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In 1898 Hugo Breutmann founded a company for production of cameras in Berlin. In 1899 the salesman Frantz Goltz joined as co-owner. The company was named Goltz & Breutmann OHG Fabrik für photographische Apparate. Its camera brand was Mentor and its specialty was cameras with focal plane shutters. A change of ownership didn't change the company name. Businessman Gustav Adolf Heinrich replaced Goltz. Heinrich forced the further development of the company and its move to Dresden. During WWI the company made aerial cameras, but Heinrich revived the civilian camera business after the war. In 1921 the company was renamed to Mentor Kamerafabrik Goltz & Breutmann, and in 1929 it had 180 employees. It was successful with its SLR cameras and avant garde with its Mentorett, a TLR with focal plane shutter.

The economic crisis after 1929 and the death of Heinrich in 1935 led to the decline of the company. In 1944 the master craftsman Rudolf Großer of A. Noble's company bought the company and restarted the business with 15 employees, but the factory was completely destroyed when Dresden was bombed in February 1945. Mentor nonetheless survived the war, and continued making large format cameras. The company was nationalised as VEB Mentor Großformatkameras Dresden in April 1972, at the time with 21 employees, and was merged into VEB Pentacon in 1980.[1]

Camera industry in Dresden
Balda | Certo | Eho-Altissa | Ernemann | Feinmess | Heyde | Hamaphot | Huth | Hüttig | ICA | Ihagee | Kochmann | Kerman | KW | Eugen Loeber | Ludwig | Mentor | Merkel | Meyer | Mimosa | Pentacon | Richter | Stübiger | Unger & Hoffmann | Werner | Wünsche | Zeiss Ikon | Zeh
Camera distributors in Dresden
Camera industry in Freital
Beier | Pouva | Thowe | Welta


  • Mentor
  • Mentor II
  • Mentor Standard
  • Mentor Atelier-Reflex-Kamera
  • Mentor Compur-Reflex
  • Klein-Mentor 9x9
  • Klein-Mentor Spiegelreflex 6x9
  • Mentor Dreivier
  • Mentorett
  • Mentor Klapp
  • Mentor Klapp-Reflex (Folding Reflex cameras, as in the advertisement pictured above)
  • Mentor Stereo-Reflex
  • Mentor Spiegel-Reflex-Kamera
  • Mentor Sport-Reflex-Kamera
  • Mentor Reflex
  • Mentor Studio Reflex
  • Mentor Studio 13x18


  1. Jehmlich, Gerhard, "Der VEB Pentacon Dresden - Geschichte der Dresdner Kamera- und Kinoindustrie nach 1945", p. 96



Herbert Blumtritt, Die Geschichte der Dresdner Fotoindustrie, Stuttgart 2000. ISBN 389506212X.