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probably made in Dundee

Postcard of Camera.
© National Museums Scotland


This camera was made around 1855, probably by George Lowdon, a scientific instrument maker based in Dundee. The lens was made by the famous optician Andrew Ross of London, whom Lowdon met at least twice to discuss optics.

The folding camera is made of wood with brass fittings, leather bellows and a name plate marked 'LOWDON/ MAKER/ DUNDEE'. It has a rack-and-pinion focusing portrait lens engraved 'A.Ross, London/ 6789'.

George Lowdon was actively interested in photography, having experimented with calotypes in the early days of photography in the 1840s, and exhibited wax paper negatives in 1882.

Record details

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Online ID: 000-100-102-797-C
Image Rights Holder: National Museums Scotland
Project: 0098: National Museums Scotland
Project description | View all records in project
Ref: National Museums Scotland  T.1981.41
Date: Around 1855
c. 1855
Material: Wood, brass, leather bellows. Inscription: LOWDEN / MAKER / DUNDEE
Dimensions: 200 mm x 210 mm x 75 mm (body closed)
What: Camera, plate
Who: Arthur Frank Collection of Scottish Scientific Instruments
Lowdon, Dundee, Scotland (Maker)
Where: Scotland, Angus, Dundee
Description: Half-plate folding camera in wood with brass fittings and leather bellows, signed by Lowdon of Dundee, c. 1855
  • Clarke, T.N., Morrison-Low, A.D. & Simpson, A.D.C. Brass & glass scientific instrument making workshops in Scotland as illustrated by instruments from the Arthur Frank Collection at the Royal Museum of Scotland. Edinburgh: NMS, 1989. p 151 
  • T.N. Clarke, A.D. Morrison-Low and A.D.C. Simpson (1989): "Brass and Glass 
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