The Improved Tourist is a finely crafted brass-bound mahogany 1/2 plate camera capable of taking both stereo and single photographs. The stereo images are a generous 1/4 plate size or approximately 3 x 4 inches each. By shifting the lens board and capping one lens, single non-stereo photographs can be taken.
Sands & Hunter was a long-lived London, England camera manufacturer and retailer. The name of the firm changed over time, progressing from Hunter & Sands; Sands & Hunter; Sands, Hunter & Company and finally Sands, Hunter & Company Ltd. The maker's name appears as Sands & Hunter on this particular camera indicating it must have been manufactured sometime between 1883 and 1892.
This example does not have a shutter. If one existed at some time in its past, it would have probably been an accessory attachment fitted over the lenses. In the absence of a shutter it was fairly common to control exposure by removing and replacing the lens caps. The lenses are
f/8 Thornton Pickard Beck Symmetricals with iris diaphragms. The bellows is a deep red color. The Improved Tourist is a tailboard design with a side wing for extra rigidity.
Page created June 19, 2001; updated December 20, 2020