SANS & STREIFFE, INC. (USA)

MINIATURE BINOCULAR BRANDS (U.S. TM owner) SANS & STREIFFE BINOCULARS

PRIMARY SOURCES OF INFORMATION: US PATENT & TRADEMARK OFFICE, TRADE DIRECTORIES

Sans & Streiffe, of 565 West Washington Blvd., Brookfield, Illinois was probably formed around 1951 as an importer/distributor of binoculars, microscopes, telescopes, drafting tools, weather instruments, slide rules, movie cameras transistor radios, and similar goods. They held US trademark # 72055522 for “Sans & Streiffe” for binoculars, telescopes, microscopes, barometers, thermometers, & hygrometers from June 1959 to 2000, claiming first use in commerce of 12/15/1951. Sans and Streiffe appears in trade directories at least through 1973.

Text Box:     VINTAGE MINIATURE BINOCULARS

Japanese External Reverse Porro Prism Binoculars.   VIRTUAL MUSEUM

MARK OHNO

Text Box:      NAVIGATION: I WANT TO SEE:

MINIATURE BINOCULAR BRAND (presumed owned, but trade marked for other photo trade items ) ZYKKOR BINOCULARS

PRIMARY SOURCES OF INFORMATION: PERFECT LEADS, US PATENTS AND TRADEMARK OFFICE, LEGAL FORCE TRADEMARKS, BUSINESS LOOKUP

Photo Audio Consumer Marketing Corporation of One West 34th St., NYC was formed in 1979 as a distributor of photographic products and accessories and consumer electronics, including those that were marketed under the ZYKKOR trade name and distinctive US trade mark# #73276663 logo as seen on miniature binoculars. Dissolution of the co was reportedly on June 26,1996.

TASCO SALES PTY LTD (AUSTRALIA)

MINIATURE BINOCULAR BRAND (handled) TASCO BINOCULARS

PRIMARY SOURCES OF INFORMATION: AUSTRALIAN SECURITIES AND INVESTMENTS COMMISSION

Tasco Sales Pty Ltd of Brookvale NSW was apparently formed 11/5/1965 as a Australian distribution entity for Taco products, and is currently active.

SANKYŌ KŌKI K.K. / 三協光機㈱ (JAPAN)

    USA     

   MARKET

MINIATURE BINOCULAR BRAND (OWNED) KOMURA BINOCULARS

PRIMARY SOURCES OF INFORMATION: CAMERA WIKI ORG, US PATENTS & TRADEMARKS OFFICE

Sankyō Kōki K.K. (also appearing on some documents as Sankyo Kohki), produced and distributed products (predominantly lenses) under the Komura and Chibanon brand names, at least as early as 1953, including presumably on miniature binoculars under the Komura brand. Sankyo held   US trademark# 72134157 for a Komura logo (for camera equipment) filed Dec 15,1961. The company became insolvent in 1980 and is believed not to have survived beyond 1981.

SPI/ SOUTHERN PRECISION INSTRUMENT CO. (USA)

OPTEX INC., WORLD PRECISION INSTRUMENTS INC

MINIATURE BINOCULAR BRAND (U.S. TM owner for SPI logo) SPI BINOCULARS & telescopes, ( U.S. TM owner ) OPTEX BINOCULARS (model name) SOUTHERNER BINOCULARS

PRIMARY SOURCES OF INFORMATION: SPI ADVERTISEMENT, TEXAS STATE COMPTROLLER, TRADE DIRECTORIES, US PATENT & TRADEMARKS OFFICE

SPI / Southern Precision instrument Co./ Nathaniael Halpern of San Antonio Texas held US trademark #71651245 for the “SPI in diamond” logo for binoculars, telescopes & microscopes from July 13, 1954 until transferred to affiliated company Optex in April 1960, with first use in commerce stated as 1951. The trademark was transferred to Zale Corp in 1974, and then to Sugerose in 1986, and World Precision Instruments DBA Southern Precision Instruments in 1994. An occupied Japan AOCo marked “Southerner” pair of miniature   a binoculars suggests SPI was active ca 1950 and had a relationship with Asahi Optical Co. SPI/ Optex were longtime importers and distributors of binoculars, telescopes, microscopes, stop watches, compasses, measuring instruments, and other products, and for a time of transistor radios. Optex Inc DBA Southern Precision Instruments held US trademark #72260953 for Optex for binoculars from Dec 1967 claiming first use in 1957 but it was reassigned 9 times subsequently starting in 1974 including back and forth between the same or similar entities and last trademark owner World Precision Instruments DBA Southern Precision Instruments.

