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Wood Cameras235 of 264Rembrandt, Portrait Wooden camera, by Burke & JamesOld box camera
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    Posted 8 years ago

    (2 items)

    Hello everyone,
    my name is Sam Lavington,from the midlands in UK and I have been in the Cinema industry most of my life, and also an avid collector of the equipment of original early years of Britsh Cinema from its invention right through the bioscope years to the building of early cinemas. Along my path I have collected two very rare pieces, the one showing here is a camera made by james williamson of brighton, and this was sold to a gentleman who owned a cinema in East grinstead named Whitehall Pictures, I have done much research on this Item, as it was given to me by a very old projectionist in the late 60s. He informed me that this was found amongst the rubble in the aftermath of the bombing of the Whitehall Cinema in East Grinstead in 1940s it is beleived that this particular model was the first prototype made by Mr Williamson, before large production was entered with this model I beleive to be the Colonial model. Also along with this I also have a projector beleived to be the only one Butchers Empire no1.
    im extremley keen to chat with other collectors who may be able to help in my research I can be reached on 07969449745 mobile or help me in my building of the collection I require.

    Unsolved Mystery

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    1. Michael Cleveland, 8 years ago
      Williamson numbered his cameras. Mine is marked on the bottom next to the front edge. If yours has a number, it might be informative. I'm not sure the lack would prove it's a prototype, but it would certainly support that possibility. My Williamson is pictured here:
    2. CINEMASAM, 8 years ago
      if you look carefully my camera is totally differant to those mass produced around 1910/12 by Williamson, mine is very very basic with no footage counter on and has the early film transport that Williamson sent out to America to be built in parts to get around the Edison copywright laws. Sam Lavington
    3. Joanne, 8 years ago
      I have a Rembrandt Portrait Camera Model 1 Manufactuered by Burke & James Inc. Chicago, IL.
      Does anyone know anything about this camers?

      Thanks in advance Joanne
    4. cfgray, 5 years ago
      Hi, Sam Lavington,

      Your Williamson is a "Topical" - built ca. 1912, it was the least expensive of the Williamson line (all built by A. Darling), selling for 10£ -10s and in it's unmodified condition had a Zeiss Tessar 3.5/50mm lens.

      It isn't a Williamson prototype. This line was very popular with wealthier people and with theatres, which produced their own local news reels.

      Your fine camera is particularly interesting, though, since it is linked to a specific theatre. It's rare that a camera can be associated with it's original owners.

      Best wishes,


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