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Articles about Swedish export successes

Hasselbladkameran  - Swedish high technology that has conquered the world

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Few Swedish export successes are as closely linked to Sweden and Swedish engineering and inventor technology as the Hasselblad camera. From the launch more than 70 years ago until today, this brand has retained its star shine. Mainly because the camera did a good job during the first lunar landing.

Victor Hasselblad (1906-78) founded 1941 in Gothenburg Victor Hasselblad AB who made aerial cameras, clockwork and other fine mechanics.

    The idea for his camera came to Victor Hasselblad when he traveled around the country and the kingdom to photograph birds during his youth. But he was never really happy with his pictures and started dreaming of a better camera. He published his thoughts and when World War II broke out, he was commissioned by the Swedish Air Force to build a military reconnaissance camera. Production started in a garage near the port of Gothenburg. The civilian camera had to wait. Three years after the war, the camera was ready to be launched, a one-eyed SLR camera for 6x6 cm .

    The launch took place in October 1948 in the large and important US market, in New York in front of a large crowd of journalists. It was a success. Both the daily and the photo trade press were enthusiastic about the world's first one-eyed SLR camera with interchangeable lenses, film magazines and viewfinders. Hasselblad early became the camera of professional photographers.

    For many, the Hesselblad camera is associated with US space travel and the collaboration with NASA is an important chapter in the Hasselblad brand's history.

John Glenn, who was the first American to travel several laps around the world, brought with him a camera of a different make, but the pictures he and his successor Scott Carpenter took were of poor quality.

    Walter M Schirra was the next astronaut in the line. As an interested amateur photographer, he knew about the Hasselblad camera. NASA bought a standard version in a camera shop and after some

modification it was allowed to accompany Schirra into space in 1962. The images were clearly better than during previous space travel and NASA decided that the Hasselblad camera would continue to be the project's official still camera. It was unique that NASA ordered components abroad, but confidence in the Swedish-built camera was very high.

    Prior to the first lunar journey, photographs were used to identify possible landing sites. The images of, among other things, the back of the moon, which had never been seen before, were taken by the crew of Apollo 8 and spread all over the world. The blurred black and white TV images from Neil Armstrong's first moonwalk on July 20, 1969 could eventually be supplemented with razor-sharp still images in color taken with the Hasselblad camera.

    In the back seat of the lunar car, the astronauts on Apollo 17 left two Hasselblad cameras. A memorial to Swedish high technology that conquered the world - and the moon.

    Even today, the modern digital Hasselblad cameras are based on Victor Hasselblad's basic idea.

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