doctor, doctor gimme the news

Dr Krugener’s letterhead pre ICA, courtesy of Zeiss and Photography by Larry Gubas

Toronto.I got a bad case of lovin’ you … or so the late Robert Palmer sang back in 1979 on his album titled “Secrets“.

Dr Rudolf Krugener founded a camera company in Frankfurt a Main, Germany in 1885 to make his many innovative designs for detective, box, and magazine cameras as well as shutters for the new dry plate industry.

In 1909 his company merged with some others to form ICA A.G. in Dresden. In turn, after the chaos Germany experienced with out of control inflation post war, ICA merged with Zeiss Ikon A.G. in 1926 when that company was formed and run by Zeiss. Zeiss Ikon was established at the request of the government to bring some sense of order and rationalization to the German Camera Industry.

One such detective/magazine camera invented by the good doctor was his 1893 twin-lens reflex (TLR) detective camera called a Simplex. (Shown in a link as invented in 1889) It was made and sold decades before the most famous TLR ever made, the Rolleiflex.

At our December 2003 Show and Tell meeting, a very excited gentleman, the late Bill Kantymir, presented his newly acquired Simplex with its ultra rare leather case. He bought the camera online from the owner, a man in Hamilton, Ontario (small world). Bill’s excitement stemmed from it being on his short list of rare cameras to own in his life-time.

This post used many texts including “Zeiss and Photography” (Lawrence Gubas), “A Century of Cameras” (Eaton S Lothrop Jr), “Zeiss Ikon Cameras 1926~39” (D.B. Tubbs),  and “Cameras” (Brian Coe). Note that both Gubas and Lothrop spoke at the PHSC many years ago.

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