Text Box:     VINTAGE MINIATURE BINOCULARS

Japanese External Reverse Porro Prism Binoculars.   VIRTUAL MUSEUM

 

  - GERMAN ORIGINS #1

  - GERMAN ORIGINS #2

  - GERMAN ORIGINS #3

  - GERMAN ORIGINS #4

  - GERMAN ORIGINS #5

  - JAPANESE ORIGINS #1

  - JAPANESE ORIGINS #2

  - JAPANESE ORIGINS #3

  - JAPANESE ORIGINS #4

  - JAPANESE ORIGINS #5

  - JAPANESE ORIGINS #6

  - INTRODUCTION #1

  - INTRODUCTION #2

  - DISTRIBUTION #1

  - DISTRIBUTION #2

  - DISTRIBUTION #3

  - DISTRIBUTION #4

  - DISTRIBUTION #5

  - DISTRIBUTION #6

  - DISTRIBUTION #7

  - DISTRIBUTION #8

  - FUN ANALYZING BRANDS #1

  - FUN ANALYZING BRANDS #2

  - FUN ANALYZING BRANDS #3

  - FUN ANALYZING BRANDS #4

  - BINOCULARS BY BRAND A-B

  - BINOCULARS BY BRAND C-G

  - BINOCULARS BY BRAND H-M

  - BINOCULARS BY BRAND N-Q

  - BINOCULARS BY BRAND R-S

  - BINOCULARS BY BRAND T-Z

  - PHOTO GALLERY #1

  - PHOTO GALLERY #2

  - PHOTO GALLERY #3

  - PHOTO GALLERY #4

  - PHOTO GALLERY #5

  - PHOTO GALLERY #6

  - PHOTO GALLERY #7

  - PHOTO GALLERY #8

  - PHOTO GALLERY #9

  - PHOTO GALLERY # 10

  - VINTAGE ADVERTISING #1

  - VINTAGE ADVERTISING #2

  - VINTAGE ADVERTISING #3

  - VINTAGE ADVERTISING #4

  - VINTAGE ADVERTISING #5

  - VINTAGE ADVERTISING #6

  - VINTAGE ADVERTISING #7

  - VINTAGE ADVERTISING #8

  - ORIGINAL BOXES #1

  - ORIGINAL BOXES #2

  - CAN YOU REPAIR THESE?

  - REPAIR SEIZED OCULARS IF

  - COLLIMATE AND REPAIR CF

  - MORE REPAIRS #1

  - MORE REPAIRS #2

  - MORE REPAIRS #3

  - IDENTIFY THIS

  - SWAP SHOP & MISC

  - MISC

  - INDEX  

  - RESEARCH MATERIALS #1

  - RESEARCH MATERIALS #2

  - DATA BINOCULARS BRANDS

MARK OHNO

Please note: a great amount of effort has been made to try to be as accurate as possible. But   information about distribution tends to be scarce and fragmentary, and errors or misinterpretation are possible and/or probable. Please keep in mind that any errors are unintentional, and will be cheerfully corrected upon notification And that this is a not for profit attempt to document otherwise unavailable aspects of binocular history by optics enthusiasts, for the benefit of optics enthusiasts. The distinction between Japanese manufacturers, exporters, and distributors and importing country wholesale and retail distribution may be blurred, so I have been generous about inclusion.

LE GRAN CORPORATION (USA)

MINIATURE BINOCULAR BRAND (U.S. TM owner) LE GRAN   BINOCULARS

PRIMARY SOURCES OF INFORMATION: CALIFORNIA SECRETARY OF STATE, US PATENTS AND TRADEMARK OFFICE

Le Gran Corporation of 3090 Airport Way, Long Beach, California, USA filed for incorporation in California 4/19/1961 and merged out, perhaps around 1973. It incorporated again in 10/30/1973 and merged out again. Le Gran held US trademark # 72386270 for “Le Gran” for binoculars 1972-1993 with first use claimed Nov 1969.

