View Full Version : 1903 Dagor

11-Feb-2005, 15:21
I have what might be the oldest dagor in the country. I have a gorgeous 16 1/2". Check out what is engraved on the outer rim. I'll try to type it exactly.................................................. GOERZ.... DOUBLE - ANASTIGMAT...... U. S. PAT. No.. 528155 SERIES III.... No. 7A ...... F. O. C. 16 1/2 IN. ..... No. 120XXX. ...........according to the serial numbers this was made somewhere between 1902 - 1903. Does anyone have any info on these really old lenes I would appreciate any help. ( where's andrew when you need him?)...thanks in advance

CP Goerz
11-Feb-2005, 15:31
What info would you like?

CP Goerz.

11-Feb-2005, 16:29
wow....that's service....Andrew i sent you a email

Jim Rice
11-Feb-2005, 16:41
Could y'all share it here? I suspect that many, like me, would enjoy it.

11-Feb-2005, 17:07
Sure Jim I don't mind. I sent Andrew an email before I realized he had answered so promptly.

11-Feb-2005, 17:14
for those interested my questions for Andrew are from someone who has never had the pleasure of owning a lens like this up to now. I ask.... the lens says double-anastigmat and I do know that dagor is a combination of those two words. When did goerz add the name dagor to the printing on the lens because obviously mine does not say dagor anywhere on it? Also why does it say 7a instead of 7.7?

Tracy Storer
11-Feb-2005, 17:40
The lens that came to be known as the Dagor was designed in 1892 by Emil Von Hoegh. Goerz bought the design and hired him. The lens was released as the Doppel Anastigmat Goerz. Shortened to the trade name "Dagor" in 1904. (with patents and copyrights, naming a product after its' function became problematic....someone else may design something that does the same thing, but achieves it differently, so, they had to start coming up with non-descriptive names.)
At the time, it was common to number a series of lenses, the "7A" on your Dagor refers to the focal length. A #7 is a 14" lens, #7a 16.5", the #8 is the 19", and so on.

11-Feb-2005, 17:52
Thanks Tracy, again this forum is a wealth of info. Now everything on the lens makes sense. I would not have ever made true the frustrating times on my way to ULF addiction with out this forum and the knowledge you all are so willing to share..Tracy, thanx for the fix.

11-Feb-2005, 17:59
to excited about getting this on a board. Let me clarify my last literary masterpiece. What I meant to say was ...." I would have never made it through the frustrating times on my way to ULF addiction without the knowledge you all are so willing to share....Tracy, Thanx for the fix................there ....now where is that lens board!

R.J. Fox
12-Feb-2005, 05:23
Coincidence - I just bought one of these from the auction site. The glass is in super condition, and mine is an f6.8, mounted on a custom lenscone on a graphic board. I plan to shoot it on what else--my Speed Graphic. According to the seller, who had a very complete history of the lens, states that the lens covers 8x10 with no problem. Since I'm only going to use it on 4x5 I plan to use it with a lot of movements.

I don't have the lens yet, but once I do I plan to give it a good test and hopefully keep it as a standard lens on my SG.

It is a samll world!

Leonard Robertson
12-Feb-2005, 08:36
Robert - I'm envious, since my oldest Goerz is a 10 3/4" Goerz Double-Anastigmat Type B, Series 1c (No. 5), serial #140xxx. My oldest actually marked Dagor is another 10 3/4" f6.8 serial #150xxx. So does anyone have an idea at what serial number Goerz started using the Dagor name on the lenses? Also, were the early Goerz US serial numbers all used? Were there 30,000 lenses made between Robert's #120xxx and my #140xxx? Did Goerz make (and number) 120,000 lenses before Robert's, or was the first digit in the number meaningless and the first numbered lens was actually 100,001 or maybe 110,001? I understand there aren't actual records of early Goerz serial numbers. However, knowing the numbers on lenses older than Robert's would be interesting. Does anyone have a US Goerz with a 5 digit, rather than 6 digit serial number?

12-Feb-2005, 10:56
Leonard, You have probably seen the same list of serial numbers i have. from Eddie Bolsetzian's list....apparently he is a former goerz tech.....for product year 1902 - 1903... serial # 70001 -140935

CP Goerz
12-Feb-2005, 15:11
October the 19th 1903 was the completion date for this lens. It was from a batch of ten that were destined to be shipped to a Photographic Emporium in Paris the next week. It was a rush shipment and the lens finisher Otto Schroeder was happy to work overtime that Sunday as his daughter was ill with tuberculosis and the doctors bills were quite crushing. The lenses made their way to Paris on schedule and were sold within six weeks as an order for another ten came in shortly thereafter.

The next appearance of the lens you have came from 1917 where it was sent back to the factory for repair. Apparently it was used in an observation balloon that was shot down. The remenants of the balloon landed on the German side causing some damage to the lens rim, it sent back for repair. The new owner of the lens Mr Helmut Schwartz lived outside on Munich and spent a great deal of time shooting wildflowers in a vase by his window since he lost a leg and couldn't move about freely. He derived an income from cyanotypes that can occasionally be seen in better galleries and are noted for the fine detail and brilliant blue due of course to the refined chemicals he used in the production of the prints.