SPI Advertisement ca 1952

HENRY BIRKS & SONS LTD. (CANADA)

LES JOAILLIERS BIRKS INC.

BIRKS JEWELERS INC.

MINIATURE BINOCULAR BRANDS (Canadian TM owner) BIRKS BINOCULARS

PRIMARY SOURCES OF INFORMATION: CANADIAN INTELLECTUAL PROPERTY OFFICE, CLOUDY NIGHTS.

Henry Birks & Sons (now Birks Group, formerly Berks Jewelers Inc & Les Joailliers Birks Inc) of 1240 Phillips Sq Montreal Canada has operated as a Canadian retail jewelry and giftware chain since 1879, and holds Canadian design trade mark #TMA575763 with 61 related Canadian trademarks for “Birks”and or lion   for binoculars, telescopes, microscopes and for around 122 other items. Birks binoculars were sold through Birks owned Canadian retail outlets, but they do occasionally show up in the UK and elsewhere so they might or might not have been distributed at wholesale.

HEADQUARTER & GENERAL SUPPLIES, LTD (UK)

MINIATURE BINOCULAR BRANDS (believed owned) LIEBERMAN & GORTZ BINOCULARS, L & G TELSTAR BINOCULARS, TELSTAR BINOCULARS (distributed?) REXINA BINOCULARS,  

PRIMARY SOURCES OF INFORMATION: ACCOUNTANCY NOV 66 VOL 77 ISSUE 879, FINDMYPAST

According to the 1966 trade publication “Accountancy”, Headquarter and General Supply was a mail order company formed in 1941 and made public in July 1963. They say that much of the early business was in binoculars and watches, but the company expanded to tents, camping equipment, carpeting, records, transistor radios, tape recorders, photographic equipment, furniture and clothing. And apparently guitars, power tools, jewelry and various other things at different times. A good portion of the outdoor gear was military surplus. As of 1966 they also operated retail outlets. They advertised extensively in “Exchange and Mart”, but also in a wide range of specialty periodicals such as “Commercial Grower”. Ads in the Northern Ireland newspaper Larne Times (Antrim) as early as June 1947 show the mail order location as 196-200 Coldharbor Lane, London SE5 (Brixton), which still exists and is a triangular building on the corner of Flaxman and Coldharbor roads and is adjacent to   Loughborough station. According to two people who worked for the company at their Surbiton (Surrey) and their Guilford (Surrey) retail stores the company went out of business in the late 1970’s. By all accounts “Lieberman & Gortz” was a “house” brand for binoculars for almost the entire lifespan of the company, but does not appear to have had a UK trademark. For some reason I am unable to find documentation on Headquarter & General Supplies Ltd in UK Companies House records of dissolved, current, or prior name companies, nor any information in the UK Insolvency Register. H & GS appears to have sold it’s Lieberman & Gortz binoculars at retail rather than distributing them at wholesale.

      UK

   MARKET

   CANADA

       MARKET

HENRY KAUFMANN (GERMANY)

MINIATURE BINOCULAR BRANDS (probably owned) HK HELGOLAND BINOCULARS

PRIMARY SOURCES OF INFORMATION: ASTRONOMIE.DE, “JEWELIER & SPORT OPTIK HENRY KAUFMANN” WEBSITE

Jewelry and optics trader Henry Kaufmann is located on the resort island of Helgoland at Siemens Terassse 162. Helgoland currently is exempt from the EU VAT and thus offers a tax advantage to visitors purchasing goods to take home. It is believed that the firm imported binoculars from Japan and sold them with HK Hegoland brand markings, probably at retail. The firm currently offers Leica, Zeiss, Steiner, and Swarovski sports optics, as well as jewelry.

GERN OPTIK (SWITZERLAND)

   EUROPEAN

             MARKET

MINIATURE BINOCULAR BRANDS (probably owned) WEGA BABY BINOCULARS, WEGA SPORT BINOCULARS

CONVENTIONAL BINOCULAR BRANDS: WEGA LUX, WEGA SPORT BINOCULARS

Gern Optik markings are commonly found on “Wega” brand binoculars. The firm is listed in directories as being a wholesaler of optical instruments in Vaud Switzerland, but is believed no longer in operation. Distributors included Newbold and Bulford for the UK market.

