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Heath, William | Unknown | Other | Whole Plate

TRANSITIONAL WET/DRY PLATE CAMERA | 1880 This is what remains of a very rare camera, labelled "W.Heath, 24, George Street, Plymouth.". It came to me with missing parts beyond my ability to replicate, so a restoration has not been possible. It is of very solid construction, with dovetailed joints and a massive mahogany framework. William Heath was an optician and instrument maker, at various addresses in the Plymouth/Devonport area, (latterly as Heath and Bullingham, Photographers), between 1850 and his death in 1896. Opinion among collectors is divided; it is possible that he made this camera; it is equally possible that he only retailed it. Since he is known as an instrument maker, he surely had the capacity to make cameras, or at least to assemble them, and another camera is known with his label, as are stick barometers, telescopes, theodolites and other scientific instruments.

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