Argus Rarities -- Prototypes, Other Products, Military Products

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Copyright 2008-2014 Phillip G. Sterritt

Last modified 9/17/2014

Items are listed in decreasing order of rarity, where known.

email Phillip G. Sterritt

Known Prototypes

Argus Stereo (1950s)

Argus Stereo
Only known example is a Harley Earl Design Studios photograph of a striking design by Frederick W. Hertzler, which probably is a mockup.

C-5 (1950s)

C-5 Art Zill C-5 Harley Earl
The model that evolved into the C-44. One known example (above), from the collection of former Argus engineer Ed Zill. Also a photograph (below) of a different Harley Earl mockup.

Model D (1939)

Model D
Something of a legend; no known examples until 1981, when collector William P. Savage wrote an article in “The Photographist” magazine, published by the Western Photographic Collectors Association, showing his examples and describing its history. Intended both to commemorate the 100th anniversary of Daguerre's first commercially-successful camera, and to compete with the German 'Robot' sequence camera. Actually appeared in a February 1939 Argus ad in Popular Photography, but never made it to market. Simplified version released later that year as the Model K. Two known examples.

Model 12 (probably late 1940s - early 1950s)

Model 12 version 1 Model 12 version 2 Model 12 version 3
Three known examples, all in the Argus Museum in Ann Arbor, generally emulating the design of Kodak Retinas and Agfa Karats, popular 35mm folding rangefinder cameras of the period. Originally from the collection of former Argus employee Don Wallace.

Non-photographic Civilian Products

Radios aren't included in this listing, to keep the size of this list reasonable. Radio collectors have created several good websites and other references on the International/Kadette line of radios.

Glide Electric Shaver (late 1930s)

Glide electric shaver
Advertisements seen ('International Appliance Co.'), no known examples, unknown production.

Heater Fan (late 1940s)

Heater Fan
From the ill-fated Minnesota appliances subsidiary of the late 1940s. Few known examples, unknown production.

Argus reel-to-reel tape deck (early 1960s)

Reel-to-reel tape deck
One known example, unknown production.

Military Products

Not a lot of detail on these; known examples listed. Unless noted, all are 'few known examples, unknown production.'

WWII-era military optical products (marked I.I.I. or International Industries Inc.)

Military Spotting Scope Military Spotting Scope Labeling
M49 spotting scope is the best known example. Others include M17 and M62 elbow telescopes, M71 Sherman tank sight, M18 anti-tank scope for "6 pounder"

Binoculars or field glasses (ca 1940)

Military Field Glasses
One picture in corporate publication, mentioned in newspaper article. No known examples.

Razon-Azon guided bomb controller

Razon-Azon Controller
WWII or just after; one known example from Mike Reitsma collection.

Radio Equipment

Radio Equipment Bendix MP28
Known only from Argus WWII "Communications for Victory" advertisements, such as the one above. Below, MP-28B radio unit shown in that ad, made by International Industries Inc. (as Argus was known in those days) under contract to Bendix Radio Corp., from Mike Reitsma collection. Per Mike, the MP28 was the power supply for the RA-10 transmitter which was used on lots of American and British aircraft