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This Collector's & Historica subforum often has posts about a camera's serial number and the camera's features.  The Leica Museum website states:
"The storehouse of knowledge and information collected and conserved in the Leica Archive is not only accessible to the specialised departments of the company, but also to collectors, journalists and researchers.  If you have any questions, please contact us by mail:  archiv@leica-camera.com"
 
On 14 Dec 2019 I wrote to Leica Archive:
 
"I would like to get information on a Leica M2 with serial number 1 137 975.  This camera has the features for a Leitz New York motor drive.  I bought it recently from the Leica Store in San Francisco.
 
I am interested in the archive data on this camera because 1 137 975 is in a series of numbers that seem to never have been assigned to cameras.  I assume that a standard M2 was sent to Wetzlar for modification for the motor drive, and that the camera was given a new serial number after modification.  But I would like to know for sure.
 
Any information you have would be appreciated.  I have attached a photo of the top of the camera and a copy of the Sales Order."   (I sent the photo below a scan of the Sales Order in the e-mail.  I did not include the scan of the sales order in this thread.)
 
I have also observed M2 for the motor drive with serial number 1138190.  The serial number gap given in Laney's Second Edition is 1137001 to 1138900.
 
Has anyone ever gotten a response from archiv**leica-camera.com?  If so, how long did it take?

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The title should be archiv**leica-camera.com.  I will blame the error on a spell checker.

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I had seventeen Leica M2 in my Fontenelle collection, two of them black paint (serials ranging from 946860 to 1162934) and three Leica M2 (MOT) (two chrome and one black), serials 940382, 1114921 and 1130245. Here are some images from my archives.

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And I forgot my M2R nº 1249689...

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Thanks for the information, Pecole.  So there are M2 modified for the motor drive with serial numbers below 1137001.  That blows my theory that M2 cameras got new serial numbers when they were modified.   My 1966 catalog says "New Leicas which have been modified (Catalog No. 10,901 and 10.902) for the Motor Drive are only offered with a motor drive.  E. Leitz, Inc. will modify Leica M2's, M1's, MD's and MP's to accept a Motor Drive  when the camera requiring modification is accompanied by a Motor Drive or an order for one.  The price is $25.00."

And thanks for your information, Marek.   Maybe a stumped the archivist.  I think I will write to them again.

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On 2/13/2020 at 12:27 AM, zeitz said:

Thanks for the information, Pecole.  So there are M2 modified for the motor drive with serial numbers below 1137001.  That blows my theory that M2 cameras got new serial numbers when they were modified.   My 1966 catalog says "New Leicas which have been modified (Catalog No. 10,901 and 10.902) for the Motor Drive are only offered with a motor drive.  E. Leitz, Inc. will modify Leica M2's, M1's, MD's and MP's to accept a Motor Drive  when the camera requiring modification is accompanied by a Motor Drive or an order for one.  The price is $25.00."

And thanks for your information, Marek.   Maybe a stumped the archivist.  I think I will write to them again.

All they can provide is delivery information. I have not gone near them for a while as I knew they were in a state of flux. I will test them again soon with some of the series items in my collection. 

William

 



 

 

 

 

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this is probably the plague, that leica faces. "customers", who only buy 70 year old leica-cameras and then block the customer care with their questions about this old stuff. try asking ford about a model t, which was sold in 1929. you wont even get a response

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32 minutes ago, harryzet said:

this is probably the plague, that leica faces. "customers", who only buy 70 year old leica-cameras and then block the customer care with their questions about this old stuff. try asking ford about a model t, which was sold in 1929. you wont even get a response

However, Dr Kaufmann has promised us this and it is part of the Leica brand identity. For a long while I did not give out the archives address as I was concerned about what you describe about people making ridiculous requests. I have always just asked them for the delivery details of about 4 or 5 cameras at a time and they have responded with generally accurate information.

William 

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Custom Care and Leica Archives are two entirely different entities.  Archives is part of the newly opened museum.  I own I wide variety of new Leica M equipment including a wide span of lenses.  I'll probably be first in line for a M10R.  I believe most of the posters in the Collectors and Historica subforum are also users of current equipment.  Further everyone wants their equipment to retain its value for maximum returns when it is time to trade or sell.  Who would you have buy the older equipment?

