Victor spent the next few years pursuing the education his father thought appropriate, learning his lessons in the real world, not the classroom. Young Victor roamed the globe, spending this period of his life as an apprentice in the camera industry. First in Germany and France, then in the United States, working in camera and film factories, developing labs, camera shops, anywhere that would provide insight and understanding into the world of photography or knowledge of how cameras and lenses were produced. Victor’s father wanted him to gain a broad-based education, and education that would serve him well when running the family business. The world was to function as Victor’s personal research and development lab.
And in a way, it did just that. When not in the plants or shops learning the business and production side of the camera business, Victor was out in the surrounding countryside, patiently waiting to capture the local birds and other wildlife with his camera. The photographic experience – and patience – he gained during those hours in the woods would prove invaluable.
Equally invaluable was his exposure to the business side of the camera industry. The Hasselblad family’s standing and contacts gave young Victor unique access to the international community and to one of the world’s leading business minds. Victor became friends with his family’s business partner, George Eastman. Eastman, one of the world’s most visionary and successful entrepreneurs and founder of the Kodak Company, perfected roll film and was one of the most important figures in the world of photography.
The elder businessman took the protégé under his wing at the company’s headquarters and in his home in Rochester, New York. This friendship was to prove most helpful in the years to come.
Through Eastman, Victor gained access to brilliant photographers and technicians alike. Victor eventually returned to Sweden and the family business, but a life-long love affair with the young country across the Atlantic had just begun.