Reid & Sigrist Ltd. was set up by British Major G. H. Reid after World War l, as a manufacturer of precision instruments, including those for aircraft.
The Allies confiscate all German patents under the Control Council Law of October 1945 and, subsequently, make them freely available.
Having studied plans and parts for the pre-war Leica lllb, Reid make up a number of prototypes.
The Reid camera is announced in the British Journal of Photography. Due to government interference, and problems with subcontractors, no cameras make it to the market over the next few years.
Production begins with the so called 'O' cameras. These are engraved R S in an oval with 'Reid and Sigrist Ltd', with' London' below, in capital letters. Serial numbers are preceded by an A. This changes to P on later models. Reid lll Type l cameras are marketed. These are engraved with the normal Reid logo, and with 'Leicester' replacing 'London'.
Reid lll Type ll (Reid llla) introduced.
Reid l introduced. This is similar in appearance to the Leica Standard and is a Reid lll Type ll without the rangefinder and slow speeds. Although advertised as available to the general public, it is aimed specifically at government bodies (military and police).
The Reid la is mentioned in the British Journal Photographic Almanac. This is to be a copy of the Leica 1f, with the viewfinder of the Reid l replaced by a second accessory shoe (no copies, or photographs, are known to exist). The Reid ll is also announced in the British Journal Photographic Almanac. This is said to be identical to the Reid lll, but without the slow speed dial (it was probably never produced, and it may be that cameras stated to be Reid ll's were put together from spares and sold by A.W.Young Ltd.).
Production ceases and tools and spares are sold to A.W. Young Ltd. of London.
The Decca company (of record fame) take over Reid & Sigrist and close down the camera making activity almost immediately.
Detailed information is available in the article The Reid Camera, by Mike Hardy, published in the summer 2000 edition of Photographica World - The Journal of the Photographic Collectors Club of Great Britain. Additional information is given on pages 39 to 50 of Leica Copies - By HPR - Classic Collection Publications, 1994.
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