject distance. These frames have three legs which are inserted into the holes in the front of the camera body, and set the bellows extension. Thus the user does not have to take much care over focusing.

Milbo is also said to have made a panoramic camera, taking a 360-degree view. The camera is described as relying on a rotating slit, which is battery-powered, and based on a 1930s clockwork camera.[4] No example of this camera, or advertising for it, has been seen.

The company was bought by R.B. Pullin & Co. in about 1960.[5][6] Pullin's were electrical engineers and instrument makers in Brentford, and the company was itself bought by Rank in 1964.[7]


  1. Advertisements by Milbo in The Chemist and Druggist 29 March 1952 and 14 March 1953, archived at the Internet Archive.
  2. British Patent 728801, Improvements in or relating to photographic cameras, filed 31 July 1953 and granted 27 April 1955 to Harold Ernest Peter Arthur Williamson of Milbo Photographic. Archived at Espacenet, the patent search facility of the European Patent Office.
  3. Advertisement by Milbo Photographic showing the fingerprint camera, in the British Journal Almanac 1954, p571 (archived at Internet Archive).
  4. Bill McBride (1994) "Panoramic Cameras 1843-1994, A timeline of panoramic cameras"; in Photographist no.104 (Winter 1994/5) pp. 19–22. Text reproduced at various websites.
  5. Report in The Chemist and Druggist, 2 May 1959 (bottom of first column), stating that R.B. Pullin & Co. was raising finance to buy Neville Brown & Co. and Milbo Photographic; archived at Internet Archive.
  6. London Gazette 15 April 1960, p.2378 (left column); report of liquidators' meeting regarding Milbo Photographic (Sales) Ltd.
  7. R.B. Pullin & Co. at Grace's Guide.


  • British Patent 686769, Improvements in or relating to photographic cameras, filed 22 November 1949 and granted 28 January 1953 to Geoffrey Hugh Williamson (presumably a relative) and Harold Ernest Peter Arthur Williamson (in person, not assigned to Milbo Photographic, which perhaps did not yet exist); the patent describes a mechanism to adjust a coupled rangefinder fitted to a drop-bed field or press camera for use with more than one lens. Archived at Espacenet.