Saeki Kakugoro
(JCII Photo Salon, Curator, Japan Camera Museum Management)

Chapter 4
The story of Leica no.4

Previously, since the birth of Leica, according to the body number it was thought a special sense had come over the enterprises. The ones with a body number from 100 to 129 had a monitor and were called O type Leicas, the manufactured products that were changed in 1925 with a number starting from 130 were the Leica (in Japan A) and the distinctly clear numbers were a credit tothe specialist people who were in the Reitz Company. I really would like topraise these people who gave us these body numbers, (really they could be called lucky numbers).

The Professor who gave us the 1928 Leica I (A)'s 10,000 body numbers was theinventor of the Zeppelin air balloon Prof. Hugo Ekhna. When the Zeppelin airballoon came to Japan, apparently Mr Kimura saw the Leica on Prof. Ehkna's chest and from then on Mr Kimura and the Leica made contact.

The man who gave us the 1929 Leica I (A)'s 25,000 body numbers was Sweden'sAsia explorer Mr Sven Eden.The Professor who gave us the 1930 Leica I (C)'s 25,000 body numbers was Tibetian explorer Professor Wilhelm Filhina.The person who gave us the 1932 Leica II (DII)'s 75,000 body numbers was theperson made famous by the stratosphere airport Lecturer August Picarl.The person who gave us the 1933 Leica II (DII)'s 100,000 body numbers was American explorer, Lecturer Leo Flovenus.The person who gave us the 1933 Leica III (DII)'s 125,000 body numbers was apartner in inventing Kodak colour film Mr Mannes.And the person who gave us the 1936 Leica IIIa's 200,000 body numbers was photographer and Professor Paul Baulf. I have introduced Paul Baulf as one ofthe Leica men before but, while showing exhibitions in Japan and introducingmany photos as 'leica photographs', he is known in Japan today as a specialfeature of Leica.

The person who gave us the 1937 Leica IIIa's 250,000 body numbers and as we've seen previously, the Leica I(C)'s 25,000 body numbers, was Professor Wilhelm Filhena. Instead of leaving off cameras and exploring central Asia, hegave us another model.The person who gave us the Leica Standard model with 300,000 body numbers co-operated in inventing the Agfa colour, Professor Gustas Wilmanns.When we look at the people who have given us these Leicas since its birth, we can see the first half of the 20th century as an era of world investigation and the second half as an age of invention progress towards a rich lifestyle.