"Ensign Folding Cameras"

HOUGHTON (London, England)
Houghtons dates back to 1834 when George Houghton joined Antoine Claudet as a glass seller. After the announcement of the Daguerreotype process in 1839, Richard Beard secured the patent rights to operate the process in England, from a patent agent appointed by Daguerre. Claudet secured a license directly from Daguerre and spent most of his time operating his own studio, while Houghton began selling Daguerreotype requisites. On Claudet's death in 1867 the firm became George Houghton and Son, George Houghton and Sons in 1892, and Houghtons Ltd. in 1904. The firm produced a vast range of cameras and accessories, notably after 1904 when it absorbed a number of smaller camera makers. From 1895 Houghtons was also responsible for producing the Sanderson camera. From 1900 until around 1909, a large number of Houghton's cameras were German imports, primarily Kriigener.

The firm came together for manufacturing purposes with W. Butcher in 1915 and the two finally merged on January 1, 1926 as Houghton-Butcher (Great Britain) Ltd. Houghton-Butcher manufactured products and a selling arm, Ensign Ltd, was set up in 1930. On the night of September 24-25, 1940 enemy action completely destroyed Ensign's premises at 88/89 High Holborn. Johnson and Sons, manufacturing chemists, took over Ensign forming Houghtons (Holborn) Ltd and sold apparatus including that manufactured by Johnsons. The "Ensign" name was retained by H-B which in 1945 joined forces with the long established Elliott and Sons to form Barnet-Ensign. Barnet Ensign Ross followed in 1948 and Ross-Ensign in 1954. George Houghton's sons and grandsons had continued in the business throughout all the mergers until the firm finally disappeared about 1961.

Throughout its history the firm produced cameras and accessories notably after 1926 for the mass-amateur market. During the inter-war period it was the largest producer of photographic equipment and was the most important in Britain.

       An Interesting Ensign Site



Stock No 1508
Houghton Ensign Cameo
3 1/4 X 4 1/4 plate camera. Made in England in late 20's-30's.These were a camera made to a price, and consequently not a lot of them have survived. Wooden, leather covered body, with medium lens and shutter. This one looks great for display, and folds and unfolds reasonable easily, and the bellows are good.the locking mechanism to hold the lens standard in place when the camera is open still works............................ It comes with a Primus Rapid Aplanat lens in a Lukos I TBI shutter.The shutter works. The leather covering on the wooden body is complete and in good nick. The camera still has its ground glass back, but no viewing hood or dark slides. The carry strap/handle is also still there and not broken, but I would not carry the camera by it alone today! The round metal ID insert on the side of the camera is also still there. As you can see from the main pic, this is a great display peice if you want an "old" camera. It also a good Houghtons Ensign collectible. But it is definitely not a goer without some work........................................... Now the things you need to know. The leather covering the "hidden" release button is worn through. The viewing lens in the viewfinder is not original. Some of the screws in the basebarod and holding the lens and shutter on are not original either. However it is still a great looking peice, and just what we think of as a "old" camera.
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Stock No 1509
Ensign Kilto No 0
A medium Format 3.1/4x 4.1/4 that needs a bit of tender loving care (cleaning up)to restore its previous glory, shutter is working. It has double extentsion unlike the single extension models and the bellows are in excellent condition, although they are detaching from the body (needs regluing). Also has a spirit level (working) to show the camera is level. Comes with three cut film holders and film pack back. Original case's top cover flap is unattached but could be stiched back on.
~ Fair to good condition for its age.
   
