As part of LHSA’s 50th Anniversary Year, we are featuring a special translation of Erich Stenger’s history of the Leica Camera, originally published in 1949 in German for the E. Leitz Company’s 100th Anniversary. The translation was arranged for by Fred and Jo Mazzulla, and issued in a limited edition volume with side-by-side German and English language pages. The first two parts were printed in Viewfinders 50-2 and 50-3. Here is the third and final part. Illustrated are two sets of pages from Mazulla’s composite book: the Title Page, and page 57 which comprises only text. One can see the rather rough-and-ready appearance of the right-hand side of the typed (probably mimeographed) translation, contrasted to the rather elegant font of the published German edition. Scans courtesy of Doug Drumheller, from the LHSA archive.
A pioneer of the leica
As no one else, Dr. Paul Wolff, who hailed from Mulhouse in Alsace (born l887), worked for the recognition of the LEICA as a miniature, for its wide distribution, and for the proof of its usability in the various branches of photography. His enthusiasm for photography led him to the LEICA, for whose recognition he fought with words and pictures, in lectures in Germany and abroad, and with excellent publications. Through this miniature camera, which he handled masterfully, he gave a new meaning and showed new ways to photography, which had been in danger of stagnating. He showed that the small LEICA negative could do the same as and in many cases more than the large camera. It was also Dr. Wolff who opened up the field of color for the LEICA. His merits for the LEICA are so well-known that this short reference is sufficient here. Paul Wolff ‘s book “My Experiences with the LEICA” has appeared in several large editions, reaching a considerable number of readers in German. and foreign languages (English, French, Japanese). He was the scout and trail-blazer for the now comprehensive LEICA literature, which, concerning itself with the technical use of the LEICA or with its pictorial results, now extends to all civilized countries. Thus, also, LEICA periodicals, LEICA clubs, and LEICA study courses sprang up here and abroad.
What the leica has brought us