Locating Long Lost Leicas by the numbers…

Oct 28, 2020  By Jason Schneider

The Leitz Delivery Register is awesome, but it can’t do everything.

Shortly after the comprehensive article “Leica Serial Numbers: The Holy Grail of Camera Identification” (LHSA, August 31, 2020) was posted, we received an impassioned plea from Kathlene Fairchild seeking our help in recovering her daughter’s stolen Leica (see her original letter and our reply below). This camera, an irreplaceable family heirloom, was used by her photojournalist great grandfather “during a war,” presumably World War II, since the first Leica I (Model A) wasn’t officially announced until 7 years after the Armistice was signed in 1918. Regrettably, the one piece of critical information Ms. Fairchild lacked was the serial number of the missing camera, and that’s why she offered to “look up the handwritten names” to find it. Well, even if Leica allowed people to pore through their original ledger books on request (they don’t—they’re kept under lock and key in a temperature/humidity-controlled room) it wouldn’t have been much help, either in determining the missing Leica’s serial number or in recovering the purloined camera itself.

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