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100 years Null-Serie

This summer I plan to give a presentation on ‘100 years Null-Serie’ for the Photographic Collectors Club of Great Britain (PCCGB). But I would like to test my work in progress in this Leica forum in advance. In order to reach as many researchers as possible I will submit this contribution both in English and in German.

It is important to start with four observations:

ONE - Our knowledge of the Null-Serie is based on very limited information. We have empirical information based on the surviving cameras. We have two hand written records on the recipients of a Null-Serie camera: the 1923 Leitz delivery register ‘Kamera’ and page 115 of the work notes of Oskar Barnack (1923, Werkstattbuch). A theoretical third category of information concerns the feedback from Null-Serie recipients, but this is sorely missing.

TWO - In Leica literature there is no agreement on the number of Null-Serie Leicas. One can find estimates like 20, 22, 25 and ‘some 30’.

THREE – As Ed Schwartzreich reminds me, the Null-Serie of 1923 is a post-war concept. The same applies to the second test series of 1924.

FOUR – In Leica literature there is no agreement on the existence of a second test series.  Ottmar Michaely (2011) observes that he can find no difference whatsoever between the numbers 126, 130 and the Leica I. He therefore questions the existence of a second test series altogether. Other Leica historians do infer the existence of a second test series and link these cameras to production numbers like Nr. 121-126, Nr. 121-129, and Nr. 126-129. In this way there is overlap with the production of Leica I cameras, which is assumed to begin with Nr. 126. This is problematic as the numbers 126-129 must have been produced in late 1924, whereas a second test series must also have served as a preparation for the patent application of 24 June 1924.

Outline of a unifying approach

In my approach there is no hard borderline between the Null-Serie of 1923 and the second test series of 1924. I assume instead that all pre-production cameras amounted to one more or less continuous flow of test cameras up to the start of series production at the end of 1924. Very early test cameras were the numbers 102 and 106 of March 1923.  These cameras were equipped with the new 5-element Leitz Anastigmat. It was very important to test this new lens before the beginning of series production.

A very late test camera was provided to Curt Emmermann at the end of 1924 or even very early in 1925. Curt Emmermann (1931) explicitly states that he received his camera from Ernst Leitz for test purposes (zur Begutachtung). This camera was already equipped with the new shutter.

Half way the flow of test cameras Oskar Barnack redesigned the shutter so that it would be self-capping. This must have happened after September 1923 (Nr. 122 Sauppe New York) and before the patent application of June 1924. During this period (say September 1923 – May 1924) only a few test cameras may have been produced. It is possible that Oskar Barnack cancelled the Null-Serie cameras 123-125 so as to use the material for unnumbered test cameras with the new shutter. A surviving model of an unnumbered test camera with the new shutter is the Schäfer camera as described by Ottmar Michaely in 2011.

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4 hours ago, Roland Zwiers said:

100 years Null-Serie

This summer I plan to give a presentation on ‘100 years Null-Serie’ for the Photographic Collectors Club of Great Britain (PCCGB). But I would like to test my work in progress in this Leica forum in advance. In order to reach as many researchers as possible I will submit this contribution both in English and in German.

It is important to start with four observations:

ONE - Our knowledge of the Null-Serie is based on very limited information. We have empirical information based on the surviving cameras. We have two hand written records on the recipients of a Null-Serie camera: the 1923 Leitz delivery register ‘Kamera’ and page 115 of the work notes of Oskar Barnack (1923, Werkstattbuch). A theoretical third category of information concerns the feedback from Null-Serie recipients, but this is sorely missing.

TWO - In Leica literature there is no agreement on the number of Null-Serie Leicas. One can find estimates like 20, 22, 25 and ‘some 30’.

THREE – As Ed Schwartzreich reminds me, the Null-Serie of 1923 is a post-war concept. The same applies to the second test series of 1924.

FOUR – In Leica literature there is no agreement on the existence of a second test series.  Ottmar Michaely (2011) observes that he can find no difference whatsoever between the numbers 126, 130 and the Leica I. He therefore questions the existence of a second test series altogether. Other Leica historians do infer the existence of a second test series and link these cameras to production numbers like Nr. 121-126, Nr. 121-129, and Nr. 126-129. In this way there is overlap with the production of Leica I cameras, which is assumed to begin with Nr. 126. This is problematic as the numbers 126-129 must have been produced in late 1924, whereas a second test series must also have served as a preparation for the patent application of 24 June 1924.

Outline of a unifying approach

In my approach there is no hard borderline between the Null-Serie of 1923 and the second test series of 1924. I assume instead that all pre-production cameras amounted to one more or less continuous flow of test cameras up to the start of series production at the end of 1924. Very early test cameras were the numbers 102 and 106 of March 1923.  These cameras were equipped with the new 5-element Leitz Anastigmat. It was very important to test this new lens before the beginning of series production.

A very late test camera was provided to Curt Emmermann at the end of 1924 or even very early in 1925. Curt Emmermann (1931) explicitly states that he received his camera from Ernst Leitz for test purposes (zur Begutachtung). This camera was already equipped with the new shutter.

Half way the flow of test cameras Oskar Barnack redesigned the shutter so that it would be self-capping. This must have happened after September 1923 (Nr. 122 Sauppe New York) and before the patent application of June 1924. During this period (say September 1923 – May 1924) only a few test cameras may have been produced. It is possible that Oskar Barnack cancelled the Null-Serie cameras 123-125 so as to use the material for unnumbered test cameras with the new shutter. A surviving model of an unnumbered test camera with the new shutter is the Schäfer camera as described by Ottmar Michaely in 2011.

I've been very busy since I came back from Wetzlar last weekend, Roland. Otherwise I would have been in touch directly with you. While I was attending the auction, I was looking for the records for a number of cameras, including No 132 which had been sold at auction in Vienna about a week earlier as the seventh ever production I Model A  on the basis that No 126 was the first one . https://catalog.ostlicht-auction.com/lots/view/5-MFL5O/leica-i-mod-a-anastigmat

I presume you have have this from the Richter book.

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It could be surmised with the gap after No 122, that the real start is at 126, but this is still speculation. Cameras were going to various places from New York to Giessen (No 129) which is very near to Wetzlar. No 121, which is not listed here, comes up for auction in October and Lars is assembling the story of the camera and I am sure that Ottmar will have had a look at it. I met Ottmar a few times on the day of the auction and we discussed various things, but not the topic of the production series start.  The Richter book records that  No 126 was said to have been engraved on 24th November 1924

The next page after this starts at No 130. I copied this in the archives on the 9th of June. 

The 130 series started in January 1925, but was not necessarily issued in numeric order. No 132 was sent to London on 16 January 1925. I was told that No 132 is not now in original condition and it would, indeed, be strange to find a metre scale lens on a camera going to London in 1925. The scale, now on the camera, has a 7 metre mark, but in 1925 and 1926 Leitz 50mm meter scale lenses did not have this mark. See the Anastigmat example sold at Leitz Auction on 10th June. The assumption must be that No 132 was altered after 1927.

You can trust the details provided by Ottmar Michaely. My own feeling, looking at all of this, is that the production series started in late 1924/early 1925 and that No 126 is as good a place to start as any. Supplies through Leitz London would almost certainly have been for customers and not for tests by trusted parties. However, I suggest that testing this hypothesis might be difficult in the light of the paucity of available information.

William 

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This page from the deliverybook 'Kamera' with the numbers 130-145 is also in my manuscript Leica films, cameras, lenses and users: 1913-1926.

Nr. 130 and 146 are part of the same order number (Auftragsnummer 416).

I wonder what additional camera numbers were part of this order number 416:
was Nr. 305 305 for Prof. Muesmann also part of Auftragsnummer 416?

was the test camera sent to Curt Emmermann aslo included in Aufragsnummer 416?

