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Zeiss Ikon and related companies
Pre-Merger phase I (before 1909)
Hüttig | Wünsche | Krügener | Carl Zeiss Palmos | Nettel | Drexler & Nagel | Herbst & Firl
Pre-merger phase II (1909-1926)
Carl Zeiss | Ernemann | ICA | Goerz | Zulauf | Contessa-Nettel
Zeiss Ikon (1926 and after)
Zeiss Ikon | Pentacon

Richard Hüttig & Sohn (later Hüttig AG) had been the biggest European camera maker for a certain period. It was the first company in Dresden that produced a single lens reflex camera, the Zeus-Spiegel-Kamera. In 1909 Hüttig merged with three other camera producers and became the core of the new ICA company, which had its headquarter at Schandauer Straße 76 in Dresden, the former Hüttig factory. Eventually, this was also the nucleus of Zeiss Ikon in 1926.


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

Richard Hüttig (*10.9.1827 in Leopoldshain, Silesia) grew up as the son of the pastor Karl Hüttig [1]. He learned the profession of a carpenter in neighboring Görlitz and moved to Berlin in 1856, where he found a job in the workshop of master carpenter Hessler, which made precision one-off studio cameras.

In 1862, Hüttig founded his own workshop in Berlin because the need for cameras was growing rapidly. At first he copied French and English models, but kept improving them with his own ideas. As the competition between camera makers grew, Hüttig left Berlin in 1887 and opened a new workshop in Dresden at Chemnitzer Strasse 12 with four other colleagues. Hüttig chose Dresden because some manufacturers of photographic paper were already based here, but hardly produced any serious competitors.

Craftsmanship and a strong business acumen resulted in rapid growth of the business. In 1889 George Eastman visited Hüttig to recruit him for his services. Hüttig declined. Richard's son Carl Hüttig joined the company and the business moved several times within Dresden to the final place (1896, Schandauer Straße 76). On August 1st, 1897 the company was converted into Hüttig AG (Aktiengesellschaft: stock corporation), Richard Hüttig retired and Carl became CEO. In 1904 it offered 90 camera types in 400 variations. As late as 1906, newspaper advertisements advertised that Hüttig was Germany's largest camera factory with 800 workers[2]. Business mistakes such as an almost unmanageable variety of products, brought Hüttig AG into financial difficulties. In addition, Carl Hüttig was found guilty of financial irregularities in 1904 and sentenced to imprisonment.

The management was taken over by Guido Mengel (*10.3.1859, +4.1.1946) [3], who eventually saved the company into a merger of several camera factories: In 1909, Hüttig AG merged into the newly founded Internationale Camera Actiengesellschaft together with Kamerawerk Dr. Krügener in Frankfurt/Main, Wünsche AG in Reick near Dresden and Carl Zeiss Palmos AG in Jena. The attempt to integrate the Dresdner Ernemann-Werke as a major competitor of Hüttig AG into this new group failed. The Hüttig AG trademark, a pentagram, was adopted by the ICA in a slightly modified form. Eventually, in 1926 ICA was again merged into Zeiss Ikon AG and Mengel became Zeiss Ikon's first CEO before he retired in 1927.

After the formation of ICA AG in 1909, Richard Hüttig fell into oblivion. He lived alone in a small apartment at Schandauer Straße 40 and only the city of Dresden made sure that he found a place in the Güntz Foundation retirement home so that he could spend his old age in dignity. He died on November 14, 1911 in the Dresden City Hospital, Friedrichstadt.


  • Afpi
  • Atom (4.5×6cm folding, 1908)
  • Aviso (4.5×6cm magazine camera, 1907)
  • Box Kamera (1890)
  • Briefmarkenkamera (earlier sold in England by Butcher's)
  • Cameo & Cameo Stereo
  • Carmen
  • Cosmopolit
  • Cupido
  • Cupido Stereolette
  • Elegant
  • Excelsior
  • Fichtners Excelsior Geheimkamera
  • Furror Detektiv Kamera
  • Gnom (4.5×6, 6.5×9 or 9×12 magazine camera, 1900)
  • Halifax
  • Hekla
  • Helios
  • Hochtourist
  • Ideal (9×12cm folding, 1908)
  • Ideal Stereo


  1. (German) Wikipedia
  2. Gerhard Jehmlich, Die großindustrielle Entwicklung der Kameraindustrie in Dresden in Richard Hüttig, Der VEB Pentacon Dresden: Geschichte der Dresdner Kamera- und Kinoindustrie nach 1945 Sandstein-Verlag, Dresden 2009, ISBN 978-3-940319-75-3
  3. Hartmut Thiele, Die Deutsche Photoindustrie - Wer war Wer, 8th edition, Munich 2021.


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