LL BEAN INC (USA)

MINIATURE BINOCULAR BRANDS (owned) LL BEAN BINOCULARS

PRIMARY SOURCES OF INFORMATION: WIKIPEDIA

The American mail order, catalog, on line, and retail store outdoor outfitter and clothier LL Bean was founded in 1912 and is based in Freeport Maine. The company imported and sold binoculars under it’s LL Bean brand name over the years.

    USA     

   MARKET

MONTGOMERY WARD/ WARDS (USA)

SEARS ROEBUCK & CO./ SEARS (USA)

K MART (USA)

SS KRESGE

MINIATURE BINOCULAR BRANDS (U.S. trademark owner) FOCAL BINOCULARS

PRIMARY SOURCES OF INFORMATION: US PATENT & TRADEMARKS OFFICE, WIKIPEDIA

The US retail chain K Mart headquartered at different times in Michigan and   Illinois is the successor to the US retail chain SS Kresge, founded in 1899. SS Kresge Co held US trademark # 72312306 for Focal for binoculars, telescopes, cameras from 11/15/1968 to 1977 (claimed first commercial use1966, then succeeded by K Mart. K held Canadian trademark TMA270461) FILED 8/28/1981 , used in Canada since 1975, expunged 1998 K Mart imported and distributed binoculars, telescopes, and photographic products under the Focal brand name through it’s retail outlets.

MINIATURE BINOCULAR BRANDS (owned) WARDS BINOCULARS (believed owned) ADAMS BINOCULARS (handled) PLUM BINOCULARS

PRIMARY SOURCES OF INFORMATION: WIKIPEDIA

MINIATURE BINOCULAR BRANDS (owned) SEARS BINOCULARS, TOWER BINOCULARS

PRIMARY SOURCES OF INFORMATION: CAMERA-WIKI.ORG

The American mail order, catalog, and department store retailer Montgomery Ward (later Wards) was founded in 1872 and was apparently closed in chapter 7 bankruptcy in 2000. The company imported and sold binoculars under the Ward’s name and sold binoculars and photographic accessories through it’s stores and catalogs under the Adams brand, though not trademark listed. This collection holds their 1950 and 1952 photo/camera catalogs. To view them click RESEARCH MATERIALS #1 .

    USA     

   MARKET

    USA     

   MARKET

The American mail order, catalog, and department store retailer Sears Roebuck & Co (later Sears) was founded in 1886 in Chicago Illinois. The company imported and sold binoculars under the Sears name and sold TOWER BINOCULARS , as well as all manner of cameras & photographic accessories, typewriters, electric fans, and other products using it’s “Tower” brand, named after the famous “Sears Tower” building in Chicago, which was the world’s highest building for 24 years. Sears owned the “Tower” brand trade mark for some things, like Sears photo finishing (from 1949). Additional items were sold under the “Sears Tower” trade mark. Many “Tower” marked miniature binoculars were made by Asahi Optical Co and are also “ AOCo” marked, and these are virtually identical to AOCo marked Bushnell miniature binoculars. Sears held Canadian trademark #0210156 for SEARS for binoculars 1951 to the-present. Sears held New Zealand trademark #140946 for SEARS for binoculars 1986 to 2004. Sears held US trademark #172097101 for SEARS for binoculars 1960 to -2003. All of Sears various brands products were contract manufactured.

1954 Sears ad for Tower miniature binoculars with AOCo markings visible

GEORGE MAYERLE OPTICAL CO (USA)

    USA     

   MARKET

    USA     

   MARKET

MINIATURE BINOCULAR BRANDS (handled) FATA MORGANA BINOCULARS

PRIMARY SOURCES OF INFORMATION: ADS IN VARIOUS PUBLICATIONS

The George Mayerle Optical Co. of 960 Market St, San Francisco, California USA was the exclusive US and Mexican wholesale distributor for the Fata Morgana binoculars in the early 1920’s.

