Cameras by Brian Coe

Brian Coe’s 1978 book for Photographic History

Toronto. After writing a number of books on aspects of photographic history, the late Brian Coe of the Kodak Museum in England wrote a delightful book on the history of photography from Daguerreotypes to Instant Pictures. His unique style was complemented by using drawing – both line and coloured – instead of photographs of various cameras and accessories.

The book I bought in late July of 1979 was published in North America by Crown Publishers, Inc. and printed in Italy. In Cameras, Coe covers all photographic milestones from the perspective of cameras, lenses, and accessories.

His chapter on shutters gives an insightful overview of how this essential part of the camera evolved. Until Maddox discovered how to make dry plates in 1871, there was  little need for a precise shutter Рa lens cap, flap, black focussing cloth or even a hat would do the job. Shutters  date back to the earliest days of photography but were limited to keeping light from the sensitive medium.

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