An Ansco under the tree meant heaven above …

Memar – a $40 bargain from Ansco

Toronto. After the war, every camera maker seemed to jump on the minicam (35mm) bandwagon. Many quickly adopted the standard of a leaf shutter, none interchangeable but focusing 45mm lens, and perhaps flash synchronization.

Usually rangefinders and faster lenses were reserved for slightly higher end models. Some cameras sported flash plugs; others had interchangeable front elements to modify the lens to make it a modest wide angle or telephoto lens. One could buy and add close-up lenses, filters, lens hoods, flash guns, leather eveready cases etc. to most cameras. The main target was the middle class buyer who could afford the under $100 price tag.

Ansco offered its versions as advertised for Christmas 1954 in LIFE magazine (p 104 of the Nov 15, 1954 issue). Germany was struggling with losing the war making it difficult to market its cameras in North America unless badged as American products (this camera was marketed as Ansco but made by Agfa in Germany). Of course, all this disappeared when the Japanese market took over after the Korean war and eliminated the fledgling American industry and most German cameras (except for the high end German and other European cameras both 35mm and 120 sizes).

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