To celebrate the 50th Anniversary of the LHSA, an English translation of Ulf Richter’s wonderful book, “Oskar Barnack – From the Idea to the Leica” was published and made available to the membership. If you don’t already own it, I encourage you to obtain a copy. In the book, Ulf talks about Barnack’s life, with chapters devoted to his childhood and education, and his earlier work life before he came to Leitz in 1910, culminating in his greatest invention – the Leica camera.
In the chapter on Barnack’s time in Jena, my attention was drawn to a letter written by Barnack. Right away, several things about the letter caught my attention. First it was in Barnack’s own handwriting in ink, which is pretty rare in that we are used to seeing only the short notes and drawings Barnack wrote in pencil about his mechanical designs. Second, there were several “notes” written in the margins of the letter, one of them, in the lower left by Barnack himself. Looking at the translation of Barnack’s hard to decipher handwriting, we find that this was essentially a thank you note from Barnack to a Herr August Leistenschneider dated 9 August 1933, for the beautiful mechanical pencil he had sent to him. He promises to use it and report back to him with his opinion of it. In closing, Barnack extends his best wishes to Leistenschneider and his son.
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