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Emil Busch

Renowned photographic equipment merchant Emil Busch was born in Berlin, Germany on August 6, 1820. He was the grandson of Johann Heinrich August Duncker, a minister who founded Rathenow's esteemed Optische Industrie Anstalt, one of the first manufacturers of reading glasses. Mr. Duncker's son Edouard succeeded him, but since he had no sons of his own, Mr. Busch inherited the family business in 1845. Trained as a mechanic and a merchant, Mr. Busch quickly expanded the business to include the production of optical equipment for the military. With no direct competition in the area, his business flourished in its first few years.

However, around 1850, several competitors relocated to Rathenow, which prompted Mr. Busch to enlarge the factory and add a steam engine to increase mass production. The Busch-Rathenow Company, as it became known in 1852, began specializing in photographic lenses and equipment. The company produced several types of Petzval lenses with wide aperture settings of six or seven inches.

In 1865, Mr. Busch received a patent for the Pantoscope (known by the Germans as the Pantoskop), believed to be the world's first anastigmat lens. The wide-angle Pantoscope lens featured two deeply curved symmetrical combinations and an aperture setting of f/22 for sharp focus. The Pantoscope was a popular choice for landscape photographers for its effectiveness in capturing clear architectural subjects and panoramic views. It was also the lens of choice for photographers working within limited spaces. The Pantoscope was soon out-performing the famous Globe lenses produced by Harrison and Schnitzer, the Busch-Rathenow Company's main competitor.


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2012-11-17 20:07:07
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