"Ensign Box 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 1276
Ensign All Distance Twenty
"All Distance" Ensign. All metal, black crinkle covering. 2 apetures, T and I shutter, 2 brilliant finders AND wire frame finder with rear sight.
~ Good condition with covering worn on corners.
   Asking Price $45.00
Stock No 073
Ensign All Distance
c1927. "All Distance" Ensign. All metal, black crinkle finish. 3 apetures, T&I shutter, 2 brilliant finders AND wire frame finder with rear sight.
~ Good condition.
   Asking Price $40.00
Stock No 2958
Ensign All Distance
c1927. "All Distance" Ensign. All metal, black crinkle finish. 3 apetures, T&I shutter, 2 brilliant finders AND wire frame finder with rear sight.
~ Good condition.
   Asking Price $40.00
Stock No 273
Ensign Box 2 1/4 B
A clean unit from the 1910-20's Leatherette covered board, dual reflex finders and folding wire frame finder.
~ Worn on corners, otherwise clean unit, lens cover missing.
   Asking Price $30.00
Stock No 524
Ensign Box 2 1/4 B
A clean unit from the 1910-20's Black Leatherette covered board, dual reflex finders and folding wire frame finder.
~Good clean unit, lens cover missing.
   Asking Price $30.00
Stock No 272
Ensign Box 2 1/2
c1920's, Leatherette covered wooden box camera for rollfilm 2 1/2 x 4 1/4 exposures.
~ Well worn on edges with hinge material coming away at back.
   Asking Price $35.00
Stock No 274
Ensign Box E20
British made from the 1930's. Metal box camera with leather carry strap.
~ Condition is good.
   Asking Price $40.00
Stock No 014
Ensign All Distance Red Box
All Distance was a name applied to box and folding rollfilm cameras for 6x9cm .
~ Excellent condition.
   
Stock No 1235
Ensign-Duo Red Box Camera
c1930. Rear loading covered wooden box camera for 2 1/4" x 3 1/4" negatives. Rear door is stamped Made in England By The Houghton-Butcher MFG.CO.LTD. London. . Measures 5&#frac34 inches high 3&#frac12 inches across the front and is 6&#frac12 inches long. Covered in red leather.
~ Excellent condition. Everything appears to work okay.
   
Stock No 357
Ensign Ful-Vue Box
c1939-41. Made in England. Retangular box-form camera for 6x6cm on 120 rollfilm. "All Distance" lense in everset 1, T shutter. Notable for it's large brilliant finder. Strap, Original box.
~ In Excellent condition.
   

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