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The de Luxe version of the camera with the door containing the shutter open, showing the f/3 Anastigmat lens.

1895: The Aptus

Produced by Moore & Co in Liverpool, the Aptus was originally made for ferrotype (or tintype) metal plates, but production continued until the 1950s, by which time the cameras were used with bromide cards. A range of models was made, but all worked on a similar principle. The plates were held in a holder in the base of the camera, from where they were lifted through 90 degrees to the shooting opposition by means of a swivelling arm with a rubber sucker on its end. Air was sucked in or expelled by a rubber bulb external to the camera, but linked to the sucker by a tube. When the picture had been taken, the bulb was pressed, releasing the plate to fall into a tank below, containing a one-shot developing and fixing solution. Once developed, ferrotype plates could be removed from the tank by use of a magnet. Aptus cameras were mostly used by street and beach photographers. The one shown here was made in the 1920s

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Inside the camera with the arm in position for an exposure to be made.

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Ferrotypes produced by the camera, placed into their cardboard mounts.