Ronald G. Driggers holds a Ph.D. in electrical engineering from the University of Memphis. He is a senior engineer with the U.S. Army Night Vision and Electronic Sensors Directorate and is the U.S. representative to the NATO panel on advanced thermal imager characterization. Dr. Driggers is the author of two other books on infrared and electro-optic systems and has published over 30 refereed journal papers.
Encounters with landmark events in the history of technology – the first microscope, the first calculating machine, the first explosion-proof miner’s lamp, the first steam engine, the first train, the first telegraph, the first car, the first light bulb, the first radio, to name just a few randomly selected inventions – are always ambivalent. The fascination of the “first step” competes with misgivings regarding the “teething troubles” of the prototypes, which are only cured by subsequent improvements.
When Dr. Günter Kisselbach found a relatively unknown Leica prototype, “Barnack’s handmade prototype” in his father’s Leica collection, the history of development of the 35mm camera from Wetzlar had long been written. Fortunately, the wealth of established knowledge did not deter the photography enthusiast from finding out himself that substantial “blind spots” still existed in the source area of the Leica history. His fascinating report of his experience with the camera proves conclusively what this early personal model belonging to its inventor Oskar Barnack was capable of achieving. However, this only became apparent when the handmade prototype was subjected to practical testing and had to demonstrate the requirements it was equipped to meet and the points where it reached its limits, which it was only able to overcome in the course of further development.
This book provides answers to intriguing questions:
- what happened to Oskar Barnack’s “forgotten test camera”?
- what technical secrets does this camera hold?
- can it still be used to take photos?
- what is its position in the Leica lineage?
Exploring the textual, industrial, and social contexts of police shows on American television, this book demonstrates how polices drama play a vital role in the way we understand and engage issues of social order that most of us otherwise experience only in such abstractions as laws and crime statistics. And given the current diffusion and popularity of the form, we might ask a number of questions that deserve serious critical attention: Under what circumstances have stories about the police proliferated in popular culture? What function do these stories serve for both the television industry and its audiences? Why have these stories become so commercially viable for the television industry in particular? How do stories about the police help us understand current social and political debates about crime, about the communities we live in, and about our identities as citizens?