Heinrich Janke

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LudwigLeitz.jpg B26.JPG

Picture source - [1] #1 hös

"When the first functional prototypes of the Leica M3 became available in the early fifties, their shape had already been established to a large extent by the designers. As a sculptor, Dr. Ludwig Leitz believed that its final appearance should be determined by a stylist who can think "three-di-mensionally," like a sculptor. He also discussed this aspect with "Willi" Wilhelm Stein, head of the Photo Design Department, and with Adolf Groß, head of the Styling Department at Leitz. The latter suggested asking his former professor of sculpting for help in finding a qualified young man for this task. When Dr. Leitz subsequently visited Professor Scheuernstuhl at a college in Hannover, he met Heinrich Janke in a studio, where Janke was preparing a bust to be cast in bronze. That subject was of particular interest to Dr. Leitz, so he spent a good deal of time in an animated discussion with master student Janke about the latter's work. Janke still remembers Dr. Leitz asking him whether he knew about the Leitz company and whether he would be interested in moving to Wetzlar in order to work in a creative capacity at his company. Even though Janke showed interest in such a job, they parted company without a firm commitment. Janke had already forgotten the encounter when he was called to the telephone a few months later. The Leitz Personnel Department wanted to know when he was finally coming to Wetzlar, where he was already expected."

Text source - Osterloh, 50 Years Leica M, Königswinter 2004, p. 93-4

"Yesterday I bought a copy of "50 Jahre Leica M" and have only 'browsed' through it so far. However, the index has several references to Heinrich Janke and when I checked them discovered that he was responsible for the design of the M3, M4, M4-P and M6. But I think he was part of a design team as Hans-Kurt Uellenberg (at left in picture) is also mentioned as a designer of the M4. On page 77 "stylist Heinrich Janke" [standing] is mentioned with a picture of his wooden camera model incorporating a selenium meter. Page 93 mentions Dr Ludwig Leitz being a sculptor and him meeting master student sculptor Heinrich Janke in a Hannover studio where Janke was preparing to cast a bronze bust. He impressed Dr Leitz sufficiently to be offered a job with Leitz as a stylist/designer. Page 95 shows a photograph (ed. note - believed to picture shown above) of Leitz stylists Hans-Kurt Uellenberg, Heinrich Janke and Bernd Nickel plus three award certificates one of which, for the M4-P, shows Heinrich Janke and Hans-Kurt Uellenberg as designers."

Text source - [2] #3 dkpeterborough

E. Leitz Photographic Patents by Heinrich Janke