KENKO TOKINA USA, INC (USA) K.K. HŌYA GARASU/ ㈱保谷硝子 , HOYA K.K. /HOYA ( JAPAN)

J. L. GALEF & SON (USA)

MINIATURE BINOCULAR BRANDS NA

PRIMARY SOURCES OF INFORMATION: J.L. GALEF 1950 CATALOG, NEW YORK STATE DIVISION OF CORPORATIONS

J.L. Galef & Son of 85 Chambers St, NY, NY. filed for incorporation in New York on Jan 2 1946, with dissolution Nov 5, 1984. Galef was a wholesale distributor of binoculars, optical goods, watches, air guns, firearms, and cameras/camera accessories. This collection holds their 1950 catalog. To view it go to RESEARCH MATERIALS #1 .

Miura Shoji K.K. also known as Miura Trading Co Ltd. of 206 New Kokusai Bldg. Marunouchi, Chiyoda-Ku, Japan held Japanese trademark #407,661 for Manon from Jan 1952, and held US trademark #72197837 for “Manon” for binoculars, microscopes, telescopes, monoculars and camera equipment from Feb 1963 until Nov 2006. The company also held Japanese trademark 520,864 for Shrine from May 24 1958, and held US trademark # 72198571 for “Shrine” for binoculars from feb 1966 Nov 2006. The company was known to been distributing cameras (Gemflex) at least as early as 1949, and distributed binoculars, telescopes, cameras and camera accessories under “Manon” and ”Manon Shrine” brands. Today both the names Miura Shoji K.K. and Miura Trading Co. Ltd are common in Japan for a number of different current companies probably unassociated with this entity (automobiles, apparel, furnishings, pearls and gems, ) and one somewhat more plausibly related entity who distributes photographic accessories.

MIURA SHOJI K.K. ( 三浦商事 )  

MIURA TRADING CO. LTD. (JAPAN)

MINIATURE BINOCULAR BRANDS (U.S.TM owner) MANON BINOCULARS

CONVENTIONAL BINOCULAR BRANDS (U.S. TM owner) SHRINE BINOCULARS & TELESCOPES

PRIMARY SOURCES OF INFORMATION: US PATENTS AND TRADEMARK OFFICE, MIURA TRADING CO LTD. MANON BROCHURE (date unknown)  

BERNS WHOLESALE SPORTING GOODS (USA)

MINIATURE BINOCULAR BRANDS (handled) JANA BINOCULARS, BERNSPORT BINOCULARS (PROBABLY BUT SPECULATIVE)  

PRIMARY SOURCES OF INFORMATION: 1966 BERNS WHOLESALE CATALOG

Berns Wholesale Sporting Goods of 625 W 12th Av., Denver, Colorado was a wholesale distributor of fishing equipment, guns and ammunition, camping equipment, binoculars, cameras, and sporting goods. The company does not appear to have been incorporated in Colorado. (a company of the same name was incorporated in Delaware, a practice which has tax advantages). This collection holds their 1966 catalog. To view it go to RESEARCH MATERIALS #1 .

API Spa. (ITALY)

MINIATURE BINOCULAR BRANDS (handled) PENTAX BINOCULARS

PRIMARY SOURCES OF INFORMATION: API CATALOG, possibly 2006?

API Spa. of Casella Postale 616, 50100 Firenze, Italy is believed the importer/ distributor of Pentax binoculars and cameras for Italy, during the time that 6x15 and 6x25 “M” pattern binoculars were part of the Pentax product line.          

S.E. LASZLO (USA)

MINIATURE BINOCULAR BRAND (U.S. TM owner) HY-SCORE BINOCULARS, GRAND VIEW BINOCULARS (handled) YOSHIDA THOROBRED BINOCULARS

PRIMARY SOURCES OF INFORMATION: 1954 S.E. LASZLO CATALOG, US PATENT & TRADEMARK OFFICE

S.E. Laszlo of 200 Tillery St., Brooklyn, NY was founded in 1933 as an importer and wholesale distributor of binoculars, cameras, telescopes, barometers, air guns etc. They claimed to be supplying 10,000 shops and stores. S.E. Laszlo held US trademark #72322772 holder for HY Score” for binoculars, revolvers, air guns, ammo & starter guns from March 1969-1992 with first commercial use claimed in 1960. As well as the HY Score binoculars in this collection, I do own HY Score air guns and pellets. This collection holds the 1954 S.E. Laszlo catalog. To view it go to RESEARCH MATERIALS #1 .

