Frederick W. Brehm deskbooks

RIT Archives

Table of Contents

Collection Overview
Biographical Information for Frederick W. Brehm
Scope and Content
Arrangement
Additional Finding Aids
Subject Headings
Information for Researchers
Administrative Information
Related Materials

Collection Overview (Collapse)

Title
Frederick W. Brehm deskbooks
Creator
Brehm, F. W., (Frederick W.)
Inclusive Date(s)
1925-1939
Abstract
Six books kept on the desk of Frederick W. Brehm, the Rochester Athenaeum and Mechanics Institute's first faculty member in the Photographic Technology Department. Brehm patented the Cirkut Panorama Camera in 1905.
Extent
0.25 Linear feet (1 document box)
Location
C.S. South, Shelf 337
Repository
RIT Archive Collections
RIT Libraries
Wallace Center
90 Lomb Memorial Drive
Rochester, New York, 14623
(585) 475-2557
raswml@rit.edu
Language
English

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Biographical Information for Frederick W. Brehm (Collapse)

Frederick W. Brehm (d. 1950) was born in Waterloo, NY in 1871 or 1872. Brehm was originally trained as a cabinet worker. In the 1890s he found work at the F. A. Brownell Company, which produced wood camera bodies for the Eastman Kodak Company. However, Brehm is best known for his role in developing the Cirkut Panoramic Camera.

The circuit camera was originally invented by William J. Johnston in Wyoming in 1904, but the design was perfected and readied for mass production by Brehm in 1905. Brehm patented his design on January 17, 1905, establishing himself as a leader in the field of photography. Brehm’s Cirkut Panoramic Camera, so named because “Circuit Camera” was already taken, was manufactured in Rochester, NY from 1904 to 1940. Although the camera was originally produced by the Rochester Panoramic Camera Company, it was later sold by the Folmer & Schwing Division of the Eastman Kodak Company. The camera worked by moving in an arc from left to right and utilized a timed exposure.

In 1917, Brehm joined the Eastman Kodak Company. At the time, the Rochester Athenaeum and Mechanics Institute (RAMI) was training individuals to work in a variety of fields, but not in photographic production. With the Eastman Kodak Company being one of Rochester’s largest employers, it made sense that a Rochester-based school would help support the company. In 1930, Brehm was “leant” to RAMI to serve as one of two faculty members in the Department of Photographic Technology, a program started to educate individuals to work in the field of photographic materials and equipment production. The program was designed to be a two year cooperative study program, with the first year of classes being taught by Brehm and the second year being taught by Carroll B. Neblette. The first class of 24 students entered RAMI in September 1930.

Brehm continued to teach at RAMI until July 1944. After retiring, he remained at RAMI (now the Rochester Institute of Technology) as an instructor emeritus and field consultant. Because he was seen as a father-like figure by his students, Brehm was often referred to by his pupils as “Pappy Brehm.” He died in Rochester, NY in 1950.

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Scope and Content (Collapse)

The Frederick W. Brehm deskbooks consist of six publications used by Frederick W. Brehm during his tenure at the Rochester Athenaeum and Mechanics Institute (RAMI). These books were presumably kept on Brehm's desk as reference resources. Two of the books serve as manuals for various aspects of photography, while one of the books is a course outline for a photography course, published by the Eastman Kodak Company. The remaining three publications are magazines for the field of photography.

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Arrangement (Collapse)

Materials are arranged in chronological order.

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Additional Finding Aids (Collapse)

In addition to this finding aid, an inventory is available below. For more information, please contact the RIT Archive Collections.

Frederick W. Brehm deskbooks

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Subject Headings (Collapse)

Personal Name(s)

  • Brehm, F. W., (Frederick W.)
  • Zakia, Richard D.

Corporate Name(s)

  • Rochester Athenaeum and Mechanics Institute. Department of Photographic Technology.
  • Rochester Institute of Technology.

Subject(s)

  • Photographers -- New York (State) -- Rochester
  • Photography -- Handbooks, manuals, etc.
  • Photography -- Study and teaching -- New York (State) -- Rochester

Genre(s)

  • Books
  • Magazines (periodicals)

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Information for Researchers (Collapse)

Preferred Citation

Frederick W. Brehm deskbooks, RIT Archive Collections

Restrictions on Access

This collection is open to researchers.

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Administrative Information (Collapse)

Collection ID

RITArc.0027

Source of Acquisition

The collection was a gift from Richard D. Zakia, donated in 2003.

Processing Information

Finding aid created by Lara Nicosia in November 2010.

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Related Materials (Collapse)

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