His oldest son came to Pennsylvania in the late 1920s where he ran a successful dairy business. He inherited the photo bug and took some quite remarkable pictures of his livestock. Most have been lost but I did see one in a seed store a number of years ago while visiting a friend in the upstate New York area. It was a little tattered at the edges but the large format qualities were quite evident. The lens was again returned to the factory as one of the rear elements was replaced after the lens was kicked by a horse who later went on to win several small handicap races before being sent to the glue factory. Strangely enough the glue from the factory was used to make leather lens caps that were then sent to a large store in New York that outsourced them for the Goerz American Optical Company.

The lens was sent to the the branch factory in Riga, Latvia and had the damaged lens replaced while the overall cell was given some fresh balsam. As the lens was shipped from this branch to Pennsylvania world war two broke out and the ship that this lens was being transported on was torpedoed just off New York. A salvage company came out and managed to raise the hulk for scrap as it was in relatively shallow water(you may notice the glass has a little bloom which the sea water aided). The wrapping around the lens had deteriorated so no address or ownership was clear.

The salvage company was run by a rough and ready type of chap called 'Salty' by his friends and Peter Grimes by others. He was certainly someone who knew quality when he saw it and he took the lens home. The iris had rusted away so was sent to the factory for replacement, the iris assembly is a later type that had fewer blades as you may notice. Peter taught himself how to use a Korona 8x20" he found in a camera store that was going out of business. He was taken at once by the shape purchased it immediately for a mere $20 with six holders. While on vacation in Yosemite, California he took a course in photography(his first) from Ansel Adams who tried to swap the lens for a few of his prints (including a vintage contact print of Moonrise!) and a replacement Protar. He politely refused much to Ansels chagrin and took the lens back to New York where about thirty years later it was sold from a dealers shelf, no doubt from residue of his estate.

I don't have any records beyond that but I hope it helps a little. Sandy is correct with the particulars otherwise.

CP Goerz.

domenico Foschi
12-Feb-2005, 15:53
MMhm Andrew, if they hadn't produced the movie ' the red Violin', i would recommend you to elaborate for a script .
Great job in writing as usual.

Struan Gray
12-Feb-2005, 15:55
No haggis?

Have you read Bill Duncan's "Smiling School for Calvinists"? Your stuff is better, but he's more convincing on the watery stuff.

12-Feb-2005, 16:44
Andrew, As always I welcome the wisdom you continue to bestow upon us. But in this case I was hoping you could provide something a little more in-depth. Thanks again for your efforts.............................................P.S........that was great...lol

Mark Sampson
14-Feb-2005, 18:34
Gee, I just went to the old lens box and pulled out my ancient 8-1/4" Goerz Double-Anastigmat Series III, N0.3; #140196. This one is in a broken Wollensak 'Regular' shutter. All I know of its history is that a friend of mine found a box of old camera stuff on the curb. He took the box because it contained the pieces of several 5x7 Korona-type flatbed view cameras, a broken wooden tripod or two, and this lens. I confiscated the lens from him because he had no intention of photographing with it, and I do. Could this be true? Naah, who'd believe such a wild story? A Dagor in the curbside trash? You gotta be kidding me.

John Kasaian
14-Feb-2005, 20:07

Actually, during a freakish inland waterspout near Wuppertal in 1904, several carp in a local lake and a barge carrying a shipment of Dagors from the Berlin plant that was plying a nearby canal on its way to the Rhine(yes, the Captain of the barge got lost as he suffered from a rare navigational disorder that was enhanced by the consumption of St. Pauli Girl at temperatures in excess of 90 degrees f.---yes, it was an unseasonable warm day) The carp, barge , and dagors(19inch f7.7s by the way) all came crashing down in the vicinity of the ancient hero/woodcutter "Lefty" von Budweiser's monument commemorating his victory over the the local bully and warloard "Vinny of the Bad Breath". The carp were gathered and pickled while the barge and its cargo of dagors where completely destroyed on impact with the cobblestones(the Captain and crew having jumped ship before terminal altitude was reached.) This event marked the modern world with two notable bits of historic phenomenon: 1) A strange Wuppertallian festival where local carp are catapulted into the air on the hottest day of the solstice to reinact the "carp rain" of 1904 and 2) the scarcity of 19" Dagors.


Jim Galli
14-Feb-2005, 22:25
I've got a contender. It's waiting for a working Autex shutter if anyone has an extra one.



Jack B.
7-Mar-2005, 13:01
I acquired an old Goerz lens @ an estate sale several years ago, it is similar to the last entry I read on these lenses. DOPPEL-ANTISTIGMAT. F:7.7.D.R.P. No.7437. Serie III No.6.F=300 m/m No.31237. It looks like the iris goes from F 6 to F 768 (!). I'm no longer shooting large format so any info about the lineage/value of this lens or suggestions about disposing of it would be greatly appreciated...Thanks...Jack B.

Bruce M.
7-Mar-2006, 18:01
I apologize for the intrusion but I have a question. I am not learned regarding cameras. I have in my possession a NETTEL Camerawerks camera body, brown leather with a black bellows and case, 5 double sided film packs 6.5 x 9 (?). The camera itself is in pretty good shape. Inside the front wooden plate, carved into the wood are the numbers 35427. They appear to be hand carved. From what I can tell the lens is not standard for this camera. The inner ring on the front of the lens says DOPP Anastigmat. Serie III DAGOR F=90m.m. 1:6 with a small 8 after the 6 followed by PAT CP Goerz Berlin 212139. The Pacific Rim Camera website shows this camera as pre dating the Contessa Nettel. Any ideas about what I have? ANy help would be very appreciated.