Automat? What about a Lordomat 35mm lens?

A Schacht Travenar 35mm lens for the Lordomat

Toronto. If you like watching old movies, you have likely seen the famous Automat cafeteria in NYC. These automated restaurants were threatened and often ‘ate’ up by by the growth of fast food outlets.

Sadly our camera industry was no different than the food industry. In the 1950s, when camera companies jostled one another for retail sales, a small German firm in Wetzlar called Leidolf produced high quality 35mm cameras to compete on the open market.  An interesting story; at one time Leidolf made parts for Leitz before competing with them by manufacturing cameras. The company was absorbed by Wild Heerbrug who were later absorbed by Leitz – small world. The Canadian branch of Leitz was known as Wild-Leitz in the 1970s.

This coated lens is an f/3.5 35mm focal length with an odd breech mount. The lens is designated a Schacht-Travenar 1:3.5/35. Schacht was an optical company at the time and made many varieties of the 35mm Travenar. For the Lordomat camera, the lens was placed in a breech lens mount. The sturdy little chrome and black lens has the rear elements imbedded in the camera.

Did you know the auction in Port Colborne this weekend has a lovely version for the Lordomat in an original brown leather case and strap. The case is stamped “Lordomat” on the lid and ‘Made in Germany’ on the bottom.

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