In Memoriam, Steve Grimes

Steve Grimes


My friend and colleague Steve Grimes suffered a massive heart attack, and died on April 16, 2003. I will miss him a lot.

He was a good friend, a great machinist/inventor, and an all-around first-class human being.

Steve grew up in New Bedford, Massachusetts. With salt water in his veins, he joined the U.S. Coast Guard, serving in Vietnam as a lieutentant on a patrol boat.

When he returned from Vietnam, he studied camera repair on the G.I. bill, and became a partner in Camera Obscura, a camera shop located in Harvard Square, Cambridge Massachusetts.

I met him at Camera Obscura in 1974, when I was beginning to dabble in camera repair. After seeing that I had some promise in that area, he hired me as a helper/apprentice. I worked for him at various locations for the next 9 or 10 years. Camera Obscura went bust, and he set up a repair-only operation as S.K. Grimes Camera Repair, and I was his assistant, and later service manager, in a couple of different locations.

After a number of years he wearied with the bureaucratic needs of running a small business, and sold S.K.Grimes Camera Repair. He continued for some time as an employee of S.K. Grimes Camera Repair, but then decided that he didn't much like being an employee either!

While he was a great camera repair tech, he was more interested in custom fabrications and small-scale manufacture. A few years back he set up as S. K. Grimes Photographer's Machinist.

While not a photographer himself, Steve took great joy in solving tricky technical problems for photographers, and was particularly expert with large format equipment.

I will always treasure my memories of the time we spent together.

Sheldon Brown, April 16 2003

By the way, S.K.Grimes Photographers' Machinist is still in business even without Steve.

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