 

Oskar Barnacks' work notes and the delivery book 'Kamera' show that several  recipients of a Null-Serie camera concerned Leitz representative offices:

Berlin (Bergmann), Frankfurt (Kraft), Vienna (Kitterle), New York (Zieler), St Petersburg (…ovitch), foreign offices in general (Becker, Reisemuster SA)

But to my surprise the representative office in London is not mentioned. I have no good explanation for this.

London had a depot function for Empire and international trade as well. So it would have been logical to supply Londen as early as possible.

How do you know that No 132 was sent to London on 16 January 1925?

This is new information to me.

 

 

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20 minutes ago, Roland Zwiers said:

How do you know that No 132 was sent to London on 16 January 1925?

 

The top of the page reads 1925 Kamera

The third line reads

16/1 132 Leitz London 416 V 134.

There is a story about Leitz and Ogilvy later combining to form Leitz UK at Mortimer Street where they remained for many years. I am sure that I can dig it out if you want it.

There must be a point where testing ended and Leitz started to provide cameras for 'real customers'.  As I said earlier, I am only speculating, in the absence of other evidence, that it was around this time that the supply of production Leicas commenced.  There must be a point in time when this happened. The earliest advertisement for a Leica which I have seen is in German and is dated May 1925. The first English advertisement for a Leica is from Ogilvy and is dated 1926 and is from the Mortimer Street address which became the home of  Leitz UK.

William 

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This page from the deliverybook 'Kamera' with the numbers 130-145 is also in my manuscript Leica films, cameras, lenses and users: 1913-1926.

Nr. 130 and 146 are part of the same order number (Auftragsnummer 416).

I wonder what additional camera numbers were part of this order number 416:
was Nr. 305 305 for Prof. Muesmann also part of Auftragsnummer 416?

was the test camera sent to Curt Emmermann aslo included in Aufragsnummer 416?

 

Oskar Barnacks' work notes and the delivery book 'Kamera' show that several  recipients of a Null-Serie camera concerned Leitz representative offices:

Berlin (Bergmann), Frankfurt (Kraft), Vienna (Kitterle), New York (Zieler), St Petersburg (…ovitch), foreign offices in general (Becker, Reisemuster SA)

But to my surprise the representative office in London is not mentioned. I have no good explanation for this.

London had a depot function for Empire and international trade as well. So it would have been logical to supply Londen as early as possible.

How do you know that No 132 was sent to London on 16 January 1925?

This is new information to me.

 

 

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8 minutes ago, Roland Zwiers said:

This page from the deliverybook 'Kamera' with the numbers 130-145 is also in my manuscript Leica films, cameras, lenses and users: 1913-1926.

Nr. 130 and 146 are part of the same order number (Auftragsnummer 416).

I wonder what additional camera numbers were part of this order number 416:
was Nr. 305 305 for Prof. Muesmann also part of Auftragsnummer 416?

was the test camera sent to Curt Emmermann aslo included in Aufragsnummer 416?

 

Oskar Barnacks' work notes and the delivery book 'Kamera' show that several  recipients of a Null-Serie camera concerned Leitz representative offices:

Berlin (Bergmann), Frankfurt (Kraft), Vienna (Kitterle), New York (Zieler), St Petersburg (…ovitch), foreign offices in general (Becker, Reisemuster SA)

But to my surprise the representative office in London is not mentioned. I have no good explanation for this.

London had a depot function for Empire and international trade as well. So it would have been logical to supply Londen as early as possible.

How do you know that No 132 was sent to London on 16 January 1925?

This is new information to me.

 

 

I replied to this above. I don't know anything about order no 416 or the supply to any of the named individuals. I can ask the archives people if they have any data on Aufragsnummer 416, I suppose.

As a matter of interest, do you have a date or serial number at which you believe the supply of Leicas to customers commenced?

No 132 was very carefully described at the recent auction. The auctioneer, Peter Coeln, has been selling Leicas at auction and retail for many years, including several 0 Series cameras

William 

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Willeica: 

The third line reads

16/1 132 Leitz London 416 V 134.

 

I do not read:  16/1 132 Leitz London 416 V 134.

but: 16/1 132 Leitz Berlin 416 V 134.

