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Kent, more on the Kardon:
It is discussed at length in two books: "300 Leica Copies," by Pont/Princelle and "Leica Copies,"by HPR.
HPR says it was produced between 1947 and 1954 by the Premier Instrument Corporation of New York under a deal with E. Leitz Inc in 1944, based on the Leica IIIa.
The US Army ordered 750 but cancelled the order when Japan surrended although some had already been delivered. Premier then made a civilian version by early 1947. Kodak supplied a 47mm/f2 Kodak Ektar lens in a Kardon-made mount.
HPR adds that the Army wanted an extreme cold and heat-proof camera that could be operated when wearing thick gloves and when Kardon delivered, the Army ordered 990 first and then 664 more. It declined to buy more because by then it could buy from Leica -- although without the heat and cold needs -- for less money.
HPR says "very likely" the CIA used the Kardon but gave preference to the Leica as "an inconspicuous tourist camera of German origin."
After its tools and parts were sold for scrap in 1955, Kardon president Peter Kardon's son Bernhard later produced Harmon Kardon hi-fi equipment. --bob cole