Nigel Atherton looks back at past AP issues in our archive, this week we’ve selected the 16 March 1932

16 March 1932 cover in colour daffodils

16 March 1932 cover

The 1932 Spring and Empire Number featured on its cover a host of golden daffodils, and in colour, no less – a rarity for covers of the time. In the inter-war years AP published an annual Empire issue with contributions almost entirely from residents of the colonies. Not all of whom enjoyed springtime in the month of March.

Tales of photography in East Africa

Tales of photography in East Africa

Wallace Heaton good advice magazine page 16 March 1932

Wallace Heaton: endorsed by God, no less

‘For the lonely man of tropical countries there exists, perhaps, no more fascinating hobby than photography,’ wrote one correspondent using the nom de plume “African Amateur”. ‘The writer of these jottings, when in East Africa, found it a splendid pastime which, incidentally, brought him a fair financial return by taking photographs of natives.

At the Harbour, by F.R Ratnagar of India. From the Colonial and Overseas contest

At the Harbour, by F.R Ratnagar of India. From the Colonial and Overseas contest

While professional photographers live 100 miles away in the big townships, the natives depend for portraits on the amateur; and a native simply loves to see his own face’. Living 120 miles from the nearest shops he stressed the importance of maintaining supplies. ‘With petrol at three shillings a gallon I couldn’t just run over on my motorcycle to buy a shilling’s worth of developer.’

British-made Ensign Carbines

British-made Ensign Carbines at £243 and £400 in today’s money

In Choosing the 1932 Camera, the choice was between roll-film cameras (ideally the folding type, rather than the ‘cheap boxform type’); the pocket plate camera (preferably with some ‘rise of front’) and the reflex (the most popular choice among ‘the leaders of photography’).

Ads for the Leica Model II and Rolleiflex in 16 March 1932 issue

Ads for the Leica Model II and Rolleiflex

Meanwhile an ad entitled Good Advice: the Reverend knows a good thing recounts a fictional encounter with the local vicar, who bought his camera from Wallace Heaton and advised readers to do the same.

16 March 1932 page of lenses

A round up of lenses and useful sundries

Further reading:

From the Archive: 14 March 1992

From the Archive: 21 February 1998