 

The handwriting is in the socalled Sütterlin script.  Indeed the capital B looks like an L.

This is one of the confusing things when studying old German handwritten documents.

One has to differentiate the German Fraktur font (for printing and typewriters), from the German Kursiv script (used by Oskar Barnack) and the German Sütterlin script (taught at German schools after 1911 or so).

Oskar Barnack basically wrote in the Kursiv script, but in an idiosyncratic way. For example he used the capital K of the Fraktur script in his handwriting.

 

So in my analysis the London office is still missing.

On the other hand, one of these early cameras sent to Leitz Berlin may very well have been presented to Curt Emmermann.

Curt Emmermann (1931) explains that he received his Leica when it was not yet for sale.

From his exposition one can also infer that he hadn''t received a manual either.  

This implies either very late in 1924 or very erly in 1925.

According to Ulf Richter the manual was published in early January 1925.

 

sutterlin alfabet-compleet-crop2.tif

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This is the Sütterlin script as a jpeg-file.

[The website does not readily accept the previous tiff-format]

One can see how confusing the Sütterlin script is for modern readers.

Fortunately, Oskar Barnack used the older Kursiv script.  

This is slighty easier to read.

On the other hand Barnack had a personal style, used abbreviations,  and often  wrote in haste ...

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5 minutes ago, Roland Zwiers said:

The handwriting is in the socalled Sütterlin script.  Indeed the capital B looks like an L.

This is one of the confusing things when studying old German handwritten documents.

One has to differentiate the German Fraktur font (for printing and typewriters), from the German Kursiv script (used by Oskar Barnack) and the German Sütterlin script (taught at German schools after 1911 or so).

Oskar Barnack basically wrote in the Kursiv script, but in an idiosyncratic way. For example he used the capital K of the Fraktur script in his handwriting.

 You will have to forgive my lack of knowledge of old German scripts. Tim Pullmann at the Archive and I discussed the writing without reference to old German scripts. He was convinced this said 'London' and I accepted his word for this. I bow to your superior knowledge of such scripts. This may also explain why the scale is for metres. However, the distance scale was changed later as indicated by the details I gave earlier. If you compare the Ostlicht and Leitz Auction examples you will see what I mean. They are both metre scale, but the earlier camera has a later distance scale. 

Does this being Berlin rather than London bring us any closer to determining when the first production Leicas were delivered?

William 

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William wrote:

Does this being Berlin rather than London bring us any closer to determining when the first production Leicas were delivered?

 

The subject of this thread is 100 years Null-Serie.

My observation is that the Null-Serie is a confusing concept. The 'Null-Serie' of 1923 seems to differentiate from the 'Second Test Series' of 1924, another post-war concept.

In my view it is better to talk of one more or less continuous test series that runs from early 1923 to the end of 1924. 

 

Another subject is when the first production Leicas were delivered.

There is some overlap between these two subjects.

 

Leitz Objektiv (1957) states: 

‘Around this time of the year [late autumn 1924] the Leitz factory, after a test series of only six cameras, had embarked on the production of 600 Leicas’.

This implies six test cameras (so not for sale or delivered to regular customers) at the end of 1924.
 

A second source is Dr Paul Wolff (1934) who gives an account of an interview with Oskar Barnack. 
Dr Wolff relates that in 1924 'a first series of six cameras had left the Leitz factory'.
This confirms the number of six cameras, but it is not clear whether Dr Paul Wolff refers to six test cameras or to the first six cameras of series production.
Van Hasbroeck (1987) assumes the latter.
This reading implies that at the end of 1924 the first six Leicas had been for sale. But were they also sold before January 1, 1925?

In mainstream Leica literature I find two alternatives:

ONE The cameras sent to Leitz Berlin in early January 1925 were immediately for sale.

[But one of these may have been presented to Curt Emmermann]

TWO The first leicas for sale were offered at the march 1925 Leipzig fair.

 

When it comes to buying page 115 of the Werkstattbuch mentions 122 Sauppe (who bought this camera).

