Uncle Ernie and German Film Cameras

This is a short post, nothing fancy.

Only recently did I realize that my earliest memory of a good film camera comes from Uncle Ernie.

Uncle Ernie’s Prize Belongings

When I was younger than 10 years old, perhaps five or seven, we would visit Uncle Ernie and Aunt Claudine somewhere on West Devon in Chicago’s northwest side.  This would be the late 1950’s.

I remember a big clock, perhaps a grandfather clock in his house.

And I remember a heavy metal camera.

Uncle Ernie’s Camera

But Ernst allowed me hold the shiny chrome film camera.  This was over 50 years ago, what was it?

I seem to be fond of rangefinders.  I don’t think Uncle Ernie’s camera was an SLR.  He allowed me to hold the camera but I don’t remember it having the shape of an SLR.  I remember the camera being very rectangular.  The camera I remember was more “shiny metal” than black.

It might have been the Leica.  Could Ernst, a young husband and new immigrant from Germany have afforded a Leica?  I can only imagine whatever camera he owned was German.

Thanks Uncle Ernie

So one of my earliest memories is holding a beautiful rangefinder camera in the late 1950’s.  My parents were into Brownie cameras, not 35mm rangefinders.

As you can tell, my website What is a Film Camera is about many things, camera memories included.

Did Uncle Ernie own a German rangefinder camera, a Leica?  Only Aunt Claudine might know.  It doesn’t quite matter if they really did own a fine German rangefinder camera.  As a young child I remember a shiny chrome/black camera in their house.

Uncle Ernie passed away a few years ago, so all I can do is say thank you to Aunt Claudine for my deeply rooted love of film cameras, especially German cameras:  Herzlichen Dank.

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