| Mars Camera 1893|
image by Ron (Netherlands) (Image rights)
In the year 1887 Emil Wünsche (born 1864, died 1902) founded a shop for photographic articles in Dresden. Some cameras sold in the shop were rebadged cameras of Hüttig. Other products of the shop were produced by small companies in Dresden, by camera maker Paul Förster, by the maker of cameras and photography goods Louis Lang, and by the package maker Dienwiebel&Co. In 1894/95 Wünsche acquired all these three companies. In 1896 the Emil Wünsche company occupied its new factory building in Reick near Dresden. 1898 the company became the Emil Wünsche Aktiengesellschaft für photographische Industrie Reick (Emil Wünsche AG). In 1902 Louis Lang became CEO after Emil Wünsche had committed suicide for personal reasons.
The company made many of the camera types which were en vogue for rollfilm, sheet film and plates. A wide range of accessories and other photographical goods were also made there: tripods, film, plate holders, darkroom equipment, enlargers, image finishing apparatuses and photo albums. Wünsche even made flashlamps such as the Electra. For many of its cameras Wünsche made its own lenses, viewfinders and shutters. Furthermore, it was also distributor of lenses of the companies Steinheil, Voigtländer and Goerz, as well as vendor of shutters of Bausch & Lomb and Goerz. In 1909, Wünsche merged with the camera makers Hüttig AG in Dresden, Kamerawerk Dr. Krügener in Frankfurt/M, and Carl Zeiss Palmos AG in Jena to become the Internationale Camera AG (ICA).
| 6.5x9 plate camera c.1905|
image by Geoff Harrisson (Image rights)
- Ada mirror camera
- Afpi Universal-Klapp-Camera
- Bosco box and folding cameras for rollfilm, including the SLR "Bosco-Reflex"
- Box cameras "Lilli", "Sport II", "Tuck", "Bosko 98"
- Briefmarken-Camera (with 12 lenses for 12 miniature portraits on 9x12cm plates)
- Diamond folding bed camera
- Excelsior field camera
- Elite Stereo Camera
- Favorit plate folders
- Favorit V bicyclist's camera
- Hesekiel'sche Spiegel-Reflex-Camera
- Juwel-Klapp-Camera plate folder
- Knox Universal-Hand- und -Stativ-Camera
- Lola strut folder
- Lux plate box camera
- Mars Detective Camera
- other magazine cameras: Nero, Legion, Juwel, Kobold, Kosmos
- Mars 99 falling-plate magazine (or perhaps simple box) camera
- Meteor field camera
- Minimal folding bed camera
- Nixe rollfilm folding bed camera
- Nymphe rollfilm strut folder
- "Photo-Jumelle" Detectiv-Camera
- "Piccolo" Vest pocket camera
- Reicka Automat folding bed camera
- Reicka Reflex camera
- Reise-Cameras "Furror", Excelsior", "Meteor", "Sirius", "Eureka"
- Schüler-Apparat (student's apparatus, beginner's view camera)
- Sirene folding bed camera
- Victrix strut-folding plate camera with focal-plane shutter
and lots of plate and rollfilm cameras, so many different types that the company had to associate with other camera makers in the merger that yielded ICA in 1909.
|factory in Reick-Dresden in 1898|
|sales store office and woodwork machine room|
|carpenters' workshop and mechanicians' workshop|
|mechanicians' workshop and steam engine hall|
In 1896 the company moved to its new factory building in Reick. This was a courageous step since Reick near Dresden had neither a railway station nor a tramway station. Both facilities were expected for the near future. The huge main building was built around a yard. In the yard was the machine house for the steam engine, with a chimney as high as 35m. Four dwelling houses, two for white-collar and two for blue-collar staff were built next to the main building. A big building was the horse barn and horse cart garage behind the main building. In 1898 the company had 206 workers and 33 officers. 27 families lived in the company's dwelling houses, each with a piece of the houses' gardens.
In 1898 a fire destroyed a large part of the factory building. It was reconstructed by 1899 and built larger than before. The number of employed workers rose to 350 in 1902, making the Emil Wünsche AG the second largest camera maker in Dresden.
|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 | Unger & Hoffmann | Werner | Wünsche | Zeiss Ikon | Zeh|
|Camera distributors in Dresden|
|Camera industry in Freital|
|Beier | Pouva | Thowe | Welta|
- Blumtritt, Herbert: Geschichte der Dresdner Fotoinustrie. Stuttgart 2000
- Der Lichtbildkünstler, monthly photography magazine of Emil Wünsche AG