Thornton Pickard shutters

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The Thornton Pickard shutter was once a common feature of early British Wooden plate cameras from their introduction in the late 1880's.


My first restored Thornton Pickard shutter fitted with a 12" 8x5 Wray rectilinear lens, the shutter and lens are now fitted to a Houghtons "Duchess" half plate camera. The "bladder" was for the pneumatic shutter release.

Part way through it's restoration, the shutter curtain was cleaned to remove old flaking light
proofing, it was then then ironed to remove severe creases, finally it was re-sealed using
acrylic black paint, making it light tight again.

Three TP shutters all in very poor condition, none had been functional for a very long time.

Potentially t he best of the three as it gives a range of shutter speeds, most TP shutters are
Time & & Instantaneous, this one needed removing from a custom mounting and the
front plate was missing. A new plate was made from the remains of a broken lens board.

The back of the oldest of the three shutters was cracked and falling to pieces. This shutter had originally been fitted to a lens board, but at some point it was reversed and a lens flange fitted.

It was carefully glued back together and treated with wood hardener before re-finishing, (right hand case in the image below).

The same three shutter cases, repaired and french polished, almost ready for re-assembly. One front panel and baffle was badly damaged missing part of the front, another had no front panel at all the third no baffle. An old broken lens board was cannibalised and used to make the new front panel (centre top) and the bits left over to make the missing section for the other front panel. The missing baffle was made from papier-mâché to keep the weight down.

Someone's bodged attempt to repair a shutter curtain. This one was too badly damaged and it
was easier to make an entirely new curtain, only the thin metal strips were re-used.

Two new shutter curtains ready for re-assembly. New cords for re-cocking the shutters were
made and fitted later using cord sold for french blinds.

The TP shutter from the 3rd & 4th images fitted to the front of a Quarter Plate camera.

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