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  1. #31

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    I remember Shutan. Was that the store right next door to Altmans or was Shutan on Washington St? I knew Paul Bork, from my town, who worked at Shutan, not the one next door to Altmans.

  2. #32
    irvd2x's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by williamkazak View Post
    I remember Shutan. Was that the store right next door to Altmans or was Shutan on Washington St? I knew Paul Bork, from my town, who worked at Shutan, not the one next door to Altmans.
    The store next to Altmans was Wolks.I bought my first camera there,1971...a Canon Ftb w/50 1.8 lens.The salesman threw in a roll of ektachrome x and High Speed Ektachrome.
    I worked at a warehouse during the week and on Sat mornings take the westline CNW train into the city,shoot some street photography,have some breakfast at one of the greasy spoons then head over to East Wabash and wander through Altmans,one floor at a time.Just inside the main entrance was a wall sized display with the longest lenses I had ever seen.It was Mecca for everything photographic.I bought two more Ftbs when the store closed.A different time.









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  3. #33

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    Now I remember. Wolk Camera was just North of Altman. I always wondered about that store placement being right next door. Where was Shutan? Franklin Street?? Like I said, Paul Bork worked there. Paul Schrantsz, later to become my teacher at GSU, worked at Altmans. Standard Photo was on Chicago Ave? And on Lasalle Street, the group from the defunct Altmans had a store named...? I had to go to all of them to get what I wanted and to look around at the gear. It is the same old story.; "we don't have it but we can order it".

  4. #34

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    Shutan was on Wacker about 2 blocks west of State St.

  5. #35

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    Click image for larger version. 

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    I started in 16 S Wabash store in 1966 and went to the 129 N location when it opened and stayed till fall
    of 68 when I went to work for Interstate Photo Supply (AIC Photo). Wolk Camera was one door north of the 129 location. Sometimes Ralph would have me run our new price lists over to them. I worked with a great group of professionals, Al Zoot, Tony Link, S. Schwartzer and Russ Kirk are a few I remember. I thought some photos might be enjoyed.

  6. #36
    irvd2x's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by altman6668 View Post
    Click image for larger version. 

Name:	Altman 1967.jpg 
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Size:	232.1 KB 
ID:	86743Click image for larger version. 

Name:	Altman 16 S.jpg 
Views:	111 
Size:	618.8 KB 
ID:	86744Click image for larger version. 

Name:	Altman 129 N.jpg 
Views:	111 
Size:	518.2 KB 
ID:	86745Click image for larger version. 

Name:	Ralph Altman card.jpg 
Views:	104 
Size:	189.8 KB 
ID:	86746


    I started in 16 S Wabash store in 1966 and went to the 129 N location when it opened and stayed till fall
    of 68 when I went to work for Interstate Photo Supply (AIC Photo). Wolk Camera was one door north of the 129 location. Sometimes Ralph would have me run our new price lists over to them. I worked with a great group of professionals, Al Zoot, Tony Link, S. Schwartzer and Russ Kirk are a few I remember. I thought some photos might be enjoyed.
    Oh my! I'm 19 again.Too much!! Wow.Thats the place.

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  7. #37

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    Awesome. Thank you for posting the pics. I remember Wolk next door. I always wondered why Wolk existed. I mean, right next door to Altmans? I remember the escalator in the back going up to the second floor at Altmans. The down below basement level, the large format lenses were there. I graduated high school in 1966. Altmans was the best. Central camera was way down the same street southward. Then, there was that one down by the watertower. Standard Photo, I think it was. I bought my Gitzo tripod over there. I still have it. I got the pan head over at Helix and a case for it to keep it all looking fresh, without scratches. Good times. Lots of stores and gear to lust after but so little pocket money. In addition,there were the photo magazines where I could read about all the cameras and lenses but to actually see the gear in these stores was so great.

  8. #38
    resummerfield's Avatar
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    Such memories.... Thanks for posting those images!
    —Eric

  9. #39

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    The pictures are great. You can somewhat see the catwalk. Everyone who worked cameras had to put their time in on the catwalk. I don't remember having to wear a tie. Looking at those escalators reminded me of the (I believe it was the Minolta rep.) who had a heart attack on the way down and later died

  10. #40

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    Quote Originally Posted by Ph0t0_man View Post
    The pictures are great. You can somewhat see the catwalk. Everyone who worked cameras had to put their time in on the catwalk. I don't remember having to wear a tie. Looking at those escalators reminded me of the (I believe it was the Minolta rep.) who had a heart attack on the way down and later died
    I was there that day also. Jerry Woorm (sp) was the Minolta rep. If I remember one of the sales people, Dave Blocker? was trying to do CPR on him when the paramedics arrived. Very sad day.

    Ralph was a really nice regular guy. Most of the folks were nice and easy to work with. There were one or two smart aleck know-it-all sales people but I just ignored them. In the 2+ years I worked there I don't remember having to work the catwalk but that was almost 40 years ago now so my memory is dim.

    When I was on the first floor I was the 'gear geek'. During slow times I'd check the drawers with adapters and stuff in them to see what wonders were there. One day a customer walked in with a Pentax Spotmatic and a 240mm f4.5 LTM mount lens head, for use on a visoflex with a focusing mount. He wanted to use it on his Spotmatic. I overheard one salesman telling him it couldn't be done but before he walked out the door I intercepted him and showed him just how it could indeed be mounted on his Spotmatic. I wound up selling him a Pentax helical extention tube, a combo of 2 or 3 manual M42 extention tubes and a LTM to M42 adapter. Worked fine and settled back to *just* past infinity. Quite a contraption but it worked.

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