DAVE COOK SPORTING GOODS CO, INC. (USA)

MINIATURE BINOCULAR BRAND (owned)? DACOTE BINOCULARS

PRIMARY SOURCES OF INFORMATION: COLORADO SECRETARY OF STATE, DAVE COOK 1952 FLYER, regional newspapers, FUNDING UNIVERSE

Dave and Max Cook opened a sporting goods co in Colorado USA in 1924. After buying his brother out the Dave Cook Sporting Goods Co was opened in Denver, Co. in 1936. Dave Cook Sporting Good Co Inc filed for incorporation in Colorado 6/1/1946, and incorporation was withdrawn 3/22/1988 when the chain was purchased by Gart Sporting Goods. Dave Cook Sporting Goods was a Colorado regional outdoor outfitter and sporting goods chain. I believe that they imported, and sold at retail through their own outlets and by mail order, and distributed at wholesale through other retailers in Colorado, New Mexico and California from around 1952 through around 1976 binoculars under the “Dacote” brand name. The “Dacote” brand name does not seem to have been trade marked, and ownership cannot be fully substantiated. Dave Cook advertised “Dacote” binoculars from 1952 through 1976. According to Funding Universe, at the time that Gart Sporting Goods purchased the Dave Cook Sporting Goods Co, Inc. chain in 1988 for $20 million, they had 21stores in Colorado plus 1 store in Casper Wyoming. This collection holds a 1952 Dave Cook advertising flyer. To view it go to RESEARCH MATERIALS #1 .

  1952 Dave Cook advertising flyer

THE BROWNSCOPE MANUFACTURING CO. (USA)

MINIATURE BINOCULAR BRAND (owned ?) BROWNSCOPE BINOCULARS

PRIMARY SOURCES OF INFORMATION: CATALOG, OBSERVATION

The Brownscope Manufacturing Co. was a catalog mail order retailer and storefront retailer and probably importer and perhaps manufacturer of telescopes, binoculars, and microscopes. They do not appear to have incorporated in New York state, nor does “Brownscope” appear to have been trade marked in the USA. Brownscope advertised in magazines as early as 1933 and as late as 1953. Brownscope was located at 24 W. 45th St., NY, NY.“Brownscope” branded 6x15 binoculars made in occupied Japan (so probably 1949-1952) are known.

CAMERA SPECIALTY CO. (CASPECO) (USA)

MINIATURE BINOCULAR BRAND (owned or used?)   EDIXA BINOCULARS

PRIMARY SOURCES OF INFORMATION: CAMERAPEDIA

The Camera Specialty Co. of 705 Bronx River Rd., Bronxville, NY, USA was operating by 1940, and by 1954 was operating from the Bronx River Rd address as an importer and of   distributor of photographic products. Camera Specialty Co. held US trademark # 72026323 for “Edixa” for various camera related items on March 1957-October1985 .  

W. CARSEN CO LTD.   (CANADA)

MINIATURE BINOCULAR BRAND (owned probably)   CARL WETZLAR BINOCULARS

PRIMARY SOURCES OF INFORMATION: CANADIAN INTELLECTUAL PROPERTY OFFICE

W. Carsen Co. Limited of 31 Scarsdale Road, Don Mills,383G7 Ontario, Canada was formed in 1946 as an importer/distributor of photographic and optical products, particularly Olympus cameras. W. Carsen Co. Ltd. filed for a Canadian   trademark for a “Carsen” logo as seen on the miniature binoculars box at right on 11/25/1977. Carsen later became Carsen Group Ltd., 151 Telsen Rd., Markham, Ontario. The company distributed binoculars in Canada under the “Carl Wetzlar” brand, which does not seem to have been trade marked. I have been told that the Carl Wetzlar binoculars were widely sold through Canadian K Mart chain stores, as well as other outlets.

LEE-ROBERT CO.   (USA)

MINIATURE BINOCULAR BRAND (handled)   SWIFT BINOCULARS

PRIMARY SOURCES OF INFORMATION: 1953 LEE-ROBERT CO CATALOG

Lee-Robert Co. of 125 North Wabash Ave, Chicago, Illinois was a wholesale distributor of outdoor sporting goods, fishing equipment, bicycles, hobbies, and household goods. This collection holds their 1953 catalog.

Kowa Company, Ltd. 6-29, Nishiki 3-chome, Naka-Ku, Nagoya-shi, Aichi-ken, Japan was formed as Kōwa Kōki Seisakusho after WWII, though the company had existed in some form since around 1894, and Kowa manufactured cameras from 1954 to 1978, and distributed or manufactured binoculars and spotting scopes and for a longer period. Kowa Co Ltd. held UK trademark # 881446 for “Lupinus” for binoculars from 1965 to 2000. And Kowa Co Ltd. Held Canadian trademark #0328366 for “Lupinus” for binoculars from 1972-2003 but with Canadian use claimed since 1969. And Kowa Co Ltd. held US trademark # 73460118 for the “Lupinus” logo for binoculars from May 1985 until cancelled 2/18/2006 but with first commercial use claimed in 1958. And Kowa Co Ltd held Australian word trademark #195829 for “Lupinus” for binoculars, spotting scopes, optical instruments and other things from July 1965-2000. And Kowa Co Ltd held Australian word trademark #177826 for “KOWA” from Dec 1962 to the present. Kowa still holds US trade marks for Lupinus for use on lighting fixtures. Most Lupinus brand binoculars seem to have been actually manufactured by various other Japanese contract manufacturers, such as Omori Sogo Kogaku for the miniature models, and (observed) Kofu Kogaku, Musashi Kogaku, and probably others for the conventional full sized models. Kowa is currently very active in sports optics using the Kowa brand name with operations in the USA (Kowa American Corp) and Europe (Kowa Optimed Gmbh), as well as Kowa Optical Products Co Ltd in Japan.

KOWA CO. LTD., KŌWA KŌKI SEISAKUSHO (JAPAN)

MINIATURE & FULL SIZE BINOCULAR BRAND (U.S./UK/Canada/Australia TM owner) LUPINUS BINOCULARS

FULL SIZE BINOCULAR BRAND (Australia TM owner) KOWA BINOCULARS

PRIMARY SOURCES OF INFORMATION: CAMERAPEDIA, US PATENT & TRADEMARK OFFICE, CANADIAN INTELLECTUAL PROPERTY OFFICE, UK GOV. INTELLECTUAL PROPERTY OFFICE, GALES BRANDS AND THEIR MANUFACTURERS, INTELLECTUAL PROPERTY AUSTRALIA

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    USA     

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    USA     

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    UK

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BROADWAY HALE STORES (USA)

MINIATURE BINOCULAR BRAND (U.S. TM owner): CENTURA BINOCULARS

PRIMARY SOURCES OF INFORMATION: WIKIPEDIA, U.S. PATENT & TRADEMARK OFFICE

Broadway Hale Stores filed for US trademark # 72321463 for “Centura” for binoculars on March 12, 1969, now expired. The Broadway Stores founded in 1896 became Broadway Hale Stores in 1950 and was part of numerous acquisitions of Carter Hawley Hale, 6th largest US retail chain at one time , but was placed into Chap. 11 bankruptcy in 1991 and in 1995 sold to Federated Dept Stores. Broadway Hale distributed Centura binoculars through their own retail stores.

    USA     

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DSG INTERNATIONAL PLC (UK)

(prev) DIXONS RETAIL PLC

     UK

   MARKET

MINIATURE BINOCULAR BRAND (U.K. TM owner):   PRINZ BINOCULARS

PRIMARY SOURCES OF INFORMATION: UK GOV. INTELLECTUAL PROPERTY OFFICE, WIKIPEDIA

DSG International PIC of Maylands Av, Hemel Hempstead, Hertfordshire, HP27TG UK held UK trademark # 921334 for “Prinz” for binoculars and telescopes from 2/20/1968 expired 2/21/2003. Founded in Oct. 1937, Dixons became a very large retail store chain selling imported cameras and photographic equipment, audio visual equipment, computers, appliances and consumer electronics, and eventually had as many as 530 retail stores in the UK and 322 in northern Europe under various names including Dixons, Currys, Elkjop, Elgiganten, Gigantti, Lefdal, and Electro World, located in the UK, Ireland, Denmark, Sweden, Norway, Finland, Czech Republic and Poland, and they distributed Prinz binoculars through their own retail stores prior to 2003. The company merged with another entity in 2014.

