Kamera Werk Dresden was founded in 1919, when Paul Güte, having worked in the camera industry since 1915, decided to found his own company with Benno Torsch. The company was named Kamera-Werkstätten Guthe & Thorsch GmbH (KW, KWG & T) at 48 Zinzendorfstrasse, Dresden A1. The company had success producing the Patent-Etui foldable camera.
In 1928, Kamera Werk Dresden needed more space and changed its address at 30 Barensteinerstrasse in Dresden, in the Striesen district (near ICA Zeiss Ikon). At that time, the staff of the company consisted of 150 people, about a hundred cameras were produced per day. In 1931, the company launched a double-lens folding camera Pilot 3 × 4 cm format, and then another camera - the KW-Reflexbox format 6x9 and Pilot 6 (6 × 9) In the late thirties, the Pilot-Super came out. The Praxidos enlarger was presented at the Leipzig Fair. In connection with all the well-known events that preceded the Second World War, with Jews in their family, Paul Güté and Benno Torsch were forced to migrate. The first left for Switzerland in 1933, and the second arrived in the United States in 1937, where he made a deal with Charles Noble. Charles bought Torsha's company and sold his business in Detroit to him.
Charles Noble supports the idea of a 35mm format SLR camera and Alois Hoheisei continues to develop with his team the Praktiflex camera (presented to the public at the Leipzig Fair in 1939). The company will soon make another move to Bismarckstrasse 56, Niedersedlitz in Dresden.
Until the end of the war, interspersed with military orders, the company produced Praktiflex in various modifications of about 11 thousand units. In 1945, the allies did not destroy the plant by a fluke, but Charles Noble, along with his son, was arrested by Soviet troops. Charles was handed over to the United States in 1952, and his son was exiled to the Gulag for 15 years, but returned in 1955.
Further work in the company was carried out under the leadership of Siegfried Böhm from Zeiss Ikon AG. He continued the development of the Praktiflex (Praktica FX) line of devices and some other developments of the company.
Until 1950, due to economic instability, the company sold part of the devices by barter, which is why the head of the department was pressed by the authorities. In 1950, the company finally returned to its normal level, and began its expansion.
In 1957, VEB Belca and some other enterprises became part of the company, and the company itself was subsequently incorporated into the VEB Pentacon Dresden plant in 1964, obeying the policy of the then authorities, and already as part of this company produced Praktiflex, Praktisix, Praktica and other. Accordingly, with the fall of the USSR regime, the company was liquidated, like the entire Pentacon conglomerate.
In 1990, the founder's son, John and his brother George, moved to Dresden and tried to regain the firm and the rights to the Praktiflex and Praktica brands. Noble planned to resume production of Praktica cameras, but since this did not work out, in 1992 it was decided to launch the Noblex panoramic camera. In 1996, 96 people were employed in the production of the camera, but due to the financial crisis, the company and its developments were sold in 1997. In 1998 the company was called Kamera-Werk Dresden, located at 56 Bismarckstrasse in Dresden. The site still exists. In 1999, the employees who left it founded the optical company KST-Dresden.
35mm film cameras
- Pentaflex SL
- Praktiflex FX
see Praktica (Pentacon)
- Praktina fx
- Praktina IIA
- Contax F / Pentacon F.
120 film cameras
- Pilot 6
- Pilot super
- Reflex box
127 film cameras
- Pilot Reflex
- Patent etui
write me. Help the project: 5469 1200 1062 4624. Comments can be left without registration and SMS