LUDWIG BÜNGER (JAVA, DUTCH EAST INDIES)

The optician firm of Ludwig B ü nger, with shops in the cities of Bandoeng (later Bandung) and Semaring, was the agent for “Fata Morgana” binoculars during the early 1920's, on the island of Java. Java was part of the colony of the Dutch East Indies at the time (the area is now Indonesia)

MINIATURE BINOCULAR BRANDS (handled) FATA MORGANA BINOCULARS

PRIMARY SOURCES OF INFORMATION: CATALOGUS KOLINIALE TENTOONSTELLING, AECHIEF VOOR DE SUIKERINDUDTRIE IN NEDERLANDSCH-INDIE, Volume 30, Part 1 1922

GŌSHI-GAISHA ENDŌ KAMERA-TEN / ㈾遠藤 カメラ店 (JAPAN)

MINIATURE BINOCULAR BRANDS (believed) PIGEON (?) BINOCULARS

PRIMARY SOURCES OF INFORMATION: CAMERAPEDIA

Gōshi-gaisha Endō Kamera-ten (Endo camera shop) in Itabashi Tokyo from around 1951-1953 and then successor Endō Shashin Yōhin K.K. in Kyōbashi Tokyo from 1953 to at least 1956 distributed various photography related products under the “Pigeon” brand name, probably (?) including “Pigeon” brand miniature binoculars.

  JAVA

   MARKET

    USA     

   MARKET

CARTON OPTICAL INDUSTRIES, LTD. (JAPAN)

OTHER

   MARKETS

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

PRIMARY SOURCES OF INFORMATION: CARTON WEBSITE, USPTO,

Carton Optical Industries Ltd was founded in 1930 as a wholesaler of spectacle frames. In 1951 Carton became a trading company importing and exporting a variety of optical goods. In 1964 Carton established it’s own factory to manufacture microscopes, binoculars, telescopes, magnifiers, and ophthalmic instruments under the Carton name. and for other brands. Carton held US trademark # 76396103 for binoculars, telescopes & microscopes Apr 2003 to present, but listing first use in commerce as 1964, and held Japanese trademark #4095350 of 1997 listing first use 1964 and Canadian design trademark #TMA604018 for binoculars, telescopes, micro scopes & opera glasses 2004-.present.

ŌFUNA KŌGAKU-KIKAI SEISAKUSHO ( 大船光学機械製作所 ),

OFUNA OPTICAL INSTRUMENT MANUFACTURING C0. INC. (JAPAN)

    USA     

   MARKET

MINIATURE BINOCULAR BRANDS (owned) OFUNA BINOCULARS, WOODSMAN BINOCULARS, HERON BINOCULARS

PRIMARY SOURCES OF INFORMATION: CAMERAPEDIA, OBSERVATION

Ofuna Optical Instrument Manufacturing Co. Inc. was formed in Japan during WWII to produce military binoculars and optics, in the town of Dai in an area commonly known as Ōfuna. After the war the company made binoculars (and cameras for a short time), until closing in 1963. Ofuna was more of a manufacturer than distributor, and K.K. Kashimura Yōkō   distributed the binoculars in Japan. Ofuna binoculars were also distributed in the USA, but the mechanism for export and import and US distribution are not known.

HEILAND PHOTO PRODUCTS, HONEYWELL CORP. (USA)

MINIATURE BINOCULAR BRANDS (handled) PENTAX BINOCULARS

PRIMARY SOURCES OF INFORMATION: CAMERAPEDIA, WIKIPEDIA

Heiland Research Corporation developed the modern external electronic photographic flash attachment in the late 1930’s, and merged with Honeywell Corporation in 1954. From around 1959 to at least 1973 Honeywell was the U.S. importer of   Asahi Kogaku/ Pentax cameras, and for at least part of that time also distributed Pentax binoculars, through it’s Heiland Photo Products division.

    USA     

   MARKET

OKAYA KŌGAKU KIKAI K.K./ 岡谷光学機械㈱ (JAPAN)

MINIATURE BINOCULAR BRANDS (owned) VISTA BINOCULARS

PRIMARY SOURCES OF INFORMATION: CAMERAPEDIA

Okaya Kōgaku Kikai K.K./ 岡谷光学機械㈱ , or Okaya Optical Works Company, Ltd.) was a Japanese maker of "Vista" brand binoculars in the 1950s and perhaps 1960s, and appear to have acted as exporter and wholesale distributor.

