Back in... 1997, I think, my grandmother died, leaving a house stuffed to the brim with a lifetime's carefully sorted junk. We all took a few bits and pieces and then a house clearance company was called in to deal with the rest of it. My father in law, who has an interest in photography, took some of my grandfather's old cameras.
Fast forward twenty-odd years, and now my in-laws have developed a newfound interest in having a loft that is not stuffed full of old junk that someone thought looked interesting...and dropped the camera equipment back with us. I must confess that I was tempted to simply heave it in the bin, but Pp felt that someone might still love it, so we photographed it and he has heroically put it on Ebay. The camera above, we think, is one that my grandfather bought when on his walking holiday of Germany in the 1930s. It folds up amazingly small, and has a very neat gadget for holding... I'm not sure what. Some sort of photographic plate, I think, it seems to pre-date film on a roll. More photos on the ebay listing this way.
And then there's this thing : a Houghton "Sanderson" Regular Camera. It dates from before 1911, so I am fairly sure that my grandfather must have bought it second hand, because he wasn't that old. Unless he inherited it himself, of course. It seems to be missing a bit, and I'm not sure if that part got thrown out because it wasn't identified as part of the camera when the house was cleared, or if it's still in FiL's loft, or if it was missing that bit when Grandad found it in a junkshop and he always intended to fix it up...
The Newman & Guardia Quarter Plate Changing Box has the air of an item that was enormously clever in its time but I have absolutely no idea what exactly it does. It has a flappy bag. I don't know why!
And there was also what I thought was another camera bag, but in fact turns out to be, apparently a WWII British Military Leather Helio 5" Mk V - T.B.S.Leather case for Heliograph. My grandad was in the army during WWII, so I suppose it's possible that this had simply lurked in a cupboard since that time.
And finally there are these things. We think they must be some species of camera tripod. They are rather awkward and heavy, and we don't know how they fit together - so we sort of came down on the side of not putting them on ebay on the grounds that who would want them, and they would be hell to post. But on the other hand, I feel awkward about slinging them on the fire, because of the little badge. According to this site, the 'N' inside a hanging shield means that they were made before 1911. It seems somehow wrong to fling things that have survived that long, onto a fire, but if we don't, I have no idea what we are going to do with them.