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Saturday, April 08, 2006

Adolph Gasser, 1912-2006

Adolph Gasser died a week or two ago, at the age of 94. He was the owner and proprietor of San Francisco's legendary Adolph Gasser Inc., a.k.a. "Gasser's," on 2nd Street between Howard and Mission, an institution to Bay Area photographers. He was the camera dealer and repairman to generations of San Francisco photographers. These included many San Francisco luminaries like Imogen Cunningham and Ansel Adams (in whose home A.G. was married to his second wife—with Ansel as Best Man). Gasser was a skilled camera technician and a very early technical advisor to Nikon, Inc., and he held early patents in flash-shutter synchronization. He built Ansel's enlarger. In the Army Air Corps, he loaded and operated the cameras that photographed the explosions of the atomic bombs that ended WWII.

When young photographers would ask if they could buy equipment on credit, Gasser would ask to see their portfolios. If he thought they were any good, he'd give them an account.

He lived to know two of his great-great-grandchildren. Gasser's will carry on in its present location under Adolph's son John, who has been running the business for a number of years now.



Blogger Unknown said...

Wow, thank you for posting this, great choice of photos.

If I can add my own story about him: Adolph Gasser and his first wife needed an extra couple for bridge, back in the 1950's. The two people he invited hit it off, they later became my mom and dad.

I'm glad he played bridge as well as running a great camera store :-)

7:40 AM  

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