London, South Kensington
11 December 2002
Purma Cameras Ltd., England; comprising: a 127-rollfilm metal-body Purma Speed camera with a Purma Special Achromatic 2 inch lens with cap, in maker's box; a 127-rollfilm plastic-body Purma Special camera with a Beck Anastigmat f/6.3 2¼ inch lens with cap and filters, in maker's box; a 127-rollfilm metal-body Purma Plus camera no. 2963 with a Purma Anastigmat f/6.3 55mm. lens with cap in maker's box; a Purma Plus Accessory Holdall in maker's box; a Purma Capacitor Flash Gun in mkaer's box, two ever ready cases and a Purma Guide
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Channing and Dunn, 'Purma Cameras. A new source of information' in Photographica World, no. 82, Autumn 1997, pp. 19-21.
Channing and Dunn (1996), British Camera Makers, pp. 103-104.
Purma Cameras Ltd was registered on 4 June 1935 by Alfred Mayo and Tom Purvis, better known as a commercial artist. The company received financial support from David Brock of Brock Fireworks. The Purma trade name was registered in June 1935 and the first Purma camera was based on British patents 430648 and 44907 of 1935 and 1936 respectively. Three models of the camera were produced: the Purma Speed from June 1936, the Purma Special from June 1937 to 1940 and postwar to 1951 and the Purma Plus from 1954 to circa 1956. There are a number of minor variants of the cameras and a range of accessories was also sold for them.
A fourth camera, the SAMA was the subject of patent number 684684 of 24 December 1952 but is not believed to have been manufactured although a prototype was produced.
The principal feature of the Purma cameras was the innovative gravity controlled shutter which gave different speeds depending on which way round the camera was rotated. This feature also determined the square negative format.
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