The U.S. patent for the original Argus A showed C.A. Verschoor as the
inventor, but the drawings and the design were surely the work of Gustave Fassin.
Literature on the Argus A cameras is not as copious as that for the later C3, but there are still some excellent resources available for learning about the first Argus cameras and their use.
1. Glass, Brass & Chrome: The American 35mm Miniature Camera by Kalton C. Lahue and Joseph A. Bailey includes a good historical overview of the development of the Argus cameras. While the book's editing leaves something to be desired, the great virtue of the book is that the authors write from personal experience, providing real insights into the features and foibles of the cameras discussed A lengthy preview of the book is available on line through Google Books.
2. 35mm For the Proletariat: A Modern User's Guide to the Argus A/A2 Camera by Hrad Kuzyk is a welcome recent addition to Argus lore . The author, improbably, took his ancient Argus A along on a tour of duty in Iraq. I had it in the back of my mind to get an Argus A for a long time, and this book pushed me over the edge. As the author explains in his preface:
"This book is intended to be a user's guide, not a collector's guide. As such, it does not concern itself with current street value, scarcity, condition rating, or other such collector-related information. While there is much of this text of interest to a collector of Argus cameras, this book concentrates predominantly on those issues that would be of importance to a user."
Some features of the A-model Argus are not very intuitive, so this guide is a big help in getting started with the camera. The excellent illustrations of repair procedures just about guarantee that nearly any Argus A can be made functional. The book is available in its entirety on line as a pdf file at TheArgusA.com.
3. Complete disassembly instructions for the Argus ILEX Precise shutter is available at the Camera Collecting and Restoration web site. Most Argus A cameras will not require that level of intervention, but the well-illustrated, step-by-step procedures provide the ultimate resource for the worst-case scenario.
4. All the A-Series Argus cameras are illustrated on a page at the Argus Collectors Group site
5. View the Argus A2F User Manual.
All of my A-Series photographs have been made with the Argus AF and the Argus A2F cameras.
And, here is the real me, exposed at arm's length by the Argus A2F: