This volume: “The History of the Small Camera up to the Leica” by Erich Stenger was one of several books issued upon the centenary of the Leitz firm in 1949. The final section of the book focused upon the Leica camera and its development. The earlier part of the text concerns smaller format cameras which preceded the Leica. Published only in German, an English translation was later arranged by Fred and Jo Mazzulla; around a half-dozen copies were assembled with the original German on one page, and the English translation on the other. It is presumed that the German versions were removed from their bindings to accomplish this. LHSA owns one of these hybrid books in its archives.
The translation recorded below comes from a mimeographed draft, shared by Jim Lager, of the latter part of the book. The illustrations are scanned from the original German volume.
It seems appropriate to share this oft-told tale of the Leica in a version new to most English speakers at the time of LHSA’s 50th Anniversary. (A very few manuscript edits were made by the editor of this article for clarity’s sake.)
LEICA — BIRTH AND HISTORY