Our take on the Ensign Bulldog Camera 1920s
Hi readers how are you all doing ? Well and safe I hope 🤞, finally some antiques style writing, Our take on the Ensign Bulldog Camera 1920s is to showcase this beautiful antique camera that’s now in the collection
Before I start I must have to say research has shown (due to amount of bloggers collectors and camera memorabilia enthusiasts) that this piece has been plagiarised so much from Wikipedia that I do not want any penalties pushed upon the website.
A camera man and a french glass artist set up Ensign and it’s had a very long stay as far as companies go but I’ll leave a link to wiki at the end of the article so you can read any facts that you may wish to know.
Id like us to take a look at the Ensign Bulldog camera from a different angle, firstly it was a surprise Christmas gift that at first had me puzzled but the more I look, handle and look up this designer piece of the 1920s the more I fall in love with it.
Our take on the Ensign Bulldog Camera 1920s
Ok let’s start with what I know ! The Ensign Bulldog camera was manufactured and sold throughout the UK it was made in 1923 and it was to be a new simpler way of taking pictures taking away the need for a bellows camera.
The Bellows camera on a tripod was cumbersome took longer to set up and the first additions could only take one picture at a time, when Ensign or the box cameras original designer know that he had stumbled upon a new mode.
If it is true then the Ensign Bulldog camera was created not only for easier camera use in the 1920s-1930s but to have two modes of taking pictures there’s the original portrait mode but with this box camera it can be turned on it’s side something a bellows camera couldn’t do.
Thus creating a panoramic mode too, this must of been seen as a brilliant new way of seeing the world through a picture, and also giving the camera operator the opportunity to change the mode too must of meant the dawn of the landscape in picture form and family portraits not all squashed in together.
Made in England it must be old
When we look or buy cameras in the modern era we often turn to the technology of japan so to see a proud made in England label stuck firmly on the back reassures me that England or the UK once led the world in this kind of technology.
With its other clever features anyone owning an Ensign Bulldog camera may of been quite popular, with different shutter options a wind on lever and not one but two eye slots this camera really has it all for its age.
Propriety seems to of started years before I was born as the Ensign Bulldog camera does gently urge its buyers to spend their money on Ensign film rolls, there are other box cameras dating from around the same period yet there’s not many where the Ensign logo was changed to a bulldog.
It’s still a conundrum Ensign cameras usually stamped their cameras Ensign and put the cameras number underneath yet they sold a version where this was covered with what looks like a sticker of a bulldog, as it’s a gift I won’t peel off but was tempted just to see if it had a number
Ensign bulldog box camera looks !
Ive been doing this now for over a decade I can see a bulldog shape in a scrunched up piece of paper so it’s easy for me to see why they may of likened the camera to a bulldog, from its short stocky shape to what could be seen as a kind of face at the front.
The piece is sturdy it’s made from a type of I can only describe as Bakelite that’s then covered with what looks like wood or in a bulldog term BRINDLE ! There’s nothing sticking out of the back end which also would resemble most bulldogs too.
The Sticker can be seen on other Ensign cameras yet the reason as to why is still a mystery collectibulldogs always looks into history for the answers and there were no wars or propaganda ventures in 1923, other box cameras have been seen without the bulldog showing.
The only other explanation would be it’s been named after the bulldog due to its versatility, after looking closer at this unique antique I see it has some tricks up its sleeve and not just a slanted angle for the handle for ease of use (like a camcorder)
Ensign thought of it all 1920s style
Starting with the back of the camera ! There’s a tiny hole that indicates the proportion of the reel used, after the bellow camera this would of been seen as technological being able to see into the camera without letting in any light.
The Camera Shutter has its own option I’m not a photographer so I cannot say why a camera person would want their lenses open but maybe this feature was so that the lens can be cleaned.
The real or best skill set added to this invention was the ZOOM effect that’s correct just like the modern cameras the Ensign bulldog camera comes with three different lens, by pulling out a metal lever you can choose which lens you wish to use.
Unfortunately the viewfinders are faded so there’s no clear view out from the camera but I’m not going to be using it any time soon to photograph anything and it with my other gifts will take pride of place among the collectibulldogs collection