OTAKE & CO. LTD. (JAPAN)

MINIATURE BINOCULAR BRANDS (owned) VESPER BINOCULARS

PRIMARY SOURCES OF INFORMATION: OTAKE & CO LTD CATALOG

Otake & Co. Ltd of No 17 1 Chome Sugamao, Toshima-K Tokyo was, according to their English language catalog, owner of the “Vesper” name for all optical instruments as registered in the Japan Patent office. Otake was probably a manufacturer (several Otake companies appear on the 1959 list of Japanese binoculars makers), but because of the English catalog was probably also involved in export or distribution. This collection holds an Otake & Co catalog. To view it click RESEARCH MATERIALS #2 .

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.

COPITAR CO. LTD. (JAPAN)

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

PRIMARY SOURCES OF INFORMATION: US PATENT & TRADEMARKS OFFICE

Copitar Co Ltd. Of 11-12, 5-ChomeNishi-Nippori, Arakawa-Ku, Tokyo Japan   is a company   listed on the 1959 list of Japanese binoculars makers, and held US trademark # 74259298 for Copitar for binoculars, mini binoculars, telescopes, opera glasses & magnifiers, claiming first use in 1966 (trademark cancelled Dec. 2000).

    USA     

   MARKET

PRENTISS IMPORTERS (USA)

    USA     

   MARKET

MINIATURE BINOCULAR BRANDS: (probably) PRENTISS DELUXE BINOCULARS

PRIMARY SOURCES OF INFORMATION: POPULAR MECHANICS, POPULAR SCIENCE

Prentiss Importers of the Mercury Building in West Los Angeles California USA advertised in various magazines from around 1950 to around 1961, as being a binoculars and telescope importer, initially offering to supply dealerships, and later offering mail order retail direct catalog sales. In 1955 they claimed to be distributing 22 models of binoculars.

OMORI SOGO KŌGAKU KŌGYŌ 大森総合光学工業 (JAPAN)

MINIATURE BINOCULAR BRANDS: (using & believed owned) PLUM   BINOCULARS

PRIMARY SOURCES OF INFORMATION: DIRECT OBSERVATION

Omori Sogo Kōgaku Kōgyō was a prolific Japanese assembling manufacturer of miniature binoculars. I have observed 33 miniature binoculars brand names which Omori Sogo Kōgaku made binoculars for, and there are presumably others. Binoculars manufactured by Omori Sogo Kōgaku are found in every geographic market where Japanese miniature binoculars are found. I believe that the “Plum” brand belonged to Omori Sogo Kōgaku, and that “Plum” was the brand used on those binoculars that Omori Sogo Kōgaku distributed on it’s own behalf. Omori Sogo Kōgaku products carry a distinctive “K in a cloud” stamping.

ALL KNOWN

      MARKETS

    USA     

   MARKET

MINIATURE BINOCULAR BRANDS: (believed owned/used) BURTON DURATEST BINOCULARS

PRIMARY SOURCES OF INFORMATION: TRADEMARK REFERENCES, BLOOMBERG

The R.H. Burton Co. was founded in 1947 and distributed ophthalmic and optometry equipment and supplies and optical equipment. It was located at 2504 Sullivant Av, Columbus, Ohio, and later of 1395 Brookham Dr., Grove City Ohio) and for a time apparently also imported and distributed binoculars under the Burton Dura-Test brand. The company is still active.

MEIJI SEIKO CO LTD./ MEIJO SEIKO KŌGAKU 明治精工株式会社 (JAPAN)

ALL KNOWN

      MARKETS

MINIATURE BINOCULAR BRANDS: (believed using/owned) EAGLE BINOCULARS, MENAN BINOCULARS,MEIJI BINOCULARS

PRIMARY SOURCES OF INFORMATION: DIRECT OBSERVATION

Meiji Seiko Kōgaku/ Meiji Seiko Co. was a prolific Japanese assembling manufacturer of miniature binoculars. I have observed 45 miniature binoculars brand names for Meiji Seiko made binoculars, including those of well known importers such as Swift, and there are presumably others. Binoculars manufactured by Meiji Seiko Kōgaku are found in every geographic market where Japanese miniature binoculars are found. I believe that the “Eagle” brand belonged to Meiji Seiko Kōgaku for a while, and that EAGLE BINOCULARS was the brand used on those binoculars that Meiji Seiko Kōgaku distributed on it’s own behalf in the 1950’s-1970’s.