Lubitel Love From Waist Level Chapter 14: Born From the Ashes

To put things in perspective, let’s first take a look at the time frame. The Soviet Union stood victorious in the aftermath of World War II and laid claim to Eastern Germany. With this new territory came a crucial resource for their burgeoning nation – the knowledge and tools of the world-famous German optical & photographic industry.

Lomo PLC

Born from the Ashes
To put things in perspective, let’s first take a look at the time frame. The Soviet Union stood victorious in the aftermath of World War II and laid claim to Eastern Germany. With this new territory came a crucial resource for their burgeoning nation – the knowledge and tools of the world-famous German optical & photographic industry. Whole factories were dismantled and shipped East – destined to supply the Soviets with world-class means of documenting their daily lives and great loves.

One beneficiary of this new technology was “GOMZ” – which elegantly stands for “Gosularstvennyi Optiko-Mekhanicheskii Zavod” (State Optical-Mechanical Factory). Established in St. Petersburg (Leningrad) in 1932, this was one of the oldest Russian optical companies. In 1965, they changed their name to something a bit more familiar to folks like us: Leningradskoe Optiko Mekhanichesko Obedinenie (Leningrad Optical-Mechanical Union) – or simply, “LOMO.”

About one year after the war’s end, GOMZ introduced a brand new camera. Dedicated to and named after the Soviet Union’s Communist Youth Organization, this small twin-lens medium format camera was called the “Komsomolets.” On the surface, it was an obvious copy of the Voightlander Brilliant – a ground-breaking TLR camera that was created nearly 10 years prior. It featured a glass lens and a lightweight Bakelite (an early form of plastic) body. Despite the Komsomolet’s simplicity and clear “homage” design, it was a it was a pretty incredible achievement for a country that just emerged from a huge and damaging war.

Lazar Zalmonov, the ever-friendly & enthusiastic Lomo PLC key contact person, and his two assistants

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written by ungrumpy on 2011-05-20 #lubitel #library #lomography #excerpt #lubitel-love-from-waist-level

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