Agfa Billy I automatic 6 x 9 cm format camera
Audiovisual and Photographic Materials
- Object Type
Agfa camera (lcsh)
- Credit Line
- United States Holocaust Memorial Museum Collection
Billy I self-erecting camera with bellows made by AGFA [Aktien-Gesellschaft für Anilin-Fabrikation] from 1930-1931. This was one of the first AGFA automatic box cameras with rollfilm, and the basis for a long-running series. The film manufacturing company began producing cameras under its own logo from the mid-1920’s, including the first Billy series model. In December 1925, AGFA merged with 5 German companies, including BASF, Bayer, and Hoechst, to form IG Farben, the largest chemical manufacturer in the world. In February 1933, IG Farben contributed 400,000 reichsmarks to the new Nazi government. Initially, the company resisted the antisemitic racial policies such as the Nuremberg Laws of 1935. But by 1937, all Jewish employees, board members, and executives had been removed, and the majority of the remaining board members joined the Nazi Party. IG Farben was an integral part of the war economy, often taking over chemical factories in regions taken over by Germany. They used over 35,000 forced and slave laborers in their factories, including one near Auschwitz III – Monowitz (Buna) concentration camp, and supplied the Zyklon B used in the gas chambers. After the war ended in May 1945, IG Farben was dismantled by the Allies. In 1947, the company’s top officials were tried by the International Military Tribunal in Nuremberg for war crimes and crimes against humanity. Thirteen of the 24 defendants were found guilty of at least one of the five counts.
Record last modified: 2021-02-10 08:52:19
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Also in Early 20th century Germany business equipment collection
The collection consists of an AGFA Billy I automatic camera, a Kantorowicz liqueur bottle, a Reichspost W28 rotary phone, and a spring balance scale as examples of personal and business equipment that would have been in use in Germany in the early 20th century.
Siemens and Halske W28 model rotary dial telephone commissioned by the Deutsche Reichspost [German Post Office) as its standard issue model from 1928. In the mid-1930s, the Reichspost commissioned a new model seeking a more economical and reliable device. They passed on the model produced in 1936. The W38 model was adopted but not introduced on a large scale until 1940. Some parts, such as the bell, were made of different materials due to war economies. The W38 was sturdier and introduced a dialing pause to make connections more consistent.
Ten kilo (22 pound) spring balance scale with weighing pan likely produced in Germany around the turn of the 20th century. Scales such as this would be used at small farms or shops to weigh vegetables or other solid materials.
Ceramic liqueur bottle for Orlow brand cumin cream produced by Hartwig Kantorowicz distillery and liqueur factory in Posen, Germany, between 1880 and 1920. In 1917, following World War I, the town, now called Poznan, became part of the newly reformed Poland. The distillery was founded in 1823 by a Jewish man, Hartwig Kantorowicz, and quickly gained a reputation for creating high quality products. It was a prosperous family business and opened several branches in Hamburg and Berlin. The majority of their products were liqueurs sold in glass bottles produced by Silesian, Saxon, and Czech glass factories. The distillery also sold patent medicines, like tonics and bitters, in bottles they manufactured for their own products as well as several other companies. These products often included high percentages of alcohol and were heavily spiced with strong, supposedly medicinal herbs.