Forty-five-year-old Charles Bronson, chief engineer of Varel Manufacturing in Dallas, brought two cameras to Dealey Plaza on November 22, 1963: a Leica Model III for still photographs and a Keystone Olympic K-25 for color home movies. He and his wife, Frances, stood atop a concrete pedestal at the southwest corner of Main and Houston streets. Bronson had had a lifelong dream to see a president and was eager to capture images of President Kennedy during his visit to Dallas.
Bronson's Leica, purchased in 1938, was the oldest known camera used in Dealey Plaza on the day of the assassination. It was loaded with daylight Kodachrome film. Two of his three still images were made just after taking a brief film sequence of the presidential parade on Main Street, approaching the turn onto Houston. Switching quickly to his Leica, he took two slides showing the Kennedy limousine approaching and then making the turn from Main Street onto Houston Street. He then switched back to his Olympic home movie camera for a sequence showing the presidential parade on Houston, approaching the turn onto Elm Street. - Stephen Fagin, Curator