a rare wet plate camera in good condition

A rare wet plate camera
by W W Rouch of London, UK.

Toronto. In June of 1998 this rare wet plate camera (sans lens) resided with member Bill Kantymir. Bill Belier in his “treasure” column traces it from its manufacture in England to an Ontario collection with stops a long the way both in Europe, and North America.

To a collector unaware of the process, a wet plate camera is just another 1800s artifact. But to the knowledgeable collector it is indeed rare. By the very nature of the process, using a wet plate camera commercially led to its demolished state. Plates were coated with the sticky emulsion, mounted in camera, exposed and processed all the while remaining wet to preserve the plate’s sensitivity. The silver nitrate oozing from the hastily prepared plate, destroyed the camera’s wood over time.

An Ivory label identifies this camera as one manufactured by W W Rouch of London , England c1875-8, near the end of the wet plate era. Read Bill Belier’s article in Photographic Canadiana issue 24-1. As a PHSC member you have a DVD of the first 40 years of our journal including the above issue. Not a member? Sign up and receive this DVD plus  four of the current journals in pdf format.

Visit our coming auction on May 5th for additions to your collection (or user gear). You may even spot a rarity like this refugee from the wet plate era!

This entry was posted in history and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink.