Blue Earth
Glazer's Camera

Adolph Gasser, 1912-2006


Adolph Gasser, founder of San Francisco's venerable photography store, Adolph Gasser, Inc., died March 23 at the age of 94.

Gasser was born in San Francisco in 1912 to Swiss and German immigrants, Adolph and Marie Gasser. He began his photographic career as a camera repairman and opened his own repair shop in 1936. In addition to simple repairs, Gasser designed custom parts and worked with optics in still and motion picture equipment. Among his clientele were Ansel Adams, Imogen Cunningham and other noted West Coast photographers.

During World War II, Gasser served in the Photo Division of the Army Air Corps, servicing the cameras on B-29 bombers. After the war, he traveled to Japan, where he became a technical consultant for Nikon. Gasser contributed many technical innovations to the industry, including sync systems used in many models of the Nikon camera, a special enlarger commissioned by Adams and a strobe unit for use in an Egyptian pyramid.

He is survived by his son, John Gasser; a daughter, Dorothy Cox; four grandchildren; three great-grandchildren; and two great-great-grandchildren. John Gasser will continue to run the family business.