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Publication numberUS948939 A
Publication typeGrant
Publication dateFeb 8, 1910
Filing dateSep 15, 1902
Priority dateSep 15, 1902
Publication numberUS 948939 A, US 948939A, US-A-948939, US948939 A, US948939A
InventorsJohn E Thornton
Original AssigneeJohn E Thornton
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
Photographic camera.
US 948939 A
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Description  (OCR text may contain errors)




948,939. Patented Feb. 8,1910.




Patented Feb. 8, 1910.




FIG. 5.



94:8, 939, Patented Feb. 8, 1910.






Patented Feb. 8, 1910.







To all whom it may concern:

Be it known that I, JOHN EDWARD THORN- TON, a British subject, and resident of Altrincham, in the county of Chester, England, have invented certain new and useful Improvements in Photographic Cameras, of which the following is a specification.

This invention relates to photographic cameras, and is designed with a four fold object, viz :1. To improve the design of cameras, so as to admit of cheaper construction and more rapid production, and also to reduce the number of parts and cost of assembling. 2. To so improve the design and shape of the principal parts, and method of construction, as to allow the attainment of a nicely finished exterior in a direct manner, without expensive hand labor, covering, and finishing. 3. To improve the design and construction in order that very compact folding apparatus, of neat finish, and possessing every convenience, may be cheaply produced. 4. To effect minor improvements, including the finder system, and other features of utility.

Hitherto the bodies of cameras have been made of wood, metal, cardboard, or similar materials, and the methods of manufacture adopted, the design of the parts, and the necessity for light-tight joints, involved the construction of a. large number of parts, which had to be carefully assembled and finished by skilled workers. In manufacturing my cameras, I prefer to use sheet metal, such as tinplate or aluminium, though cardboard and other materials might be used in part if preferred.

Owing to the design and construction adopted by me, I am enabled to reduce the number of parts, and consequently the cost and labor, very considerably. For instance I can form the camera body out of one blank which, after being stamped by dies to the correct size and shape, is then bent up by forming tools till the finished body is produced. All the necessary flanges or rabbets for excluding light and receiving the other parts of the camera are included in the body thus formed at the same operation.

The invention will be fully described with reference to the accompanying drawings Figure 1. is a perspective view of box hand camera constructed according to my invention. Fig. 2. extended blank of sheet metal or cardboard, from which the box or body Specification of Letters Patent.

Application filed September 15, 1902.

Patented Feb. 8, 1910.

Serial No. 123,523.

of the camera is constructed. Fig. 3. longitudinal sectional elevation of box or body of camera. F ig. 4. front elevation of same. Fig. 5. plan. Fig. 6. longitudinal sectional elevation of box or body of camera showing a modification. Fig. 7. transverse section of same. Fig. 8. side elevation partly in section of folding hand camera with front extended. Fig. 9. modified detail for securing the bellows to body. Fig. 10. detail showing another modification of means for securing bellows to body. F 11. sectio-nal detail showing another modification for construction of body of folding camera. Fig. 12. sectional detail of another modification of body of folding camera.

In carrying out the invention, I take a sheet A of metal, cardboard or other stiff material, and stamp it out to the form shown in Fig. 2, with longitudinal creases along the lines a a, and transverse creases along the lines a/ a, and (E -a The blank A so stamped is bent around a rectangular block of corresponding size, into a rectangular frame or tube, the edges being formed by a lap joint. or equivalent means. This is the camera body B, which may be of the size for a box camera as in Figs. 1 and 3., or for a folding camera as in Figs. 8 to 12. The four end extensions Z2 (at both ends) are severed by the slits Z)", and are creased along the lines aca. After the blank A is stamped into rectangular form the extension pieces b are turned or bent inward upon the lines aa, so that the part between a and (4 lies flatagainst the interior of the case, and the extension pieces are then bent bacxward again at right angles thereto on the lines a a thereby forming a perfectly light-tight flange G at both ends of the camera at any desired distance, say from one half inch to one inch from the edges. The flange C forms the edges of a recess or chamber D D" at both ends of the camera body B, and also gives the requisite stift ness to the structure. The back recess or chamber D is intended to receive the sensitive material holder, comprised in a package of flat films, a roll holder and spools, or a plate holder and plate, either of which form of holder fits closely into the recess or chamber D, and the light-tight flange C prevents light entering through the edges.

The front recess or chamber I) will receive the complete optical system mounted upon a board E, and in a camera of the folding type, will receive the base board F, front G, the optical system, and the bellows H.

In a modification where the structure B is made of very thin or weak material, it may be strengthened by an inner lining of thick stiff cardboard or leather board B (Figs. 6 and 7), inserted behind the flanges C. It is bent at the corners on a bending machine, and cut so that the two edges butt together at B the card being sprung tightly into the interior of the rectangular case, before the flanges C are turned inward. The flanges C butt against the ends, and as its tendency is to spring outward, it holds firmly without any cement.

