Of course, we speak of long abandoned systems – digitalization has changed everything – but they are still of interest for Leica collectors, since they “explain” the use of the “Post” MD’s and MDa’s found in so many collections. As well as the “error” of calling “MD Post” the first “modified M3 for Post”.
Of course I had all three models when an active collector (we speak of the last quarter of the last century…), and I long asked myself how they were practically used. Until I discovered by pure chance an ALOS “funnel” (without the camera!) at a Swiss flea market.
I recently published some retrieved photos on the Leica Forum, and Bill Rosauer immediately asked me to provide Viewfinder readers with the information. I do so with great pleasure as I am a faithful reader since the first (mimeo-graphed) issue of Viewfinder in 1968.
First, let us explain to the young “digital” generation readers-collectors that in the “past”, the calculating of telephone bills required the “reading” of individual counters-registers by the telecom authority, generally depending of the “Post” office or administration. Among others (most probably…), the Swiss ALOS firm from Zürich had developed a system that allowed the taking of a picture of several counters simultaneously. The enlarged prints were then transmitted to the administrative services for reading and manual reconciliation of the invoice. This system offered a significant time savings and provided a useful file for proof when required.