Re: Lillie Langtry and the Camera
- Hi John,
I just love that story. Like you, I am very susceptible to the history connected with my cameras, and the "research" I do, (for want of a better word) is a large part of the attraction of collecting them: there are better and more learned researchers on this group, but I enjoy what I do, and I get plenty of help here at times. Lillie Langtry was the way she spelled her name; but because she was known to the Bitish public as "The Jersey Lily", having been born there, the Brits always knew her as "Lily". I read that she was a very naughty girl who eventually was "dumped" by King Edward VII in a rather brutal and public fashion. At a charity function, she handed him a glass of wine which she had "kissed". He turned his back and said "Madam, I prefer a clean glass". That was the end of her career as his mistress, but it apparently did not leave him entirely bereft of feminine company. Horsman no doubt found that her name on a product would have guaranteed good sales for the item. I don't know if there was any commercial link between her and Lonsdale Brothers, but they put her name on one of their cameras. For me their Sheffield connection, brief and tenuous though it may have been, makes my day, as a citizen of that fair city. Well done on getting your little "Eclipse" camera, and completing an outfit for it, and thanks for the very interesting background story.
--- In firstname.lastname@example.org, "jwb.jr77" <saywuff@...> wrote:
> Hi Eric: Because I am a collector, I for one am not bored reading about your new acquisitions . I not only like reading about another's cameras but I also like the stories about how they turned up. The name Langtry brought up a story of my own.
> I have placed pictures in my album."All American" in the Photos section.
> Here's my story. Many years ago I bought a box lot of cameras and parts from a flea market dealer. There were a couple of collectable cameras in the box. There were also some holders and cardboard mounted pictures. Two of the pictures were ads for the E. I. Horsman Eclipse Camera. Each had a sample picture on one side and the ad on the other side. The larger one had a copy of a letter written by Lillie Langtry super imposed over her image . She is writing to the Horsman company telling them she had some pictures that she liked taken by a Horsman camera and she wants to buy one. In the late eighteen hundreds and early nineteen hundreds she was extremely popular. An endorsement by her would be considered top of the mark in advertising.
> Also in the box lot was a small plate holder in poor condition tied with string. It had the words Eclipse camera on it.
> So right then and there I decided some day I would get an Eclipse camera.
> Recently a number 2 - 3 1/4 by 4 1/4 turned up on E-bay in excellent condition with it's original box and a plate holder. I was the lucky bidder,
> Doing some research I found out what the accessory developing set would consist of. I made a list and added a couple of things. I have a display with old developing bottles and boxes of chemicals. They are not Horsman but they would have been bought when the originals ran out. A camera in 1888 would have cost about $5 and a set of chemicals with the tripod another $5. This would be about $180 in today's money. John