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1946 iiic modified to iiif with Army markings


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Some photos for your review and comment

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Interesting and unique font on the engraving. Not 100% sure, but this does look like and engraving style that E. Leitz was using in war time and immediate post-war time period.

Depending upon which serial number list you are looking at, it appears that this camera was produced in 1946/47. This was during a time of great uncertainty in Germany and at Leitz, Wetzlar. A lot of the camera production went to US armed forces and the PX system. At some point later in time, the camera was converted from IIIc to IIIf black dial. Note the added sync scale under the shutter speed dial and the IIIf film reminder/ASA-DIN dial in the wind on knob. There is also a sync connection to the right of the viewfinder windows.

Property of US Army engraving would imply that this camera was to be used by the military and not meant to be purchased at say and Army PX outlet store.

Edited by derleicaman
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1 hour ago, derleicaman said:

Note the added sync scale under the shutter speed dial 

I recall noting this in a post about sharkskin models. The usual practice for conversions of a IIIc to a IIIf Black Dial was that a screw on plate with the sync numbers was added like this one. However, if a Ic was being converted to a IIIf Black Dial it would get a completely new top plate with stamped on sync numbers and no screw on plate. I have examples of both kinds of conversion. 

The camera here looks genuine and it is 'in period' for a US Army purchase. I cannot comment about the engraving, though. If you ask for delivery details from the Leica Archives you will probably also get a date for the return to Wetzlar for the IIIf conversion, although it will not describe exactly the work that was done at that time.

William

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Thanks for your insights.   Here are two more photos.   I will post photos of the blue-gray Leica leather case for it tomorrow.

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vor 23 Stunden schrieb derleicaman:

Not 100% sure, but this does look like and engraving style that E. Leitz was using in war time and immediate post-war time period.

I am not sure which engravings you mean: the usual on on the camera‘s top or the „special“ one on the back indicating „Property of U.S. Army“?

I am almost certain that the „Army“ engraving was not done by Leitz. If you look at the „Y“ and also the “U“  or the „A“  the fonts are very unusual - to say the least. Any person at Leitz must have gone ways from his usual practice and applied a lot of „artistic phantasy“ if he did this engravings.

I think engravings indicating certain proprietors were not done by Leitz, but only by the proprietors themselves. This is sure for the German wartime Leicas which have military engravings - they were never done by Leitz.

 

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14 hours ago, UliWer said:

I think engravings indicating certain proprietors were not done by Leitz, but only by the proprietors themselves. This is sure for the German wartime Leicas which have military engravings - they were never done by Leitz.

 

Partly true: there are "engravings" and engravings. A lot of military engravings were done by Leitz, a thing well documented... and not only on cameras...

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20 hours ago, UliWer said:

I am not sure which engravings you mean: the usual on on the camera‘s top or the „special“ one on the back indicating „Property of U.S. Army“?

I am almost certain that the „Army“ engraving was not done by Leitz. If you look at the „Y“ and also the “U“  or the „A“  the fonts are very unusual - to say the least. Any person at Leitz must have gone ways from his usual practice and applied a lot of „artistic phantasy“ if he did this engravings.

I think engravings indicating certain proprietors were not done by Leitz, but only by the proprietors themselves. This is sure for the German wartime Leicas which have military engravings - they were never done by Leitz.

 

Lager has confirmed that this font or engraving style was one used by Leitz in 1945/46. He did an article on this, possibly in VIDOM

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vor 2 Stunden schrieb derleicaman:

Lager has confirmed that this font or engraving style was one used by Leitz in 1945/46. He did an article on this, possibly in VIDOM

Yes, there is an article by James Lager in Vidom No. 85 (2004) p. 9, where he shows items with the same engraving style. He particularly mentions the unusual fonts for "A", "U" and "Y" and he asks readers who can give further information about these engravings. So it seems that James Lager was not sure about the origin of the engravings in 2004. Unfortunately I don't find any follow ups about the topic in the Vidom-Archiv.

One item he shows in this article is interesting: it is a Xenon No. 491729 which was delivered on 7. April 1945 to Lt. Snyder, U.S. Army. The engraving "Paul C. Snyder" on this lens shows the same style for the "u" and the "y" as the camera shown in the first posting.  In the article James Lager mentions that you find a photo of a 400 mm Telyt No. 540540 mounted to the Leitz New York Leica gun RIFLE with a special finder In Lager II (Lenses) on p. 122 (The engraving for Lt. Snyder cannot be seen on the photo in the book). The Telyt was delivered to Lt. Snyder on 6. June 1946.

So - but this is just my own vague theory - the engravings may have been applied not in Wetzlar but at Leitz New York (at the RIFLE's origin). 

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5 hours ago, UliWer said:

Yes, there is an article by James Lager in Vidom No. 85 (2004) p. 9, where he shows items with the same engraving style. He particularly mentions the unusual fonts for "A", "U" and "Y" and he asks readers who can give further information about these engravings. So it seems that James Lager was not sure about the origin of the engravings in 2004. Unfortunately I don't find any follow ups about the topic in the Vidom-Archiv.

One item he shows in this article is interesting: it is a Xenon No. 491729 which was delivered on 7. April 1945 to Lt. Snyder, U.S. Army. The engraving "Paul C. Snyder" on this lens shows the same style for the "u" and the "y" as the camera shown in the first posting.  In the article James Lager mentions that you find a photo of a 400 mm Telyt No. 540540 mounted to the Leitz New York Leica gun RIFLE with a special finder In Lager II (Lenses) on p. 122 (The engraving for Lt. Snyder cannot be seen on the photo in the book). The Telyt was delivered to Lt. Snyder on 6. June 1946.

So - but this is just my own vague theory - the engravings may have been applied not in Wetzlar but at Leitz New York (at the RIFLE's origin). 

I think this answers your question about who Paul Snyder was and reinforces the engraving most likely being done in Wetzlar

https://lhsa.org/2019/06/snyder-at-wetzlar/

Hate to say as Viewfinder editor how bad my memory is at times!

Edited by derleicaman
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5 hours ago, derleicaman said:

Hate to say as Viewfinder editor how bad my memory is at times!

We can all have 'senior moments', Bill. I had one last week when I asked Jim Lager about details of a camera, where I had already got those details from the Leica Archives. The LHSA website, which is a source of a lot of great material, has been running somewhat slow in the last week or so. Server issues?

Going back to the OP's camera. The US occupation in Germany ended in May 1955. It would be interesting to see when that camera went back to Wetzlar for upgrade to IIIf. It may well have spent the early part of its life from 1946 to 1955 in Germany. The Archives may have details.

William

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On 2/17/2020 at 6:59 PM, willeica said:

If you ask for delivery details from the Leica Archives you will probably also get a date for the return to Wetzlar for the IIIf conversion, although it will not describe exactly the work that was done at that time.

William

Not to hijack someone else's thread, but do you have any advice as to how to go about the process of contacting the Archives?  I have a very close cousin of this camera (403xxx, similarly converted to a IIIf) that I'd love to research further.

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27 minutes ago, landsknechte said:

Not to hijack someone else's thread, but do you have any advice as to how to go about the process of contacting the Archives?  I have a very close cousin of this camera (403xxx, similarly converted to a IIIf) that I'd love to research further.

Contact them at  Archiv@leica-camera.com . Just quote the serial numbers and models and ask them for delivery details.

William

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