London, South Kensington
11 December 2002
Demon No. 2 detective camera
American Camera Co., London; 2¼ x 2¼ inches, bright-metal body stamped THE DEMON CAMERA. THE WONDER OF THE WORLD. W PHILLIPS STAMPR B'HAM. O'REILLS PATENT NO. 10823. TITLE REGISTERED TRADE MARK ACT. SOLE MANUFACTURERS THE AMERICAN CAMERA COY. 399 EDGWARE ROAD, LONDON, hinged-plate retaining bar, conical-shaped lens mount, lens and shutter, two chemical bottles, plates and instruction sheet, in maker's box
Contact Client Service
New York +1 212 636 2000
London +44 (0)20 7839 9060
Asia +852 2760 1766
Lothrop (1973), A Century of Cameras, p. 43.
Coe (1978), Cameras, p. 57-58.
Lothrop & Auer (1978), Die Geheimkameras, p. 148. 150-151.
Walter O'Reilly's patent number 18,823 of 26 July 1888 briefly described an instantaneous camera with ground glass screen where the plates are transferred to and from the darkslide by an opaque bag which is slipped over the carrier. The Demon was made in Birmingham by W. Philips and sold by the American Camera Company of London. It was remarkably successful with advertising claiming an average sale of 2000 per week and 100,000 sold in twelve months.
Two versions of the camera were made. The original model, later designated the number 1, was produced in a 2¼ inch square plate size and the number 2 for 3¾ inch square negatives and an achromatic doublet lens was announced in 1890.
The American Camera Company ceased trading in 1894.
The stories behind the names given to a selection of iconic Rolex wristwatches
Alastair Smart profiles the life and work of the Pre-Raphaelite artist described by Burne-Jones as ‘the best of us all’ — illustrated with works offered in July