   IRISH

    MARKET

  SCANDINAVIAN

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BUSHNELL CORP (USA) and related entities

MINIATURE BINOCULAR BRAND (owned)   BUSHNELL BINOCULARS

PRIMARY SOURCES OF INFORMATION: WIKIPEDIA, DAVID BUSHNELL INTERVIEW AT EUROPA, CALIFORNIA SECRETARY OF STATE, COURT CASES, US PATENT & TRADEMARK OFFICE

    USA     

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David Bushnell founded the optics importing and distribution companies bearing his name around 1948, and filed for incorporation in California 3/1/1949. The Bushnell company structure is a bit complicated, as David Bushnell explained IN A 2005 interview with Richard Buchroeder and Peter Abrahams .“At one time I had about a dozen corporations because the first $25,000 earned by the corporation was taxed at a lower rate”. So these probably also included D.P.Bushnell & Co Inc.,

Bushnell Optical Corp.which filed for incorporation 1/2/1952; Bushnell Optical Corp of America which filed for incorporation 1/2/1952; Bushnell Optical Laboratory which filed for incorporation 1/2/1952, Bushnell International Inc. which filed for incorporation 9/18/1953; Bushnell Optical Corp of America which filed for incorporation 1/12/1955; The Bushnell Service Corp which filed for incorporation 10/26/1959, Bushnell Photo Optics which filed for incorporation 6/13/1955, and others. In the first few years of operation the company sold binoculars at retail by mail order and a Pasadena storefront on 43 East Green St. and advertised under several names including Bushnell Importers, before transitioning to wholesale only . Commencing in 1999 Bushnell was acquired by successive private equity firms and purchased other optical firms including Tasco and Simmons. Bushnell held US trademark # 73172294 for BUSHNELL for binoculars from May 1978 citing first commercial use in 1950. Bushnell held US trademark #71683482 for BROADFIELD for binoculars March 1955-Sept 1996 citing fist use 1951.

  This collection holds Bushnell 1952 and 1956 flyers and catalogs. To view them go to RESEARCH MATERIALS #1 .

SWIFT AND ANDERSON, INC

SWIFT INSTRUMENTS, INC. (USA)

    USA     

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      UK

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MINIATURE BINOCULAR BRAND (U.S.TM owner SWIFT BINOCULARS, SWIFT AND ANDERSON BINOCULARS, VEGA BINOCULARS

PRIMARY SOURCES OF INFORMATION: VARIOUS COURT CASES, ADVERTISEMENTS, MASS SECRETARY OF STATE

Swift & Anderson of 952 Dorchester Ave, Boston Ma apparently filed for incorporation 5/18/1926 as an importer of European binoculars and field glasses, and after the WWII imported and sold imported Japanese binoculars under the Swift and Anderson name, including miniature models. On Oct. 15 1957 Swift and Anderson filed for US trademark # 72038952 for a logo of “Swift” with rifle scope cross hairs, and in 1957 was also advertising a line of “Vega” binoculars, perhaps reflecting more than one method of distribution. Miniature Vega binoculars are encountered with just the “Vega’ script logo, and as “Swift Vega” and full size binoculars are encountered both those ways plus with “S&A logo” and “Vega logo”. Swift and Anderson became Swift Instruments Inc around 1959. They continued to import and distribute Japanese binoculars and optics under the Swift name, including miniature models. Britex-Pyser distributed Swift optics in Europe and the UK. Swift Instruments filed for chapter 11 bankruptcy May 24, 2006 and involuntary dissolution was 6/18/2012, although a successor company Swift Sport Optics is still very active and still uses the Swift logo. To view a 1965 Swift flyer go to RESEARCH MATERIALS #1 .

