In 1926 The Coronet Camera Company was established at 48 Great Hampton Street, Aston, Birmingham by Mr. Frederick Pettifer. The company set out to manufacture an inexpensive line of cameras. Various marketing methods were explored including repacking of similar cameras and mail order catalogs.
In the 1930s the company engaged the British Optical Lens Co. for lenses and Mr. Edwin Elliott, a local plastics manufacturer in Birmingham. The firm of E. Elliot fabricated several molded cameras for Coronet. By 1933 it was recorded that 510,000 cameras were sold. Also during this time frame, the Coronet Co. either had a relationship with the newly formed Standard Cameras Ltd company located at 51 Mott Street or the Standard Cameras Ltd company purchased the same plastic camera bodies and parts from Edwin Elliot's plastics firm. Standard Cameras Ltd sold a cheap box camera named Conway which took 6x9cm images on 120 film very similar to the Coronet Ambassador. The Standard Camera Ltd Co. went out of business in 1955.
In 1946 the company formed a limited partnership and the name changed to Coronet Ltd.. During this period the company was located at 308-310 Summer Lane, Aston, Birmingham. ( Current photo of old Coronet building depicted )
After World War II ended, the company specialized in low cost plastic bakelite camera's. Also due to import restrictions imposed by the French Government, Coronet partnered with Tiranty of Paris to manufacture and sell existing and new models with parts from Birmingham and lens from Trinaty, similar to scheme that the Eastman Kodak co used to avoid the restrictions .
In addition to cameras the company produced accessories, Coro-flash units, filters and its own Coronet Corochrome film in 120 and 127 sizes and black & white Coronet Panchromatic film.
In 1967 the company ceased operations. Over the forty-one years of operations the Coronet Camera Company produced thousands of low priced cameras, which most are still commonly found today.
Photo Courtesy of John Houghton Aston Brook Through Aston Manor - Preserving the History of Aston
2010 JP MADEINBIRMINGHAM.ORG
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