Monday, 23 January 2017

Revealing Price List from 1950

I was recently given a bound volume of Magazines issued by Wallace Heaton of 127 Bond Street W.1 -and sundry other places-during the post war years. Many of the treasures offered in new goods were of a strictly utilitarian nature and designed to make up for the absence of the real thing from Europe. Cine was of great interest and the Leica owner is encouraged to consider 16mm silent film as anything smaller was considered unlikely to give satisfaction! Colour was in a state of transfer from the old mechanical tri-colour processes to Agfa Negative film then becoming available. Little mention is made of (imported) Kodak goods- no doubt in the National Interest. Wallace Heaton were after all the Royal snapshot handlers.

However,some quality cameras were on offer, price controls on second - hand sales had just ended, The list I have reproduced here contains some interesting contrasts . It might be noticed that the older Leica goods have appreciated considerably over the 66 years since, but the more recent cameras listed have increased rather less in price. The Company continued until, I think, the 1970's when it was taken over by Dixons,at its peak in the 1950's they had employed 350 staff in a wide range of departments and expanded to a few sites outside London. For friendly service they were superb with an old fashioned atmosphere -and a first class second hand department in Avery row at the back of Bond Street. Coating of uncoated lenses was offered at 7/6, the equivalent of 37.5p in Decimal currency, for each air surface!

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