TASCO (USA)

MINIATURE BINOCULAR BRAND (owned)   TASCO BINOCULARS

PRIMARY SOURCES OF INFORMATION: WIKIPEDIA, FLORIDA SECRETARY OF STATE, CLASSIC TELESCOPES BY NEIL ENGLISH, WIPO, US PATENT & TRADEMARK OFFICE

Tasco was originally founded as Tanross Supply Co. Inc. in 1954 and filed for incorporation in Florida on 02/06/1959, and had associated entities such as Tasco Sales Inc. of 4310 Anderson Rd Coral Gables Florida incorporated in Florida 6/4/1956, and a successor company Tasco Worldwide Inc of Mirimar, Florida which filed for incorporation 3/25/1996, and several other entities. Tasco Worldwide entered liquidation May 29, 2002 and Wind Point Partners (owners of Bushnell at the time) purchased the “Tasco” brand name and intellectual property in June 2002. The Tasco entities prior to 2002 were involved in importing optics and distributing them under the Tasco brand name. Tasco held Canadian trademark #TMA 167970 for binoculars from 6/1970 citing Canadian use from 1961, expunged 2006. Tasco held US trademark # 72246401 TASCO for   binoculars from 3/1967 to present

    USA     

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SWIFT logo trade mark # 72038952 for binoculars: registered 10/15/1957

W. BELL & CO., INC. (USA)

MINIATURE BINOCULAR BRAND (U.S. TM owner): BELFONT BINOCULARS

PRIMARY SOURCES OF INFORMATION: MARYLAND DEPT. OF ASSESSMENTS & TAXATION, BALTIMORE SUN, US PATENT & TRADEMARK OFFICE

W. Bell & Co Inc of 1501 14th St NW, Washington DC and 12401Twinbrook Pkwy, Rockland Maryland USA was a regional catalog retail showroom chain, formed 9/13/1961. They filed for bankruptcy in Dec. 1990 after weak Christmas sales and were liquidated in 1991. Bell & Co held US trademark # 72325252 for “ BELFONT ” for binoculars from 4/18/1969 to 7/1990 with first commercial use listed as 9/1/1968. Bell had 20 locations in the 1980’s.

UNITED BINOCULAR CO (USA)

MINIATURE BINOCULAR BRAND (owned): UNITED BINOCULARS

(handled briefly) RIKEN BINOCULARS, NIPPON KOGAKU BINOCULARS

PRIMARY SOURCES OF INFORMATION: UNITED CATALOGS

United Binocular Co. of 9043 South Western Ave., and 3412 West Jackson Blvd in Chicago, Illinois USA was founded in 1936 and was a mail order, catalog, and magazine retailer of binoculars, observed advertising between 1950 and   1983. This collections holds multiple United Binocular Co catalogs To view it go to RESEARCH MATERIALS #2 .

CHARLES FRANK LTD (SCOTLAND)

MINIATURE BINOCULAR BRAND (owned)   FRANK NIPOLE BINOCULARS

PRIMARY SOURCES OF INFORMATION: WIKIPEDIA, CHARLES FRANK CATALOG

Established in 1907, Charles Frank Ltd was a Scottish importer, distributor, and retailer of photographic and optical goods including binoculars, and manufacturer of scientific instruments, with multiple locations in Glasgow, and also in Edinburgh and Ayr. After WWII it sold war surplus binoculars. Charles Frank Ltd.   ceased trading in 1974. The name was subsequently resurrected for a retail and wholesale binocular and telescope business in Edinburgh. This collection holds a 1950’s era Charles Frank catalog. To view it go to RESEARCH MATERIALS #1 .

      UK

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  SCOTTISH

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GMC TRADING AG (SWITZERLAND)

(GUJERE, MUELI & CO)

MINIATURE BINOCULAR BRAND (UK& Swiss TM owned): ADMIRAL/ ADMIRAL GMC BINOCULARS

PRIMARY SOURCES OF INFORMATION: GMC WEBSITE, SWISS INTELLECTUAL PROPERTY OFFICE, UK INTELLECTUAL PROPERTY OFFICE, CORRESPONDENCE WITH COMPANY

