“The Leica Camera” report from 1946 by British intelligence

The full 16 pages reports can be downloaded here. Some interesting Leica facts from 1946:

  • In November of 1946 Leica was producing 1100 cameras per month. Out of those 1100 units 89% were allocated to the American forces, 6% to French forces and only 5% were available for sale in Germany.
  • In 1946 Leica employed 2,453 men and 428 women. In 1939 they employed nearly 5000.
  • Leica lost 400 employees during the war and 300 were prisoners of war.
  • Every camera was tested by taking multiple black and white photographs between 1.25 to 10 meters.
  • The drawing office had 50 drawing boards.
  • “The office was well organised and was scrupulously clean”.
  • The standard work week was 48 hours.
  • Here are two of the final conclusions of this report:

“61. The Leitz factory is a well-run happy organisation, this being due in no small measure to the family nature of the business and to its importance in the neighbourhood. Discipline is strict without being severe and one gets the impression of great interest by employees of every grade in the work being performed.

62. This pride in workmanship and the just pride all have in their world-wide reputation for quality work is the permeating spirit of the place and helps greatly to offset apathy caused by the present dismal state of the country.”

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