Page 115 also mentions 'gekauft' (bought) and 'verkauft' (sold). This suggests that in 1923 two or three test series cameras were already delivered to regular customers.

 

 

 

  

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Probably of little help to such a detailed study, but over the years, I noted observed cameras and where I saw them. Most have likely moved to on to new owners. JNC was the former John Newton Collection. BB is Barnack/Berek newsletter.

                     Leica 3 digit Model A Cameras  
Serial No. Lens Release Knob Ratchet Eyepiece Latch Shutter Notes
101               Van Hasbroeck, in color, p 14
103                  VF    fricke
104               L.M. 15 Ed.
105               V.F. 25-2
107               Rogliatti, P. 18
109               V.F. 4-2
111               JNC converted to Elmar
112 Anast.             JNC Anastigmat
113               V.F. 4-2
114 Anast.             Messer collection
116               Laney P.37, LA Leica 1983#3
118 Anast.             Japanese collection
119               Lager, 1975
122               Leitz Family Tree, Museum and VF  22-4
124               May not exist
126               Noted Prototype
128               Laney, p.38, likely original production not prototype
129               JNC and p.12 News/Views #2 Sept 73
132 Anast.             Conv. To late specs with elmar, Photographica 11/05
135               7/28 Leitz pamphlet, may not exist
139 Anast.             Conv. To model II, Malcolm Taylor communicaiton.VF 46-3
146 Anast.             Lager Cameras, p. 17, Updated late speed knob and shutter release
147 Anast.             JNC, V.H. p19, original
151 Anast.             A to D, BB#9, VF 14-2 p5, anastigmat conv. To standard mount
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Hello Alan,

Thank you for your contribution.

At 124 you write: may not exist.

This applies to the numbers 123-125 as well.

This may explain why some Leica historians define the Null-Serie as 101-122 (assuming 123-125 do not exist) whereas others prefer 101-125 (assuming 123-125 do exist). 

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On 6/18/2023 at 5:30 PM, alan mcfall said:

Probably of little help to such a detailed study, but over the years, I noted observed cameras and where I saw them. Most have likely moved to on to new owners. JNC was the former John Newton Collection. BB is Barnack/Berek newsletter.

                     Leica 3 digit Model A Cameras  
Serial No. Lens Release Knob Ratchet Eyepiece Latch Shutter Notes
101               Van Hasbroeck, in color, p 14
103                  VF    fricke
104               L.M. 15 Ed.
105               V.F. 25-2
107               Rogliatti, P. 18
109               V.F. 4-2
111               JNC converted to Elmar
112 Anast.             JNC Anastigmat
113               V.F. 4-2
114 Anast.             Messer collection
116               Laney P.37, LA Leica 1983#3
118 Anast.             Japanese collection
119               Lager, 1975
122               Leitz Family Tree, Museum and VF  22-4
124               May not exist
126               Noted Prototype
128               Laney, p.38, likely original production not prototype
129               JNC and p.12 News/Views #2 Sept 73
132 Anast.             Conv. To late specs with elmar, Photographica 11/05
135               7/28 Leitz pamphlet, may not exist
139 Anast.             Conv. To model II, Malcolm Taylor communicaiton.VF 46-3
146 Anast.             Lager Cameras, p. 17, Updated late speed knob and shutter release
147 Anast.             JNC, V.H. p19, original
151 Anast.             A to D, BB#9, VF 14-2 p5, anastigmat conv. To standard mount

Thanks Alan. This is useful

Any of these cameras I have seen has an Anastigmat lens. 132 has some 'upgrades' but the current lens on the camera, as sold on 1 June, is marked as an Anastigmat.

I am only certain of one thing and that is that Barnack constantly tinkered around with the early cameras. So it would require real expertise to determine everything that was changed and when it might have been changed. Roland is correct in identifying Ottmar Michaely as being the person best qualified to do this, Lars Netopil has also seen many of these cameras and is currently getting ready to auction No 121. I am hoping to write a piece on the camera before the auction. Last year Jim Lager gave a talk at the UK Leica Society AGM in Buxton in which he showed examples of 0 Series cameras and the results of his researches carried out many years ago. I believe there is an article or two about his  talk in the TLS magazine and possibly on Macfilos as well. Lars and I were at this talk. I will see what I can post from this here. 

