Wallace Heaton Blue Book – 1952

A paperback illustrated catalogue of the main items that Wallace Heaton sold in 1952. They issued it every year and they were the largest photographic retailer in Britain for many years. So, these are quite common (I do not really understand why people kept them once they were out of date, but they clearly did) and therefore quite cheap to buy.

Wallace Heaton Blue Book - 1952
Wallace Heaton Blue Book 1952

For the camera collector, these Blue Books have two separate appeals. One is that they show us just what equipment was available in a given year.  This is particularly useful where minor changes were made to a camera model and you can see from the photographs in the catalogue how the outside (at least) looked in a particular year. Each item also has a brief description including available lenses and shutters. Secondly, each item is accompanied by a price – or a range of prices for each variation available in that year.

What you cannot do is use this book to see what manufacturers were producing. This particular Blue Book dates from 1952 (I have other editions from 1939 and 1971) and the UK had legal limits on the quantities of imports allowed from various places. As most of these cameras were made in Germany, import quotas could be quite small, or even non-existent.

Blog copyright by John Margetts, 2014

As a major photographic retailer, Wallace Heaton did not just sell cameras, they sold everything either a professional or amateur photographer could want. They even had a small range of OEM products – distinguished by the trade name ‘Zodal’ or variations on that.

The main headings in the catalogue are:

darkroom equipment
still projectors
cine projectors
tape recorders

There are a total of 144 pages and the books dimensions are 5 3/4 inches  by 4 inches (146mm by 100mm). An interesting little book.


Author: John Margetts

I am a keen photographer who also collects cameras. I am retired with about 50 years photography experience.

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