Oscar Barnack (1879 – 1936) and the first 35mm camera

Leica 1
Leica 1

First effective 35mm camera

The Leica 1, the first functional 35 mm camera, was introduced in Germany in 1925, making photography much more accessible to the general public. Oscar Barnack, a precision engineer at the Leitz optical laboratories in Wetzlar, spent twelve years developing this compact and lightweight type (established 1869). He began his career as a master mechanic with the Ernst Leitz firm in 1911 after being trained as a mechanic. Barnack rejected the traditional bulky glass plate negative format favouring a 24 36 mm reel-to-reel film format thanks to his brilliant design solution. Barnack created his first experimental small format camera in 1913, which served as the foundation for the Leica A of 1918 and the Leica 1 of 1925, the first production model. (The word Leica comes from the words Leitz and camera.)

Advertisement from The International Leica Society
Advertisement from The International Leica Society

With 36 exposures per film and a high-quality lens and mechanics, the Leica 1 was a very practical camera. Its unfussy design emphasised its focus for high-quality utility and technological innovation, attributes that have continued to be represented in Leica camera design to this day, such as the Leica C1 created by Achim Heine in 1999. The prominent Bauhaus graphic designer and teacher Herbert Bayer and leading German photojournalists like Erich Salomon were among the first users of the first mass-produced Leica cameras.

Sources

Woodham, J. M. (2006). A dictionary of modern design. Oxford University Press.

More Industrial Designers

  • Kurt Naef Spielzeug – Swiss Design firm – Unique Playthings

    Kurt Naef Spielzeug –  Swiss Design firm – Unique Playthings

    A typical Naef set is a box with geometric pieces made of wood and cut with great care. Each set has unique block shapes that make its possibilities different. Some of Kurt Naef’s sets were designed by Naef himself, but also by Peer Clahsen and Jo Niemeyer.Read More →

  • John Mascheroni (1932- ) American furniture and industrial designer

    John Mascheroni (1932- ) American furniture and industrial designer

    John Mascheroni is an American furniture and industrial designer. He studied at the Pratt Insitute in Brooklyn New York. He opened his own design office and furniture factory in New York. Mascheroni designed furniture for manufactures in High Point, North Carolina. From 1990, his furniture designs were produced by Swaim and, from 1991, others by Jeffco.Read More →

  • Enzo Mari (1932 -2020) Italian modernist, industrial designer

    Enzo Mari (1932 -2020) Italian modernist, industrial designer

    Graduating Table Bowls In 1956, he became interested in design, particularly books and children’s games. In 1957, he began working for Danese, for whom some of his designs and ideas for games and puzzles, including the 1957 wooden child’s puzzle, were realised.Read More →

  • Ettore Sottsass (1917-2007) Father of Anti-Design

    Ettore Sottsass (1917-2007) Father of Anti-Design

    Although trained and active as an architect, Sottsass secured a permanent place in pop culture with his designs of everyday items. From 1957, he was a consultant designer at Olivetti, where he designed computers, adding machines, typewriters, and systems furniture. Read More →

  • Gianni Pasini (b.1937) Italian Designer – Electronic Machinery

    Gianni Pasini (b.1937) Italian Designer – Electronic Machinery

    Gianni Pasini was born in 1937 in Venice and professionally active in Milan. Some of his clients were Olivetti, Fabbrica Italiana, Magneti Marelli, and Crin hospital. He worked with Sandro Pasqui in a design studio from 1974 onwards.Read More →

  • Antonia Astori (b.1940) Italian designer co-founded Driade

    Antonia Astori (b.1940) Italian designer co-founded Driade

    Antonia Astori co-founded Driade with her brother Enrico and Adelaide Acerbi in 1968. She was able to create a unique network of furniture designers, galleries, and shops.Read More →

  • Memphis Group – it has little to do with Tennessee

    Memphis Group – it has little to do with Tennessee

    Memphis was a movement in interior design introduced at the annual Milan Furniture Fair in 1981. It consisted of a group led by Memphis guru Ettore Sottass of avant-garde Italian designers. With outrageous interpretations of traditional furnishings and accessories, Memphis shocked the traditionally quiet industry.Read More →

  • Tapio Wirkkala (1913 – 1985) Finland’s leading designer

    Tapio Wirkkala (1913 – 1985) Finland’s leading designer

    Tapio Wirkkala is widely regarded as one of Finland’s most influential designers. Wirkkala began hisRead More →

