Rare John Nesbitt camera for sale.

Paul Kay

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#21
At Wolverhampton I sold a DeVere 54 Enlarger (1950s). It was originally sold as a 5" x 4" enlarger but could apparently handle half plate with adaption - so the designation was probably artificial to ensure that its taxation category was lower. But once bought I wonder how many buyers would have actually added the lens and carriers to allow it to use the larger format? My guess would be that most stuck with the cheaper 5" x 4" because the difference was not substantial and half plate advantages were not that significant.
 

David M

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#22
I suppose the relatively roomy interior of book-form holders made format inserts an attractive proposition.
It would certainly be an economy. I don't know how much they cost in their day but new modern holders, assembled from injection mouldings, are astonishingly expensive. There's a good deal more work and more parts in a book-form holder. On the other hand, the workers "knew their place" in those good old days.
 

Ian Grant

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#23
At Wolverhampton I sold a DeVere 54 Enlarger (1950s). It was originally sold as a 5" x 4" enlarger but could apparently handle half plate with adaption - so the designation was probably artificial to ensure that its taxation category was lower. But once bought I wonder how many buyers would have actually added the lens and carriers to allow it to use the larger format? My guess would be that most stuck with the cheaper 5" x 4" because the difference was not substantial and half plate advantages were not that significant.
1950's De Vere adverts state the "54" enlarger can be used for Half plate to 35mm, my negative carrier would accept half plate - I think I still have it somewhere although the enlarger was scrapped in 1986, it had been cannibalised to make a horizontal enlarger.

I was surprised to find a post WWII advert (just after the end of the war) showing quite a range of large industrial/professional Gnome enlargers, the company had been set up in 1938. It's probable Gnome had been manufacturing for the Military/Government as their factory had been taken over by the Ministry of Aircraft Production. De Vere were also manufacturing for the military, every larger Navy vessel had a De Vere 5x4 enlarger, my 54a came with the ship (wall) mounting anti-vibration frame.

Ian
 

Ian Grant

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#24
Paul, I was surprised to find that in 1948 Purchase tax on a Gnome 7x5 enlarger was 50%

1552726646309.png

Incidentally my first enlarger was a 35mm Gnome Universum, which I still have, top right, comes in a similar box to the MF model.

When I acquired it around 1968 it was new but with slight damage to the box and the shop had found it hidden away. I was offered it free on the condition I bought an enlarger lens from them :D

Ian
 

David M

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#25
In 1948, there was a war to pay for. Food rationing was still in force and was even more severe than during the actual conflict. It didn't end until 1954. No wonder that taxes were high.
The ad for the 7x5 enlarger mentions a "paper negative printer". What would this have been?
 

Ian Grant

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#26
The attachment for printing paper negative is described as a conventional double lamphouse type with elliptical reflectors and takes the place of the negative carrier, the 1946 photo is the same as the advert. So it's difficult to envisage.

What's surprising is how many short lived British companies were making enlargers 1946, 47. & 48 etc.

Ian
 

David M

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#27
Presumably there had been little or no production between '39 and '45 and what was produced would have gone to the military. An enlarger is a relatively simple device for a company that had been making weapons, so it would have been an opportunity to fill the post-war gap.
They do look as if they were designed in a hurry and best seen in the dark. No sign of the elegance of (eg) Durst. No doubt many of the companies moved on to make other things as the economy revived.

The Uniflex No. 15, on the right-and page, mentions "paper negative work". When we mention paper negatives, we do it in the context of either contact printing, which hardly needs a special attachment with elliptical reflectors, or as an original for scanning, which wasn't an option in the '40s. Could this have been something to do with making separations or half-tone plates for ink-printing?
 

Ian Grant

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#28
I suspect there was far more production during the war than we might first assume, after all the military would have needed a lot of enlargers, copying equipment, procesors and all the accessories.. There's a 1946 reference to Granville Gulliman's recommendations for processing paper negative, they didn't make film.

Film base was in short supply during the war, Ilford used DuPont film base from the US, and Kodak probably also used film base made in the US. After the war the Government made Ilford set up its own film base manufacture. So that's probably why paper negatives were used for some work.

Gnome must have grown significantly during the war, another company Technaphot Ltd, in Coventry,make LF enlargers and cameras and in 1946 talk of Post-War production, there's other like Williamson.

Ian
 

David M

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Registered User
#29
It's a useful lesson for today to remember how much of what we use, like that film base, are only produced in one or two places and imported without our being aware of it, until the gateway closes

I've been looking at some Gandolfi history and they were turning work away during WW2. In a nicer world, the brothers would have died rich.
 
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