Anson Engine Museum compares vintage World War I cameras to Smartphones in one-off

By Culture24 Reporter | 17 September 2012
  • Archived article
A photo of an old box open to reveal the message that it's a magazine for a gun camera
The Thornton-Pickard gun camera was used as a simulator-style training technique for soldiers during World War I© Anson Engine Museum
A camera in the shape of a machine gun, used to train gunners who would shoot it during flights and then judge their accuracy through the resulting film, fascinated visitors to the Anson Engine Museum during a debonair vintage camera display by two dedicated enthusiasts.

Anson fans Frank and Andrew Hardman brought an impressive collection of devices and equipment to the Cheshire museum in a one-off weekend display, including examples made by Thornton-Pickard, a leading British camera manufacturer based in Altrincham more than 120 years ago.

A Bell and Howard Clockwork Camera had been used to film the D-Day Landings. Organisers said their temporary exhibits – supported by objects from the trenches but photographed by many visitors with contrastingly minimal smartphones  – were “breathtaking”.

“It is ironic that today we record this fascinating display of vintage cameras by using the most modern mobile phones of our time,” said Geoff Challinor, the museum curator.

“I wonder if in 200 years the mobile phone will have the beauty and attraction of the cameras we are exhibiting this weekend.”

More pictures:

A photo of a set of ancient cameras and camera-related equipment on a museum table
The camera was made to train gunners© Anson Engine Museum
A photo of a long tall wooden vintage camera inside a room of a museum
Frank and Andrew Hardman presented a range of vintage cameras© Anson Engine Museum
A photo of a tall shiny golden beaker on a dark brown wooden table inside a museum
This trench tankard, made from bullets and shells, accompanied the display© Anson Engine Museum
A photo of a series of vintage cameras on a cloth on a table inside a museum
The museum is better known for its world-class collection of engines© Anson Engine Museum
A photo of a vintage black camera on top of a silver pole inside a room of a museum
This camera was made specifically to film the D-Day Landings© Anson Engine Museum
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