Coe suggests that Melhuish's camera would have been too expensive to have been produced. This is the only known example of Melhuish's camera which was the first metal-body camera. Its appearance differs from the first announcements of the camera and this is likely to be a modified form of the original design.
Melhuish's metal camera was the subject of British patent no.s 2557 of November 10, 1859 and 2965 of 28 December 1859. Both described improvements in the construction of cameras viz. a metal body and other suggestions for making the camera as compact as possible. The initial patent noted new forms of design for dark slides and lens mounting. The patent drawings accompanying the first patent show a stereoscopic version of the camera. The later patent suggested further improvements to the construction of the camera and dark slide.
The camera was available by early 1860 and a report in The Photographic News (February 17, 1860, p.289) described the camera as manufactured and its advantages: 'For upwards of twenty years we have been using cameras of various kinds of wood which...have possessed the undesirable qualities of great weight, liability to warping and breaking, and to distortion...In a comparison between the cameras now in use and the metal camera, we find that when the two kinds are made of equal strength, the metal one, if of brass, is one-third lighter in weight.'
The Photographic Journal (October 15, 1860, p.21 and November 15, 1860, p.46-47) also reported on the camera. The camera was still being listed in 1862. The Photographic News (October 31, 1862) reported on the photographic section of the 1862 International Exhibition 'Messrs. M'Lean, Melhuish, & Co. exhibit some excellent samples of the especial apparatus for which they are known, such as the Metal Camera, giving a maximum of rigidity, lightness, and durability...'
Arthur James Melhuish was listed as a photographer from 1860 until 1894. He was active as a photographic inventor before this inventing the first roll holder for sensitised calotype paper in 1854. He died in 1896.