Snappa (box)

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The Snappa is a box camera for 4x6.5cm exposures, made by Thornton-Pickard in about 1913-16.[1] The body is wooden, with leatherette covering. It is constructed as two half-boxes, the front half sliding inside the rear, so that the camera is compact when not in use. The front plate has an 'ear' projecting at each side, with which to pull the front out; leaf-springs on the top and bottom of the front half-box pop out as they clear the rear box, latching the front out.

The camera is arranged to be used conveniently for horizontal pictures. When the front is pulled out, a small Watson-type reflex viewfinder is uncovered in the top; there is none for vertical orientation. The camera has an 'I' & 'B' shutter in front of the lens, and three aperture settings (fixed apertures in a sliding plate). The shutter release is a metal tab operated as a plunger; there is no attachment for a cable release, nor a tripod bush.

Metal single plate holders or film-packs slide into rails at the back of the camera. A ground-glass screen was offered with the camera, at extra cost.[2] In principle, this might allow close focusing, if the front box can be drawn out beyond its normal position (sliding-box focuising is a fairly common design in older large-format cameras); it is not clear that this can be done with the Snappa.


  1. Snappa at Redbellows
  2. Snappa with plate holders, sold at Christie's in December 2002 (one picture)


  • Snappa sold by Breker in Cologne in March 2015 (listing is at the LiveAuctioneers site).
  • Snappa with ground-glass screen and one plate holder, in kodakcollector Charlie's Flickr stream.