Prestwich - Documenting Early Expeditions

The Prestwich Manufacturing Company was founded by British engineer and inventor John Alfred Prestwich in 1890 and initially produced internal combustion engines and gearing for motor cars and cycles.


1908 Prestwich Camera - Model 5  

By the mid 1890's, Prestwich began designing cine cameras and contributed some key innovations of the time. The Prestwich Model 5, for example, was the first camera to offer interchangeable lenses, as well as interchangeable 50 foot and 400 foot magazines.



At the time, Prestwich cameras were renown for their reliability and rugged construction, which is why photographer Herbert Ponting (pictured) chose the compact Prestwich Model 5 for Robert Falcon Scott's Terra Nova Expedition to the Ross Sea and South Pole (1910–1913).

In 1914, Australian cinematographer Frank Hurley also chose the Model 5 for the now infamous Shackleton Antarctic Expedition. 

Although the camera didn’t survive the expedition, Hurley managed to return with 120 photographic glass plates. 

Herbert Ponting - Jan 1912