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Quarter-plate 'Cameo' camera, 1915-1920.

Quarter-plate 'Cameo' camera, 1915-1920.
3 6 c m
actual image size: 32cm x 28cm


Camera manufactured by W Butcher & Sons, London, used for the 'second phase' of the 'Cottingley fairies' photographs taken between 1918 and 1920. In the Summer of 1917, 15 year-old Elsie 'Iris' Wright (1901-1988) and her 10 year-old cousin Frances 'Alice' Griffiths (1907-1986) claimed to have photographed fairies in a beck behind Elsie's home in Cottingley, near Bradford, Yorkshire. Although Elsie later admitted the photographs were fakes, Frances was more reticent. To her dying day she claimed that the girls had actually seen fairies, and that the final one of the five photographs taken was genuine.

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© National Museum of Science & Media / Science & Society Picture Library

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