anything you can do …

Dachshunds c1930s by Ivan Dmitri

Toronto. The title is from a song Irving Berlin wrote for the 1946 Broadway musical “Annie Get Your Gun” The ditty epitomizes that spunky minicam of the 1930s. The big challenge for the marketeers was to convince professionals that indeed the fashionable little cameras could do a professional job matching the bigger cameras favoured by the photographers of the time.

The most exciting camera of that period was the tiny Leica which touted small negative – big photograph. A popular American book on using the camera was Morgan and Lester’s Leica Manual. Morgan, who worked at Leitz NY made many well designed accessories for the little camera rapidly expanding its capabilities.

The Leica Manual had a decades long run from pre war to post war. The manual was divided into chapters. In the earlier editions, various chapters were written by people who were expert in the field and in applying the camera to that field. Part I was called Basic Leica Technique and had chapters showing how to use the camera and its accessories practically to create professional photographs. Part II covered chapters on Leica in Science and Technology while Part III was called The Leica in Specialized Fields.

In most chapters the reader was shown how the Leica could be used instead of a larger traditional camera to create even better photographs.

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