Multiple Image Cameras
With the growing appetite for photographic portraiture, the introduction of the portrait in the calling card format, and improvements to sensitive emulsions gave birth to a new type of camera, one which gave multiple images, that would make sittings less fastidious, and more fun…
Numerous models were proposed on the market, functioning according to the three following principles:
Around 1850, a photographic body could be fitted with a sliding back which moved to take several exposures on a single plate. Subsequently, these multiplier backs enabled even more images to be taken, as it became possible to move them horizontally and vertically.
One of the ideas was also to move the lens in front of the plate, mounting it on a sliding or rotating board.
The final solution was to fit a specific number of lenses to the camera, which would all expose the plate individually, as a group, or simultaneously. This system was deemed too expensive, and the multiplier back took over. Even so, around 1900, postage stamp format photography was very popular, and this type of camera enjoyed a renewed bout of interest for this specific application.
Appareil à images multiples Royal Mail Postage Stamp Camera, W. Butcher & Sons, Londres, vers 1907