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2 hours ago, harryzet said:

try asking ford about a model t, which was sold in 1929. you wont even get a response

Possibly....as the Model T was discontinued in 1927 and the Model A came out in 1928.    Maybe Ford selling a 2 year old leftover was noteworthy :-).

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24 minutes ago, Ambro51 said:

Possibly....as the Model T was discontinued in 1927 and the Model A came out in 1928.    Maybe Ford selling a 2 year old leftover was noteworthy :-).

I have got information from the Leica Archives on two of my cameras from 1926. We should be grateful that we have this service from the manufacturer. Car collectors are very well organised, however, and I suspect that many registers are available on older models. http://www.modeltregister.co.uk is a club, but I suspect that they have a lot of information. 

William

 

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23 minutes ago, willeica said:

 is a club, but I suspect that they have a lot of information. 

 

Totally off topic, but Ford Model T and A's were built in the UK as well as the US. 

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24 minutes ago, pedaes said:

Totally off topic, but Ford Model T and A's were built in the UK as well as the US. 

And Henry Ford's father William Ford was born in Co Cork (I have been at his house) to a family that came originally from Somerset. We can all claim a part of Ford, Keith.

William

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We should all be thankful that Dr. Kaufmann has taken an interest in the Archive and Museum and has provided the space and funding for this effort. For many years, this was a neglected area. I have heard Jim Lager's stories about researching in the old records in the Old Admin building at the old factory in town. Management at that time really could have cared less, and never had the funding available. Jim and I visited the Old Admin building with our group last May and had a lot of fun reliving those times. We visited the new Archive then too, but with the Monika Bock situation up in the air, we were lucky just to get in with our group.

Were it not for the efforts of Jim Lager, Lars Netopil and others over the years, and now with the backing by Andreas Kaufmann making the Archive and Museum possible, Leica people will have a very valuable resource second to none. Hopefully, with the Archive situation now moving in a positive direction, this will happen soon.

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11 hours ago, harryzet said:

this is probably the plague, that leica faces. "customers", who only buy 70 year old leica-cameras and then block the customer care with their questions about this old stuff. try asking ford about a model t, which was sold in 1929. you wont even get a response

I would think that if you ask M-B you would get some response. No parts for pre-war, but maybe for W136 that was made from 1936 til 1952.

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It is certainly no plague to have loyal followers who are passionate about a company's heritage.

Both Mercedes Benz and Ferrari are heavily involved in restoration services for their vintage models.  Alfa-Romeo archives are also available to those who can show ownership of a particular car.  Given the availability of the original parts drawings, nearly any part can be remade.  After all, the original parts were made by hand on the early, rarest cars.

https://www.mercedes-benz.com/en/classic/

https://auto.ferrari.com/en_US/sports-cars-models/past-models/

https://www.museoalfaromeo.com/en-us/museo/Pages/CentroDocumentazione-Alfa-Romeo.aspx

Back to camera archives, the George Eastman House library also offers extensive archives to researchers.

What is odd is that neither Nikon nor Canon offer much information on their historic products.  Canon has an on-line History Museum, but it is not a primary source and is riddled with errors.

Given that Leica encourages folks to contact archiv@leica-camera.com, it is only reasonable to expect a response from them.  I can appreciate that there are difficulties in Leica meeting their own expectations due to factors beyond their control in the new museum.  My only recourse is to be patient.

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Excellent contribution to conservation of cultural history. Adds to Leitz credibility as a serious producer, not just a fashion acessory maker.

 

p.

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If their recent work on the archive is of similar quality as their recent work on the on-line Owners’ Area (now Club.Leica), another resource attracting the use of user/collectors like me, then they are quickly going backwards instead of forwards.  There it has been months since any progress, and I fully expect it could be years.  For my purposes it is a useless site now, in fact.

Anyway progress is never inevitable, in Leitz Park or elsewhere.  Plus there is a paradoxical danger that in collecting records in one place they are made infinitely more vulnerable to the vagaries of circumstance.

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