The Wirgin

By PF Staff in Influential Photo Gear on Dec 3, 2012

Upfront I must say that the piece of equipment this post is about I have never used personally, but without it I may have never taken up photography in the first place. It is my grandfather's Wirgin folding camera. Originally owned by my great-grandfather, then passed on to my grandfather, it has seen and captured over 50 years of family moments, be that happy or sad - but mostly happy. I never knew my great-grandfather, but I vividly remember my grandfather always walking around with a camera, setting up the shot and taking pictures, then disappearing into the dark room to develop his shots. After each family gathering there was always the mandatory group shot. Oh, how much we made fun of him with his one-liner "just one more brilliant photo!", but now I realize, he just wanted to keep us all close at heart with another picture of the family on the piano. After his passing, me being the next photographer in the family, I inherited his old machines. Now, while these old machines aren't used anymore, I still keep them and cherish them and all the beautiful memories of my grandfather and his photography.  

The Wirgin, pre-WWII folding camera

This camera was in use by my grandfather until in the early 90's, so I still have memories of him using it, but now it's unfortunately not functional anymore. I have brought it to a repair shop, but the quote I got for repairs was unrealistic, so while it breaks my heart, I cannot use this camera. I did, however, inherit some old photographs from my grandfather's collection, and I would like to share a picture taken with this camera, of the original owner of the camera: 

In the end I can only thank both my great-grandfather and grandfather, both whom were amateur artists in their own right, that they took up photography. Without my grandfather's inspiration I would probably not have picked up a camera myself, and would have missed out on so many years of fun and learning. Thank you ancestors, and than you reader for reading this post!


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