Eho-Altissa Vintage Camera Brand
Eho-Altissa Brand Overview
|Founded:||1892 — Leipzig, German Empire|
|(modern day Germany)|
Eho-Altissa Brand History
Eho-Altissa was a German brand founded in 1892 by Richard Knoll as Photo Spezialhaus in Leipzig, Germany. While best known for its Altissa series of box cameras and Altix line of excellent 35mm fixed and interchangeable lens cameras, Eho-Altissa also manufactured a significant number of models for sale under various German and European brands.
In 1904, the company was renamed as Photographische Manufaktur Engineer Richard Knoll and began repairing as well manufacturing photographic equipment. Six years later, the company left Leipzig behind to join the likes of Ernemann and Balda in nearby Dresden, then the photographic industry capital of Germany. Later in 1926, the reins of the company were handed over to Emil Hofert who changed the name to Eho Kamera-Fabrik Emil Hofert GMBH with “Eho” being a contraction of his own name.
Berthold Altmann took over after Emil Hofert’s death in 1935 and by the time World War II started, the company changed its name again to Altissa Camera Werk. Like most Dresden-based camera companies, Altissa’s factory suffered catastrophic damage during the Allied carpet bombing campaign of the city in February 1945 and didn’t fully recover from the damage until the following year. Germany split into East and West after the end of the Second World War and Berthold Altmann, like Balda’s Max Baldeweg and countless others, fled to the West. The socialist government branded Altmann a traitor, seized his company, and merged it with Zeiss Ikon‘s East German remnants to form VEB Kinowerke Dresden which eventually became part of the East German photographic giant Pentacon.
Today, Pentacon is still in the photography business. Their consumer products include binoculars, scopes, scanners, projectors, and, of course, cameras.
Check eBay to see what’s available.
McKeown, James M. and Joan C. McKeown’s Price Guide to Antique and Classic Cameras, 2001-2002. (Grantsburg, USA: Centennial Photo Service, 2001), 184-186.
“Eho-Altissa,” Camerapedia, http://camerapedia.wikia.com/wiki/Eho-Altissa