Cameras Offered in USA in mid-to-late 1942

Discussion in 'Classic Manual Cameras' started by JDMvW, Sep 13, 2021.

  1. Or "Trading with the Enemy?"

    In the history of WWII, as in WWI, the USA was late coming in. So far as Europe was concerned, the beginning of the conflict was in September, 1939. Earlier if you include Ethiopia-Italy and China-Japan.
    .The USSR was tied to Germany by a non-aggression pact that divided up Poland and the Baltic states until Germany attacked them in June of 1940. Through this and the campaigns in Western Europe, America remained Neutral. Trade with Germany was "legal" t least, and many American camera shops continued to offer German-made cameras.
    Popular Photography 1940-10

    The HItler attacked Russia, not a smart move, perhaps
    Popular Photography 1942-04
    The USA was attacked by the "Empire of Japan" on December 7, 1941, and Germany declared war on the US soon after.

    However, even 4 months later, many stores continued to sell German cameras, some as late as 1944-5. This was surely merchandise imported before the war. Another factor was that all through WWII, good quality used cameras were offered (with the additional advantage of not having stiff excise taxes collected on them, a condition that continued after the war was over when rather large numbers of "used" cameras (especially from the Soviet-occupied areas) were sold.
    Anyhow, here are some camera ads from 1942-

    Popular Photography 1942-04
    In the same month, other stores also offered German cameras variously
    Peerless was one of the 'giant' New York stores at the time:
    And even the US representatives of German firms continued to advertise- Also from April of 1942


    While the war went on, the armed forces begged camera owners to loan them their Leicas, Zeisses, and all....

    Also binoculars, dogs, etc...
  2. There it is. People used to seem to like this sort of thing.
  3. And for some of us who like this sort of thing, it's just the sort of thing we like!
    davidspahr likes this.
  4. Definitely liked. Written, not clicked. Fascinating historical lists, especially in the context of their era.
    ] likes this.
  5. ]


    Appreciate seeing these lists, and the history behind them. Enjoyed seeing this post. Thanks!
  6. It would be interesting to see camera advertising from the UK in the corresponding period (if there was any). I recall reading that people were requested to donate cameras etc for military use. For many years after the war, camera imports were banned which is one reason why British companies developed copies of German cameras, like the Reid Leica copy and the Agiflex copy of the Reflex Korelle.
    Bill Snell likes this.
  7. Bill Snell

    Bill Snell Bill Snell

    Here's one from the British monthly magazine "Miniature Camera World" - November 1939 issue. To put the prices into perspective my father was a London fireman on 3 pounds per week for the duration! Not 1942 but as close as I can get. DSC00884.jpeg
  8. Bill Snell

    Bill Snell Bill Snell

    I also found this interesting DSC00883.jpeg from the editorial of the same issue.
    Last edited: Sep 14, 2021
  9. My corner of the Balkans was invaded on April 7, 1939. There was some resistance, but our aged carcanos and steyr manlicher were no match for Mussolini's planes.
  10. And of course, before that there was Spain, I just meant that the US was not officially involved until quite late in the history.
  11. Ralf's land was one of those unfortunate enough to be liberated repeatedly.

    Julio Fernandez likes this.
  12. Looking at the ads presented by JD, prices of many German cameras were way beyond the reach of the average salary at the time. Recently looked at Brothers and Sisters of the Toda Family, made during Japan’s invasion of China. In order to reinforce the point that the Toda family was one of affluence, comments were made about one brother owning a Leica.
  13. History would be great... if only there was some sort of lesson we could learn from it! :rolleyes:

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