The LHSA (The International Leica Society) recently held its 50th anniversary AGM in Wetzlar, the ancestral and current home of the Leica camera. I attended with my wife Laura. It was good to meet old and new friends who came from 19 different countries. Some of those friends were, like me, also members of the Leica Society in the UK — such as Keith Walker and Macfilos editor Mike Evans in the photo (to your right) and John Gregory who is in the photo on the right.
One of the first items was a tour of the factory, or, I should say, the outside of the factory as an entry to the actual premises is not permitted to persons who are not staff. Our excellent guide was Lothar Lühring.
In the back of the entrance foyer, there are some examples of early Leicas, including a replica Ur Leica and an early I Model A, together with some Leica copies, including some from the former Soviet Union and a Reid copy from the UK.
A cabinet beside the factory contains a notebook with some other items. The notebook includes numbers which were engraved or stamped behind the infinity knobs on lenses to indicate the actual focal length of a particular example. Time and space do not permit going into this in detail here, but I can write another article about this if anyone is interested. The note at the bottom of the page appears to have been written in 1936, some months after the death of Oskar Barnack. The handwriting looks like that of Mr. Zuhlcke, the foreman of the optical department, who had reported to Barnack on lens development and manufacturing issues.