Hasselblad - Company History - World War II

World War II

During World War II, the Swedish military captured a fully functioning German aerial surveillance camera from a downed German plane. This was probably a Handkamera HK 12.5 / 7x9, which bore the codename GXN.

The Swedish government realised the strategic advantage of developing an aerial camera for their own use, and in the spring of 1940 approached Victor Hasselblad to help create one. In April 1940, Victor Hasselblad established a camera workshop in Gothenburg called Ross AB in a shed at an automobile shop, working in the evenings in cooperation with a mechanic from the shop and his brother, began designing the HK7 camera.

By late 1941, the operation had over 20 employees and the Swedish Air Force asked for another camera, one which would have a larger negative and could be permanently mounted to an aircraft. This model was the SKa4. Between 1941 and 1945, Hasselblad delivered 342 cameras to the Swedish military.

In 1942, Karl Erik Hasselblad died and Victor took control of the family business. During the war, in addition to the military cameras, Hasselblad produced watch and clock parts, over 95,000 by the war's end.

Read more about this topic:  Hasselblad, Company History

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