THE LILLIPUT CAMERA††††

E. & H.T. Anthony & Company, New York†††††††††††††† 1889 - 1892

 

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The Lilliput was designed by Erastus B. Barker, with Patent No. 400,162 being granted to him on March 26, 1889.This same patent applied to Anthony's Simplex Camera, that would be introduced the following year. Barker's roots in photography go back to the 1860's, having been listed in Trow's New York City Directory, Volume LXXIV, for the Year Ending May 1, 1861, as a dealer in daguerreotype materials at 522 Broadway. Barker is believed to have been employed by E. & H.T. Anthony & Company during the 1860's and would continue to work closely with the company during the 1880's and 1890's. Barker held at least nineteen other photographic patents, many of which were assigned to E. & H.T. Anthony & Company.

 

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††††††††††††††††† ††††††††††††††††††††Source:U.S. Patent and Trademark Office

 

The interior structure of this diminutive detective camera measures 3-13/16" wide, 3-7/8" high and 6-1/4" deep.It utilized 2-1/2" x 2-1/2" glass plates, that were held in six double plate holders.Controls for cocking and firing the shutter were located at the bottom, being accessed through the Lilliput's fitted leather case.Sales were poor since George Eastman had just introduced his roll film-based Kodak (Original) in 1888, making the Lilliput somewhat passť with its more cumbersome plate system.

By July,1889, Anthony was already supplying the Lilliput for use with sheet film rather than glass plates, offering the camera with its lens, six double plate holders, twelve patent film kits, nine dozen celluloid films and a non-actinic lantern for $25.00. The last year of manufacture is unconfirmed, but the Lilliput still appeared in Anthony's Illustrated Catalogue of Photographic Equipments and Materials for Amateurs, November,1892.

 

This example, missing its leather case, provides a glimpse into the Lilliput's inner workings not generally seen in most photos and advertisements.The camera body's top edge is stamped "Pat. App'd. For" (Patent Applied For), at the front and at the rear.No other markings appear on the camera, but the plate holders are stamped "E. & H.T. Anthony & Co."

 

Produced in very few numbers for at least three years, the Lilliput is rarely seen today.

 

 

 

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††††††††††††††††††††††††† From Schultze's Descriptive Catalogue, 1889

 

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††††††† From Anthony's Illustrated Catalogue of Photographic Equipments and Materials for Amateurs, January, 1891