GMC Trading AG of Hertistrasse 31, 8304 Wallisellen, Switzerland is a distributor of photographic and optical products. In addition to handling brands such as Nikon, Kenco, Tokina, Hoya, Kowa, Ricoh, Cokin, and Sunpak also distributes currently and in the past binoculars, rifle scopes and telescopes under their own Admiral brand name. The company was founded in 1959, and G.M.C . was derived from G ujere & M ueli C o., according to my communication with the company who was nice enough to respond to an inquiry. Gujer Meuli & Co/GMC Trading Co AG holds UK trademark 948992 for binoculars & telescopes from 10/1969-10/2004, and Gujer Meuli & Co /GMC Trading Co AG holds swiss trademark #2P-325036 for binoculars, monoculars, theater glasses, field glasses, telescopes, microscopes, magnifiers, rifle scopes and other optical and photographic products 1983-2023.

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K.K. KASHIMURA YŌKŌ / ㈱樫村洋行 JAPAN

  JAPANESE

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MINIATURE BINOCULAR BRAND (handled): ŌFUNA BINOCULARS

PRIMARY SOURCES OF INFORMATION: CAMERAPEDIA

K.K. Kashimura Yōkō was a Japanese distributor believed active from the early 1940’s, who distributed the binoculars of Ōfuna Kōgaku-Kikai Seisakusho ( 大船光学機械製作所 ), also known as Ōfuna Optical Instrument Manufacturing Co. Inc., which had a factory in the town of Dai in a zone commonly known as Ōfuna. Ōfuna produced binoculars, probably from around 1949 or 1950 until it closed in 1963. In 1955 in addition to Tokyo, Kashimura had branches in Nagoya, Osaka, Hiroshima, and Sapporo, and distributed the short lived Ōfuna cameras from 1953 to around 1956-1957, including exporting at least one model.

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HERTERS (USA)

    USA     

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MINIATURE BINOCULAR BRAND (owned or used): HERTERS BINOCULARS

PRIMARY SOURCES OF INFORMATION: HISTORY OF HERTERS BY TROY NELSON, NY TIMES NEWSPAPER

Herters was formed in Waseca Wisconsin in 1937 as a mail order outdoor and hunting and fishing outfitter, and at one time the company sent out a half million catalogs per print run. They imported binoculars under the “Herters” brand name. The company entered bankruptcy in 1981. This collection holds their 1962 and 1972 catalogs. To view them go to RESEARCH MATERIALS #1 .

SUNSCOPE OPTICAL CO. (JAPAN)

MINIATURE BINOCULAR BRAND (owned?) SUNSCOPE BINOCULARS

PRIMARY SOURCES OF INFORMATION:

Sunscope Optical Co. appears to have existed in Los Angeles California USA (as printed on some of the boxes) around 1958, but does not appear in California business entity searches and has a very minimal footprint behind.

ANGLOPHOTO LTD (CANADA)

MINIATURE BINOCULAR BRANDS (handled) NIPPON KOGAKU BINOCULARS, NIKON BINOCULARS

PRIMARY SOURCES OF INFORMATION: ADVERTISEMENTS, DATALOG CO/UK

It is my understanding that Anglophoto Ltd, Instrument Div, of Rexdale Ontario, Canada was the Canadian importer of Nippon Kogaku and Nikon binoculars, microscopes, and cameras in the 1960’s and 1970’s. Believed founded Nov 1964, dissolved Dec 1980.

The current US importer/distributor for Tokina, Kenko & Hoya photographic products is Kenko Tokina USA/Inc, incorporated in California 5/16/1973 to import (only) Hoya lenses. The manufacturer, Hoya Garasu was formed in 1960 (successor to previous companies dating to 1941), and Hoya K.K. was formed in 1984. Probably in the 1970’s or 1980’s some miniature pattern binoculars were imported into the US under the Hoya brand name, made by Tokuhiro Koki Seisakusho, Seiwa Kogaku and Tochihara Optical Co. Perhaps some Hoya branded binoculars went to the UK and Australian markets.

MINIATURE BINOCULAR BRAND (owned(?) HOYA   BINOCULARS

PRIMARY SOURCES OF INFORMATION: CALIFORNIA SECRETARY OF STATE, CAMERAPEDIA, WIKIPEDIA, KEN