The rich history of Pratt Mews
We’re currently putting the finishing touches on our development at Pratt Mews in Camden. Named Moy’s, the completed building will consist of eight apartments and two commercial spaces. But who was Moy, and why have we named the development after him?
A hub of innovation
Mews properties were originally where the artisans and the craftsmen of history lived and worked. Moy’s was typical of dozens of businesses which crowded the streets and mews buildings in Camden Town. Cardboard box makers, motor body builders, timber merchants, glass merchants, paint makers, wire-workers and general smiths, air-conditioning firms which made sheet metal ducting, opticians. Camden was once the home to London’s largest colony of piano makers. Today, only one – Heckscher remains, just a few steps from Moy’s.
By the end of the 19th century, Pratt Mews was about to make sparks fly when engineers Earnest Moy and Percy Bastie moved in to set up their radical electronics company, filing scores of patents for their inventions. One would change the world of entertainment forever.
They began a series of experiments to develop an electric camera that could record moving pictures. And thanks to a collaboration with inventor William Friese-Greene, Moy and Bastie produced what is widely recognised as the world’s first Kine camera.
This is the Moy’s camera that Captain Robert Scott took to the Antarctic in 1912 (pictured above), that saw duty in the trenches of the First World War and, it is said, that the very first Hollywood movie was shot on.
By the 21st century, however, Moy’s had gone forever and only the much neglected building remained. The ingenuity and invention, though, lives on running through every line, every brick, and every inch of this new chapter in Camden’s history.
We’ll be finishing Moy’s on Pratt Mews during the next few weeks. Click here to see photos of the completed show flat and download the brochure.
The featured image is a self portrait of Herbert George Ponting, the photographer on Captain Robert Scott’s expedition.