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Photography/1910's- 1920's German camera makers - Wolfgang Suchitsky


For my next book, "Great Britons of Stage and Screen: In Conversation," I had the privilege of speaking with Wolfgang Suchitsky, who will be 102 this summer. In speaking about an early camera that he had been given by his father, a 6,9 plate camera, he told me it was a Freichlander. However, I cannot locate any information about that camera. Might you be able to tell me if I have an incorrect name for the camera, or any information about it?
Thank you in advance for your assistance.
Barbara roisman Cooper


Hello Barbara,

Wow, Wolfgang Suchitsky, that must have been amazing!

There is no camera company named Freichlander. I'm reasonably certain the brand of camera Suchitsky was recalling was Voigtlander. They were a major German manufacturer of cameras, and they sold huge numbers of 6 x 9 (more precisely, 6.5 x 9 cm format) folding bellows plate cameras. Some of the models they produced that would have been available to Suchitsky as a young man include the Avus, the Bergheil, and the Vag. The Bergheil in particular, with its full range of movements and the better quality of lenses available to it, would still serve as an excellent camera today. On the other hand, a simpler model like the Vag might have been more suitable for a youngster. Voigtlander was a leader in the camera industry throughout the 1910's-1930's, they set the standard for all others, and it does not surprise me at all that Suchitsky "cut his teeth" on one of their models.

Best wishes,

David F. Silver - President
International Photographic Historical Organization  


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David Silver


I'm an expert on all types of antique, classic, and contemporary cameras, as well as the general history of photography. Everything from ancient box cameras to modern single-lens-reflex; from simple Kodaks to sophisticated Leica and Nikon; from glass plates and roll film to movie and 35mm. I can identify and appraise them, explain how they work, and offer insights on their restoration and care. I can also provide historical background on vintage cameras and equipment, and guidelines on their purchase and sale.


I've been a professional photographer and a student of the history of photography for nearly 30 years. During that time my collection of vintage cameras and photographic paraphernalia has grown beyond 2000 significant pieces. I've published nearly 70 articles in the field, including 16 in the popular "Buying Classic Cameras" series for PHOTO SHOPPER MAGAZINE from 1995 to 1997, I'm currently a contributing editor for CAMERA SHOPPER MAGAZINE and McKEOWN'S PRICE GUIDE TO ANTIQUE AND CLASSIC CAMERAS, and I've written numerous entries for WORLD BOOK ENCYCLOPEDIA. Portions of my collection have been displayed in museums and special exhibits in the past two decades, and many of the items were photographed as illustrations for books. In 1985 I founded the International Photographic Historical Organization (InPHO), which eventually evolved into its intended purpose as the best first resource for information on the history of photography. I'm also a founding member of several e-mail forums dedicated to specialized areas of photography, and I'm the moderator of the Internet Directory of Camera Collectors (IDCC), which remains the largest and most successful such group in the world. For more information about the International Photographic Historical Organization and its many services, please visit its web pages at:

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