\Vhere it is intended specially to employ a detachable holder for the sensitized material, such as a flat pack of films or a plate holder or roll holder, one of the back exterior pieces is cut rather shorter and slitted down a little farther, so that when turned over, the top edge will be a little shorter at than the other three, to provide access to the film tabs or to pull out the shutter. Holes 6 6* may also be cut in the blank for the view finder, or they may be stamped after the body is constructed.

The camera shown in Fig. l is a box camera of the simplest possible type. The recessed flanges C and recesses or chambers D D are formed at the two ends as described. The front recess D may conveniently be one inch deep, and in itis placed a block E of thick but very light wood, which completely fills the recess. A hole is bored through the center to receive the lens, and on the front face is mounted a shutter K of any known type for controlling the passage of light through the lens. The shutter levers 7c, the diaphragm plate K and the whole optical system are attached to the block E, also the view finder L which may be any desired type. Thus the whole of the optical system, complete and ready assembled, is placed in front of, but close against, the front flange, and a light-tight joint is at once effected without grooves, velvet, cement, or the careful fitting and hand labor necessary in all constructions hitherto known. Suitable apertures b b for the finders L, shutter levers 7a, diaphragm lever is, focusing device, and other mechanism, are made in the camera body, but all are placed forward of this flange, so that any light entering at the apertures is excluded from the camera and sensitive plate.

A camera of the folding or pocket type is made from the same design and method of construction, as shown in Figs. 8 to 12, the rectangular tube or body 13 being reduced to the desired length to accommodate the sensitive material holder at the back, and the bellows and optical system at the front.

The back and front flanges C will preferably come close together and may be utilized to form a perfectly secure and light-tight connection for the edges of the bellows H by gripping them between the flanges. The last fold it of the bellows H may be simply clamped between the flanges as in Fig. 8, or a groove or rib it may be formed as in Fig. 9, or one flange may be turned around over the other as in Fig. 10, the four sides of one flange being made extra long for the purpose. This can be done in a few seconds by hand or by suitable press tools. The bel lows is thus absolutely secured, and the frame or body is stiffened enormously in proportion to the thickness of material used. For larger sized cameras the bodies may be further stiffened by forming a space or cavity N when turning in the sides to form the flanges as shown in Figs. 11 and 12, a stiffening rib a being also shown in Fig. 12.

The metal plates of which the body is made, are, before stamping, suitably decorated or finished by printing, embossing, or otherwise treating the surface in such a manner as to closely resemble the leather coverings generally used in finishing cameras. Similarly imitations of polished mahogany or other materials may be used if preferred. The point is that by decorating or finishing the plates before stamping and creasing, and then by using the special design and construction herein described, which permits of the whole being formed out of one blank, it is possible to produce a well-finished completed camera without showing objectionable marks, joints, or seams, and without any raw edges of metal, as by turning over the metal in the way de scribed all edges seen by the user are decorated ones. Moreover, that portion of the interior of the camera body which is seen when in use is also decorated in like manner at the same operation. Another important feature is the great rigidity, combined with extreme lightness, rendered pos sible by the system, owing to the internal flanges and double thickness of material forming parts of the body. As the size of camera increases the value of this feature becomes more pronounced, and it is therefore now possible to make metal cameras of comparatively large size, such as were hitherto impracticable, because the constructions hitherto known proved too heavy when made strong enough, and also too expensive. By my invention I overcome these objections as I use very thin sheet aluminium, or tinned )lates, such as would be far too weak and 'rail if used in single thickness. Thus a camera with cavity walls is produced, of exceeding lightness, great rigidity, and properly finished, both inside and out, without the usual expensive leather covering or the difliculties of securing its permanent adhesion to the metal. The baseboard and other parts may be built up in like manner. The stiffness can be still further increased if necessary by the insertion of slips of WOOCl, cardboard, or other light and unfinished material, in the cavity Walls.

Cameras constructed as described can be produced at a low cost, because nearly the Whole of the Work is machine Work, the several parts being produced and completed direct from the previously decorated plates, simply by the aid of press tools and kindred appliances. Therefore While the finished article is produced at a greatly reduced cost the general utility of the instrument remains unimpaired.

What I claim as my invention, and desire to protect by Letters Patent is r- 1. A camera constructed With a body stamped from a single blank, internal flanges at both ends to form a recess at one end to receive the holder of the sensitive material and to form a recess at the other end, and an optical system fitted into the frontrecess substantially as described.

2. A camera constructed With a body stamped froma single blank of sheet material internal flanges at both ends formed of extended portions bent inward and at right angles, to provide a recess at the back to receive the holder of sensitive material and to provide a recess at front, a block fitted into the front recess and an optical system fitted to the said block substantially as described.

In Witness whereof, I have hereunto signed my name in the presence of two subscribing Witnesses.

J. E. THORNTON. lVitnesses:


Referenced by
Citing PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US2559214 *May 20, 1948Jul 3, 1951Fricd JacobCollapsible camera
US4329037 *Jun 8, 1981May 11, 1982Container Corporation Of AmericaCamera structure
Cooperative ClassificationG03B17/02