Welta Vintage Camera Brand
Welta Brand Overview
|Founded:||1914 — Freital, German Empire|
|(modern day Germany)|
Welta Brand History
Welta was a German brand founded in 1914 by businessmen Walter Waurich and Theodor Weber as Weeka Kamera Werk in the Dresden suburb of Freital, Germany. The company began producing handmade glass plate cameras in small numbers but soon expanded its offerings to include several models bearing the brand “Welta,” which led to the eventual renaming of the company as Welta Kamerawerke Waurich & Weber.
The company prospered for many years and manufactured a wide variety of folding cameras. Models of note include the astonishingly unusual Perfekta and Superfekta twin lens reflex cameras as well as the 35mm Welti. However, as war erupted in Europe, camera production slowed to a crawl as the company began supplying components to the Zeiss Ikon factory in Dresden so it could produce military optics like bombsights and binoculars for the Wehrmacht.
A few years after the war ended, control of Welta was assumed by the state and the company was restructured as VEB Welta Kamera Werk. Over the next decade or so, the company absorbed one of its competitors and, by 1959, was also itself incorporated (along with nearby manufacturers Zeiss Ikon and Eho-Altissa) into a conglomerate called VEB Kamera und Kinowerk Dresden which later became VEB Pentacon in 1964.
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McKeown, James M. and Joan C. McKeown’s Price Guide to Antique and Classic Cameras, 2001-2002. (Grantsburg, USA: Centennial Photo Service, 2001), 676-679.
“Welta,” Wikipedia, https://de.wikipedia.org/wiki/Welta
“Bombing of Dresden in World War II,” Wikipedia, https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bombing_of_Dresden_in_World_War_II