Caspeco

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Camera Specialty Company was a distributor and importer of photographic products in New York.


Contents

History

Caspeco was founded by Dr. Max Wirgin, one of the original four Wirgin brothers, all of whom fled Germany circa 1938. After WWII, brother Heinrich (Henry) Wirgin was eventually able to recover ownership of the family camera business in Wiesbaden; but Max never returned from America. By 1940[1] Camera Specialty Co. had began sales of various product lines[2] from the address 50 West 29th St., New York. And by 1946, some of these products had begun to carry the Wirgin name[3]. The first US-market Wirgin camera seems to have been a retooling of the prewar Vokar B folder—sold by Caspeco both as a Voigt and as the Wirgin model[4]

In early 1950[5], Max Wirgin also became the US importer for Exakta cameras, next door at 46 West 29th Street[6]. Meanwhile Camera Specialty Co. handled other imports, including Certo, Welta, Reflekta and eventually Edixa lines[7].

By 1954, Camera Specialty Co. had opened offices at 705 Bronx River Rd, Bronxville New York (at the northern edge of metropolitan New York city), which also served as the US distributorship for Exakta, Pentacon, and Wirgin Edixa lines.

As Caspeco, the company marketed a number of interchangeable lenses for SLR cameras in 1960s and 1970s. The lenses were made by different makers, including Tokina.

Max Wirgin died in March, 1974.

Cameras

Some Caspeco lenses

  • Caspeco 28 mm 1:2.8
  • Caspeco 35 mm 1:2.8
  • Caspeco 35 mm 1:3.5
  • Caspeco 85 mm 1:2.5
  • Caspeco T 105 mm 1:2.8
  • Caspeco 135 mm 1:2.8
  • Caspeco 135 mm T 1:3.5
  • Caspeco 200 mm 1:3.5
  • Caspeco 200 mm 1:4.5
  • Caspeco 240 mm 1:4
  • Caspeco 300 mm 1:5.5
  • Caspeco 300 mm 1:5.6
  • Caspeco T 350 mm 1:5.6
  • Caspeco 400 mm 1:6.3
  • Caspeco 85-205 mm 1:3.8
  • Caspeco 90-190 mm 1:5.8
  • Caspeco 90-230 mm 1:4.5
  • Caspeco 100-200 mm 1:5.6

Notes

  1. This January, 1940 ad is an early appearance of the Caspeco name. Popular Photography magazine, January 1940 (Vol. 6, No. 1) page 82.
  2. A May 1940 ad gives some examples of his wares. Popular Photography (Vol. 6, No. 5), page 103.
  3. A tripod offered in April 1946 is one example. Popular Photography (Vol. 18, No. 4) page 114.
  4. Although this Wirgin folder ad tries to trade on the good reputation of the prewar German cameras from Wirgin. Popular Photography, December 1947 (Vol. 21, No. 6) page 12.
  5. As advertised in the June, 1950 Popular Photography (Vol. 26, No. 6) page 141.
  6. As noted at the bottom of this ad from the November, 1950 Popular Photography (Vol. 27, No. 5) page 126.
  7. A scan of the 1954 "Photo Equipment Guide" from U.S. Camera shows these and other models imported by Camera Specialty Co.

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