  • Arata Isozaki (b. 1931) is a Japanese architect, urban designer

    Arata Isozaki (b. 1931) is a Japanese architect, urban designer

    Arata Isozaki is a Japanese architect, urban designer, and theorist from Ōita. He was awarded the RIBA Gold Medal in 1986 and the Pritzker Architecture Prize in 2019.Read More →

  • Eliot Noyes (1910 – 1977) American industrial designer

    Eliot Noyes (1910 – 1977) American industrial designer

    Eliot Noyes (1910 – 1977) was an industrial designer from the United States. From 1928 to 1932, he studied architecture at Harvard University, followed by stints at the Graduate School of Design from 1932 to 1935 and 1937 to 1938. Read More →

  • Zanussi Italian manufacturer and design firm

    Zanussi Italian manufacturer and design firm

    Antonio Zanussi established the household appliance firm in Pordenone in 1916. It was initially a workshop for repairing stoves. His sons and Guido and Lino took over on his death in 1946, and under them, the firm began its rise. Read More →

  • Jasper Morrison (b.1959) British Designer quirky, understated furniture

    Jasper Morrison (b.1959) British Designer quirky, understated furniture

    Morrison produced quirky, satiric, understated furniture. His 1986 South Kensington flat was widely published in design magazines. He designed 1988 Door handles I and II, and a 1989 range of aluminium handles produced by FSB in Germany. Read More →

  • Matteo Thun (b.1952) Italian ceramicist and designer

    Matteo Thun (b.1952) Italian ceramicist and designer

    We reject design as an issue of taste! We follow a different strategy: Simplicity. We always search for the iconic form and create things that people can understand intuitively. We, Read More →

  • Bill Stumpf, inventor of the modern swivel chair

    Bill Stumpf, inventor of the modern swivel chair

    In 1976, the Ergon chair was introduced by Bill Stumpf, a designer for Herman Miller. It had a foam-filled back and seat, gas-lift levers to change the height and tilt. The Ergon was based on the new science of ergonomics, first used to design aeroplane cockpits.Read More →

  • Christian Barman (1898–1980) British industrial designer

    Christian Barman (1898–1980) British industrial designer

    Christian Barman was a key first-generation British industrial designer during the interwar years. He is best known for his 1936 electric iron for HMV, which he started designing in 1933. He studied architecture at Liverpool University and ran his practice until Frank Pick invited him to join London Transport as a Publicity Officer in 1935.Read More →

  • Hans Gugelot (1920 – 1965) Dutch-Swiss Product Designer

    Hans Gugelot (1920 – 1965) Dutch-Swiss Product Designer

    Hans Gugelot (1920 – 1965) began his career in engineering (1940–2) and architecture (1940–6) in Switzerland and was closely associated with the radical Hochschüle für Gestaltung (HfG) in UlmRead More →

  • Introducing Kazuhide Takahama (b.1930) Japanese Designer

    Introducing Kazuhide Takahama (b.1930) Japanese Designer

    At the X Milan Triennale exhibition in 1954, he met the furniture manufacturer, Dino Gavina, who subsequently invited Takahama to work for him in Italy. Takahama’s first design for Gavina was the geometrically severe Naeko sofa-bed (1957). Read More →

  • Marco Zotta (b.1945) Italian industrial designer

    Marco Zotta (b.1945) Italian industrial designer

    He designed furniture and furnishings, lighting for clients including Fargas, Le Cose, Studio Grando, Stilnovo and Evoluzione. He became a member of ADI (Associazione per il Disegno Industriale).Read More →

  • Khodi Feiz Iranian born Industrial Designer

    Khodi Feiz  Iranian born Industrial Designer

    Feiz’s work has received numerous awards and has been featured in exhibitions and publications worldwide. The overriding inspirations for Feiz’s work can be summed up by: Clarity, concept and context. Feiz has developed several project in collaboration with Artifort, including the Extens, Bras and Beso chair family.Read More →

  • Livio Castiglioni (1911 – 1979) 🇮🇹 Italian industrial designer

    Livio Castiglioni (1911 – 1979)  🇮🇹 Italian industrial designer

    In 1938, Castiglioni and his brother Pier Giacomo Castiglioni set up a studio with Luigi Caccia Dominioni, which closed in 1940. Read More →

You may also be interested in

Peter Behrens (1868 – 1940) – German architect and designer – Encyclopedia of Design

Peter Behrens (1868 – 1940) was a German graphic artist, architect and designer. He studied at the Karlsruhe and in Düsseldorf and Munich. In 1893, he joined the avant-garde group associated with the Munich Secession. In 1896, he travelled in Italy in 1898 studied industrial mass production.

❤️ Receive our newsletter

Comments are closed, but trackbacks and pingbacks are open.