|1947 Stereo Realist||1954 Realist 35 Model B|
immigrant, David White, founded
the David White Company in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. An instrument maker,
White started his company in 1895 with the assistance of relatives
residing in the Milwaukee area and established a partnership with
Charles Klaweither in 1900. The two men began manufacturing drawing and
surveying equipment and incorporated their business in 1912. Despite
its commitment to the manufacturing of surveying equipment, the David
White Company is often most recognized for its brief production of the
sensational Stereo Realist camera.
In 1943, a young engineer, Seton Rochwite, approached the David White Company with an idea for a new type of stereo camera. With the support of the company, Rochwite developed his revolutionary camera. Rochwite named his camera the "Stereo Realist" and it became available to the public during the summer of 1947. Other companies including Kodak, Revere, Graflex, and TDC did not introduce similar models until the mid-1950s.
Due to the high quality of craftsmanship, durability, the introduction of the high quality 35mm Kodachrome color slide film in 1936, and a lack of competition, the Stereo Realist experienced an unprecedented surge in popularity during the late 1940s and the 1950s. With the decline of popularity of stereo cameras, the White company introduced two 35mm non-stereo cameras produced by Iloca, a German camera manufacturer.