Stock No 356
Ensign No 3 Carbine
Ensign Carbine originated by Butcher, primarily for roll film, but most models have a removable panel in the back which allows use with plates as well.
~ Condition is fair to good with some covering lifting.
   Asking Price $100.00
Stock No 271
Ensign Pocket E-20
From the 1930's, made in England. Self erecting camera, 6x9cm on 120 rollfilm. Fixed focus lens.
~ Condition is fair to good, covering lifting in places.
   Asking Price $45.00
Stock No 645
Ensign Ranger
c1951 English folder is in pretty good condition overall. Besides some normal wear the metal finish looks good. It is clean inside and out. The bellows looks very good; soft and has no holes. The shutter fires, but quite sticky sometimes. Its comes with a good leather case.
~ Condition is good, slight wear along top edges.
   Asking Price $120.00
Stock No 1277
Ensign Ranger
c1951 English folder is in pretty good condition overall. Besides some normal wear the metal finish looks good. It is clean inside and out. The bellows looks very good; soft and has no holes. The shutter fires ok.
~ Condition is good, slight wear.
   Asking Price $65.00
Stock No 2939
Ensign Ranger
c1951 English folder. Normal wear and the crinkled metal finish is in fair to good condition. It is clean inside. The bellows look good. The shutter operates.
~ Condition is good.
   Asking Price $75.00
Stock No 354
Ensign Ross ~ Selfix Snapper
From England made in the 1950's. Metal case folding camera , burgundy and grey in colour, black bellows.
~ Condition is fair to good with a small dent on the back and wear marks on corner.
   Asking Price $70.00
Stock No 276
Ensign Selfix 20
Made in the 1950's. Folding rollfilm camera for 6x6cm. 100m/m "Ensar" F4.5 Anastigmat made by H.B.M. Co Ltd.
~ Sections of covering lifting from body, bellows material coming apart, paint work worn.
   Asking Price $60.00
Stock No 386
Ensign Selfix 220
c1950's Folding camera for 6 x 6cm or 6 x 9cm. Anastigmat F7.7 Ensign Ltd. 75mm Ensar lens.
~ Some wear and light rust.
   Asking Price $100.00
Stock No 496
Ensign Selfix 16-20
c1950's folder often called a "semi" because it took half-size frames. For 16 exposures 4.5 x 6cm on 120 film. F4.57/75mm Ensar lens.
~ Good clean condition.
   Asking Price $60.00
Stock No 275
Ensign Selfix 320
From the 1950's. Folding rollfilm camera for 6x6cm. "Ensar" F6.3 105mm Anastigmat lens. Vario shutter.
~ Condition is good.
   Asking Price $100.00
Stock No 2392
Ensign Selfix 320
From 1938. Made in England. Self erecting folding camera for 6x9cm or 6x4.5cm on 120 rollfilm. "Ensar" F6.3 105mm Anastigmat lens. With brillianf finder and folding eye finder.
~ Condition is fair.
   Asking Price $65.00
Stock No 1123
Ensign Selfix 320
From 1938. Made in England. Self erecting folding camera for 6x9cm or 6x4.5cm on 120 rollfilm. "Ensar" F6.3 105mm Anastigmat lens. With brillianf finder and folding eye finder.
~ Good Condition.
   Asking Price $75.00
Stock No 355
Ensign Selfix 420
Self-erecting camera for 8 exposures or 12 exposures on 120 film. Folding direct frame finder and small brilliant finder. Ensar Anastigmat f4.51/105mm lens in Epsilon 1-150,B,T shutter.
~ Condition good.
   Asking Price $90.00

Stock No 1182
Ensign Selfix 420
Self-erecting camera for 8 exposures or 12 exposures on 120 film. Folding direct frame finder and small brilliant finder. Ensar Anastigmat f4.5 105mm lens in Epsilon 1-150,B,T shutter.
~ Condition good.
   Asking Price $90.00
Stock No 1491
Ensign Selfix 420
Self-erecting camera for 8 exposures or 12 exposures on 120 film. Folding direct frame finder and small brilliant finder. Ensar Anastigmat f4.5 105mm lens in Epsilon 1-150,B,T shutter. Leather carry case.
~ Cosmetic Condition is fair to god, however there are two pins missing that lock the lens/bellows in the out position and the bellows are comming away from the camera body, the carry strap is there but detached from one end.
$35.00
Stock No 433
Ensign Singlo
Self erecting folding camera, 105mm Ensar Anastigmat F7.7 lens. Small pivoting brilliant finder and folding direct-frame finder. Leather case.
~ Good clean condition.
   Asking Price $85.00

Stock No 1598
Ross Ensign Snapper
Made in England. Self erecting folding camera,for 620 film. With original box and instructions.
~ Good clean condition, however ther appears to be a problem with the shutter.
   Asking Price $45.00
   

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