Leica My "Atomic" 3D Camera is now in Naval Aviation Museum in Pensacola

Raid

All-Pro
My 3D camera with a possible history of having been used in WWII to take photos of targets for the A-bombs is now displayed in the Naval Aviation Museum in Pensacola, side by side with a proto-type of the A-Bomb.

IMG_2085-M.jpg



IMG_2098-M.jpg



IMG_2089-L.jpg
 
Last edited by a moderator:

Raid

All-Pro
This is a long story. I traded some gear for this unknown camera many years ago in Pensacola. It took me at least ten years to figure out its history.
A Camera with History behind it: Drop of the A Bomb - Photo.net Classic Manual Cameras Forum
Update on Douglas Winnek 3D Camera from WWII - Rangefinderforum.com
Interview with the inventor: All comments on Douglas F. Winnek, 3D Inventor ©2008 Derek Dean - YouTube
Nice Raid. What's the story of your association with this camera?
 

brusby

Regular
Fascinating. It would be historically important if the original footage taken by this camera could be found and made available to the public. If I understand correctly, your camera was used on reconnaissance flights, including one by the Enola Gay over Hiroshima prior to the bombing and then aboard the B-29 when "Fat Man" was dropped on Nagasaki.
 
D

dalethorn

Guest
Wow!!! Just when I thought I'd seen everything, up pops an incredible piece of history in one of our member's hands. It makes me feel very humble to realize that other people have things like this in their possession, or on display in the Naval Museum. That camera isn't small, so it's not an easy thing to hide.
 

Raid

All-Pro
Fascinating. It would be historically important if the original footage taken by this camera could be found and made available to the public. If I understand correctly, your camera was used on reconnaissance flights, including one by the Enola Gay over Hiroshima prior to the bombing and then aboard the B-29 when "Fat Man" was dropped on Nagasaki.
Yes, this is a very good possibility if we believe what one of Winnek's sons wrote me about my camera. Whoever saved such photos could make them public now.
 

brusby

Regular
Yes, this is a very good possibility if we believe what one of Winnek's sons wrote me about my camera. . .

I wonder where the information came from. If Winnek's son was referring to documentation created by his dad, that source is probably historically significant and should be preserved before it is lost or destroyed both to establish the provenance of your camera and for general historical principles.
 

Raid

All-Pro
Winnek wrote a detailed diary, and his son has it. One of the factors that convinced me to give the museum the camera is that they may send to Winnek's son a person to meet with him and to ask him for some pages being copied for the Museum. My feeling is that Winnek's son is distancing himself and his father from the role of the cameras in the dropping of the atomic bombs. He was very upset at me when he heard that I contacted PBS a few years ago about the camera. It is explained in my thread at RFF . The link was given above.
 

brusby

Regular
My feeling is that Winnek's son is distancing himself and his father from the role of the cameras in the dropping of the atomic bombs. He was very upset at me when he heard that I contacted PBS a few years ago about the camera. It is explained in my thread at RFF .

Well, that history has already been written and denying it won't change it. I find the whole story incredibly interesting -- the photographic innovation part, not the tragic loss of life -- and I'd really like to know more. Winnek sounds like a fascinating character.
 

uhoh7

Regular
I have very much enjoyed following your experience with this camera. I still have no clue how it worked or seen any images produced by it. Any help on this?
 

Raid

All-Pro
I have very much enjoyed following your experience with this camera. I still have no clue how it worked or seen any images produced by it. Any help on this?
It took me many years to figure out what I had, and it will be more difficult to find a user of this camera who may know where photos taken with it are saved. I hope that the Naval Aviation Museum historians will dig things up through the US Government.
 
Last edited by a moderator:

Raid

All-Pro
It is a museum that is filled with interesting pieces. Entrance to it is free. There are many retired Navy people living in Pensacola, and many of the staff at the Museum are volunteers.
 

dskjlf

Rookie
Real Name
Dwight Longuevan
Winnek wrote a detailed diary, and his son has it. One of the factors that convinced me to give the museum the camera is that they may send to Winnek's son a person to meet with him and to ask him for some pages being copied for the Museum. My feeling is that Winnek's son is distancing himself and his father from the role of the cameras in the dropping of the atomic bombs. He was very upset at me when he heard that I contacted PBS a few years ago about the camera. It is explained in my thread at RFF . The link was given above.

I can't speak to why my uncle would distance himself as he was an officer in the U.S. Navy himself. When I was a young boy he spoke very highly of his time the service and the military in general and used to let me wear his officers hat/visor.

I don't recall my grandfather ever suggesting his time spent on military contracts caused him any concern, and he worked for Lockheed Martin for years on projects that all ended up in the Military's hands from what I understand.
 

Raid

All-Pro
Hi Dwight,
I am glad that you have joined this thread. I tried in vain to reach members of your family about this camera, and I tried for many years. Finally, I gave away the camera for the Museum. All I know that once your uncle heard about my contacting PBS History Detectives about this camera, he was very upset. He called me "an opportunist" and stuff like that. Oh well. This is history now.
 

Latest posts

Latest threads

Top Bottom