HETHERINGTON MAGAZINE CAMERA NO. 2
United States Camera Company, Indianapolis, Indiana 1893-1895
Introduced in 1893 as a less expensive model to the Hetherington Magazine Camera No. 1, the Hetherington Magazine Camera No. 2 was designed to hold six 4x5 plates. The plates were advanced by the same system used in the larger, more expensive No. 1, via a removable clock key. The plate chamber was accessible through sliding panels at the top and underneath. The enclosed shutter was cycled by moving the dial at front in either direction to a pre-set tension, then releasing it by buttons located on top.
Both Hetherington Magazine Cameras No. 1 and No. 2 were no longer offered in E. & H.T. Anthony's Illustrated Catalogue, Photographic Equipments and Materials for Amateurs by December, 1895. The No. 1 had been priced at $45 versus the No. 2 at $25, both being equipped with Darlot lenses. The Hetherington Magazine Camera No. 2's design was covered by the same patents as the No. 1, with all of the patents being granted to Frederick A. Hetherington: Patent No. 396,656 dated January 22, 1889 (magazine plate holder), Patent No. 436,855 dated September 23, 1890 (shutter), Patent No. 460,099 dated September 22, 1891 (sliding top cover), Patent No. 463,123 dated November 10, 1891 (aperture control), Patent No. 476,203 dated May 31, 1892 ( plate carrier), Patent No. 483,688 dated October 4, 1892 (camera design) and Patent No. 502,857 dated August 8, 1893 (plate changing design) this last one being assigned to the United States Camera Company of Indianapolis, Indiana.
Source: Google Patents
On January 9, 1893, F.A. Hetherington, Thomas E. Hibben and Harold B. Hibben incorporated as the United States Camera Company of Indianapolis. The announcement in Wilson's Photographic Magazine, Volume XXX for 1893, inferred that production of the Hetherington Magazine Camera (No. 1) would continue based upon orders recently received that exceeded last year's business and from overseas orders for their splendid magazine camera. It also stated that "another cheaper one will be made, too." The Pacific Coast Photographer for February 1893, stated that Hetherington & Hibben have now incorporated their business under the title of "The United States Camera Co." and that "they now have ready for the market in addition to their Prize Magazine Camera, a very attractive magazine box holding six plates with the Gray Lens which will be sold for $25.00. The well known stock house of H. Lieber & Co., of Indianapolis, Ind., are constituted trade agents for the United States."
The No. 2 differs significantly from the No. 1 in its construction, although both models utilized the same plate advancing design. The larger No. 1 utilized a clockwork shutter mechanism, allowing it to be wound for one-hundred exposures. The No. 2 uses a simpler shutter requiring that it be cycled for each exposure. Although both the No. 1 and No. 2 were offered with a Darlot lens in Anthony's 1894 and 1895 catalogues, this example is equipped with a lens marked "R.D. Gray, New York" as stated in the Pacific Coast Photographer announcement. This suggests that the R.D. Gray lens was used earlier in production, with the Darlot lens being used towards the end. The No. 2's top access door also differs from the No. 1's, in that it simply slides open after lifting a catch, versus depressing the viewfinder glass on the No. 1. The No. 2 measures 6 1/4" high (including feet) X 5-7/8" wide X 8-3/4" deep , versus the standard (12-plate capacity) No. 1 which measures 6 x 7+ x 11+.
Other than Anthony's 1894 and 1895 catalogues, we have been unable to find any other advertisements for the No. 2. The State of Indiana Secretary of State's Report for the Period Ending October 31, 1896, no longer lists the United States Camera Company.
Despite its greater simplicity and a significantly lower price, the No. 2 is actually much rarer than the larger, No. 1 size and I have never encountered another example. Suffice it to say that any Hetherington Magazine Camera is rare, with the No. 1 being seen very infrequently. The No. 2 appears to have been made for about a year, owing to why it is almost never seen today.
No. 1 No. 2