The net issue here would seem to be, when did the prototypes cease and the actual commercial production begin? Looking back over 100 years this is difficult to determine. I will see if anything still exists about order No 416.

William 

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Roland,

Thank you for this topic which I am very interested in.

I recently read an article about Leica 1A Anastigmat number 225 which perhaps might shed some light on the fact that London never received an 0 series camera.

Leica Anastigmat number 225 was up for auction in June 2022 and the new vendor contacted Leica in Wetzlar about this camera.

They confirmed that this camera was delivered on January 29th 1925 to J.W Ogilvy and Co London together with another Anastigmat serial number 181.

These two cameras were the first delivery to J.W Ogilvy (under Leitz order number 430) and Leica believe these were the first Leica cameras to be received in Great Britain.

J.W Ogilvy & Co were the Leitz agents at 20 Mortimer Street, London and in 1928 became E.Leitz (London).

(The rewind knob on 225 has a 3 feathered arrow )

Alan

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I also started to compile some basic notes about the 0 series cameras as I felt it would be interesting to document anything that is known about these historical cameras.

Perhaps we could build a record here about what everyone knows about each of the 0 series cameras, it is highly likely that due to the extremely high value a lot of these cameras will be locked away in vaults, never to be seen again.

I literally only started my notes and they are very basic, but it could be a start for forum members to contribute what they know?

No 101 - 15/4/23 August Bauer

No 102 - 14/4/23 Ernst Leitz III

No 103 - 6/6/23 Hermann Kipper

No 104 - ? (St Petersburg)

No 105 - 3/7/23 Dr Henri Dumur

No 106 - 25/3/23 Dr Max Berek

No 107 - 5/6/23 Patent Office New York

No 108 - 6/6/23 Rudolph Zak (Leitz Optical Manager)

No 109 - 6/6/23 Herr Kutschinsky (Berlin Branch)

No 110 - 28/9/23 Herr Kitterle (Vienna)

No 111 - 6/6/23 Wolfgang Zieler (New York Branch)

No 112 - 15/4/23 Oskar Barnack

No 113 - 15/5/23 Dr Franz Bergmann (Leitz manager)

No 114 - 15/5/23 Professor Dr Fritz Klute

No 115 - ?

No 116 - ?

No 117 - ?

No 118 - 6/6/23 Professor Eicken (Berlin)

No 119 - 6/6/23 Herr Ruplar

No 120 - Franz Bergmann (Berlin?)

No 121 - ?

No 122 - Sauppe (New York)

No 123 - ?

No 124 - ?

No 125 - ?

No 126  - 11/6/23 Herr Michael Becker (Dept manager Berlin)

No 127 - 10/23 Anton Baumann

No 128 - 10/23 Herr Rudolph Zak

No 129 - 10/23 Firm Winterdorff (Giessen)

No 130 - 10/23 Hamburg (sold)

 

 

 

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Hello Alan and William,

Thank you for your contributions!

Now we are already dealing with two different subjects, each of which deserve a proper discussion.

ONE - 100 Year Null- Serie; this deals with the interpretation of the Null-Serie in relation to the second test series. 

In order to discuss this subject one needs to compare the primary and empirical sources that are still available.

  • The Werkstattbuch by Oskar Barnack, especially page 115 (see below)
  • The delivery book 'Kamera' in 1923-1925; the names corresponding to the numbers 100-129 have already been analysed in Leica literature.
    But there is much more work to do. Oskar Barnack mentions many more names than are listed under 100-129 of the delivery book.
    I assume that many of these names show up in later pages of the delivery book, but these pages have not been published. 
  • The empirical sources, especially the observations by Ottmar Michaely.
  • Feedback from users of very early test cameras; e.g. Dr Paul Wolff published a Leica picture that he took in 1924.  
    In order to do so he must have used (probably borrowed) a test series Leica. 

