Some Burke and James histories


The Watson Sign.
Looking at some B&J cameras you'll find the name "Watson" on the viewfinder and /or "Watson" on the drop bed. Studying the B&J assortment, I wondered if the name Watson was a manufacturer name or just a Label. So I wrote to Lynn Jones the former Vice President of the Burke & James Company. He most kindly  replied on  his own humorously way;

Hi Jo,
George Drucker, my life long friend, had a sense of humour. For example, the name of his finger print camera was called the Watson/Holmes, nobody seemed to notice that it was stolen from Sherlock Holmes. Lots of people liked the name so he put the Watson name on several things. All of his film loading stuff was named "Alden", George's middle name. He named some of his high quality lenses, Karl Meyer. He was looking for a nice Germanic name and as it turned out, his wives gynaecologist was named Karl Meyer. He thought this was a really nice technical name, so every time you see a Karl Meyer lens, you'll smile, knowingly.
When I was vice president of B&J, we eventually named the air spray can, Watson also, however the working name in development was called the "Watson Blow Job". We always thought that not using this name lacked a great deal of creativity.

I'm surprised by the fact that Burke & James I'm surprised by the fact that Burke & James Company not only offered European cameras and lenses in the 1938 catalog, as they purchased Goerz Optical from Zeiss, but products of their competitor Graflex as well.