This is my Grandfather Amsler, taken around 1967 I think. Grandpa was many things. He was a Presbyterian minister. He was a talented artist. He was a teller of droll jokes and a fryer of breakfast hamburgers.
He was a photographer.
In most of the houses that I remember he and Grandmother living in he had a dark room set up somewhere in the basement. I come by the “photography gene” legitimately.
Where am I going with this rambling? Do I have a point? Yes I do.
Last weekend, when we were out in Wheaton visiting the Parental Units I heard my father say,
Deb, come in here for a minute.
So, I stroll into Papa’s office. He takes something off the shelf and hands it to me. It is a heavy box shaped object, made of metal and red in color. There are several dials and a hole in the front and a bracket on the top. About 4 inches high by 5 inches deep by 6 inches wide.
And did I say that for such a small box it was really heavy.
Do you know what this is?
I didn’t have a clue.
Can you guess what it is? If you guessed a camera, minus the lens, you would be correct.
And what is so special about this particular camera is….
Grandfather Amsler made the entire thing.
This is what it looked like when it was fully operational. There was a lens. There was a flash. There were all the appropriate dials.
He manufactured the bracket for the flash himself. And then, to connect the flash to the camera,
He manufactured an external plug on the side.
I am just flabbergasted and tickled with this little piece of family history. It is similar to an early Hasselblad in construction, or so Papa says. Never having had my hands on one I will take his word for it. And it is now sitting on my shelves where I can look at it every day and marvel at it’s engineering.
And thank my lucky stars that I live in the age of digital photography. Cuz this sucker is heavy.