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TWO - What happened after the test series of 1923-1924? This relates to questions as:

  • When did the prototypes cease and did the actual commercial production begin?
  • Who was the first 'regular' client for a series produced Leica I?
  • When did the first Leica (either test serie or series produced Leica) arrive in London? 
  • What series produced cameras of 1924 (in any) were still in store (and so unsold or not given away) by the end of 1924.
    This question relates to my stock-and-flow scenario for 1924-1926.  

As these two subjects deserve separate treatment, it seems best to make a new listing for Williams question:

What happened after the test series of 1923-1924?

 

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12 hours ago, beoon said:

I also started to compile some basic notes about the 0 series cameras as I felt it would be interesting to document anything that is known about these historical cameras.

Perhaps we could build a record here about what everyone knows about each of the 0 series cameras, it is highly likely that due to the extremely high value a lot of these cameras will be locked away in vaults, never to be seen again.

I literally only started my notes and they are very basic, but it could be a start for forum members to contribute what they know?

No 101 - 15/4/23 August Bauer

No 102 - 14/4/23 Ernst Leitz III

No 103 - 6/6/23 Hermann Kipper

No 104 - ? (St Petersburg)

No 105 - 3/7/23 Dr Henri Dumur

No 106 - 25/3/23 Dr Max Berek

No 107 - 5/6/23 Patent Office New York

No 108 - 6/6/23 Rudolph Zak (Leitz Optical Manager)

No 109 - 6/6/23 Herr Kutschinsky (Berlin Branch)

No 110 - 28/9/23 Herr Kitterle (Vienna)

No 111 - 6/6/23 Wolfgang Zieler (New York Branch)

No 112 - 15/4/23 Oskar Barnack

No 113 - 15/5/23 Dr Franz Bergmann (Leitz manager)

No 114 - 15/5/23 Professor Dr Fritz Klute

No 115 - ?

No 116 - ?

No 117 - ?

No 118 - 6/6/23 Professor Eicken (Berlin)

No 119 - 6/6/23 Herr Ruplar

No 120 - Franz Bergmann (Berlin?)

No 121 - ?

No 122 - Sauppe (New York)

No 123 - ?

No 124 - ?

No 125 - ?

No 126  - 11/6/23 Herr Michael Becker (Dept manager Berlin)

No 127 - 10/23 Anton Baumann

No 128 - 10/23 Herr Rudolph Zak

No 129 - 10/23 Firm Winterdorff (Giessen)

No 130 - 10/23 Hamburg (sold)

 

 

 

Is 107 still in the NY Patent Office stores and do they know what it is worth?

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There must have been a drift from prototype testing to the sale of commercial items. There was likely to have been overlap between the two processes for a period with full advertising and commercial launch happening in the Spring of 1925.

What is more clear is the distinction between 0 Series and I Model A cameras. One of the main indicators of that is the shutter speed dial in place of the slit width indicator on Nos 121 and 122. I suspect that No 126 may have been the first camera with the speed dial and certainly No 132 has this and is a true I Model A. Beyond that you would need to handle the  individual cameras and only people like Ottmar and Lars have done this for a reasonable number of cameras. That is probably as important as the records that may survive in the archive.

I hope to be in Wetzlar again next October for the LSI Conference and Jim Lager and Lars Netopil should be there as well. Maybe we can look at this, but there will be other things to look at. 
 

William 

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5 hours ago, Pyrogallol said:

Is 107 still in the NY Patent Office stores and do they know what it is worth?

This is actually a very interesting question.  The camera almost certainly would have worked its way into the Smithsonian Museum collection, if the US Government did not return it.  The Smithsonian holds 13,646 patent models.

https://www.si.edu/search?edan_q=patent%2Bmodels&

The Smithsonian is one of world's greatest collectibles mausoleums with less than 0.2% of its holdings on display.  And much of the rest uncatalogued.  A search of their camera holdings shows that the museum knows of 241 Leica associated things that it owns.  There are photos of 74 of them online, some of them are photographs and some are not really associated with Leica.

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