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Earliest Argus A

At 11:42 PM 6/7/98 +0000, you wrote:
                                    >Hey Fellow Argonuts,
                                    >       Why don't we try to see who has the earliest Model A (by serial #)
                                    >in the group? Mine is number 57372, is marked Argus Ilex Precise and
                                    >I.R.C. F-4.5 ANASTIGMAT on the front of the shutter. It has the brass
                                    >"half sprocket" and a brass take-up spool. It also has a metal Push-on
                                    >lens cap that looks like a "snuff can" lid. I don't know if the lens cap
                                    >is original or aftermarket, as there are no markings on the cap. The
                                    >camera also has a tripod socket and an aluminum back. I have heard that
                                    >the earliest ones had no tripod socket and had a steel back. 
                                    >       I'm sure there are some out there older than mine. Let's hear 
                                    >about them.
                                    >                                          Charles Spickard

Date: Tue, 09 Jun 1998 09:19:01 -0700
                                    Mine is #56037. I acquired mine in 1974 in a second-hand shop for $6.00.
                                    Shot a roll in it shortly after buying it, but was dissatisfied with the
                                    ease with which the user could induce "camera shake" when using an A.
                                    Granted, I was 16 years old then, and have learned how to properly hold a
                                    camera and minimize camera shake since. 
                                    All of your "Argus-Ilex-Precise" shutter info fits my camera, too. Still
                                    works, in excellent condition.
                                    Kevin Schoeppel

Date: Tue, 9 Jun 1998 07:45:26 -0700 (PDT)
                                    Kelly's said:
                                    >  I have a very old Argus A.
                                    >  Serial number is number 1178
                                    >  I assume they may have started making them at serial number 1000, then
                                    >  when they got better at production (1037) they called them production
                                    >  models and started counting ?
                                    >  The little tab of leather on the back door to assist in opening is made
                                    >  of canvas not leather
                                    >  Across from the single brass spocket there is a piece of wood glued in
                                    >  to help guide the film.  In later versions this is molded in.
                                    >  The slot in the brass internal take up reel was cut by hand.  Not
                                    >  exactly streight either.  
                                    >  The film pressure plate on the back door is cloth and has a notch cut
                                    >  out where the brass sprocket fits. It looks like they glued cloth to the
                                    >  metal back.  Then glued a cardboard and a second cloth to build it up to
                                    >  the correct height.
                                    >  Argus-Ilex-Precise lens/shutter
                                    >  Bob Kelly

Date: Mon, 8 Jun 1998 23:18:56 -0600
                                    My oldest A is #4913.  It looks like the usual early As, except its rewind
                                    knob is much thinner and has two holes drilled in it near the edge -- for no
                                    apparent purpose.  It came with an aftermarket bracket made by Wm. Grace of
                                    Dallas, which mounts to the camera using the bottom two lens mounting
                                    screws, and gives the camera a tripod socket almost centered under the lens.
                                    I also have a very late one, #210846.  It has a faceplate almost exactly
                                    like my A2F, with the same aperture settings as the A2F (4.5, 6.3, 9, 12.7
                                    and 18), but the top shutter speed is 1/150 instead of 1/200.  The wind
                                    knobs, tripod socket and film counter are much 'shinier' chrome -- almost
                                    plastic looking.
                                    Phil Sterritt

Date: Mon, 8 Jun 1998 00:30:48 -0700
                                    I have #7876 with all the earliest features including the steel back & no
                                    tripod socket. Up through my #'s 14859 & 15501 there appear to be no
                                    evolutionary changes, but by # 36458 the A had acquired the tripod socket
                                    (along with the thicker rewind knob required for the camera to rest level
                                    when set down), but still had a steel back; #38794 is identical. All these
                                    have the single tooth brass colored sprocket and film take-up spool. The
                                    highest serial I have (or have seen) is #196081, which has all the "late"
                                    features such as the aluminum alloy back, double sprocket in the white, et
                                    Stephen Lyons