MINIATURE BINOCULAR BRAND (handled)   SWIFT BINOCULARS, APOLLO BINOCULARS

FULL SIZE BINOCULAR BRANDS: (UK TM owner) ROSS LONDON BINOCULARS & TELESCOPES, PATHFINDER BINOCULARS & MONOCULARS, SOLARCROSS

FULL SIZE BINOCULAR BRANDS: (distributed and/or imported ) SWIFT BINOCULARS, AUDUBON BINOCULARS, TRITON BINOCULARS, TECNAR BINOCULARS, TECHNAR BINOCULARS, SCOUT BINOCULARS, SARATOGA BINOCULARS, SKIPPER BINOCULARS, NEWPORT BINOCULARS, PANORAMIC BINOCULARS

PRIMARY SOURCES OF INFORMATION: UK COMPANIES HOUSE, PHOTO TRADE WORLD YEARBOOK & DIRECTORY 1969, UK INTELLECTUAL PROPERTY OFFICE

      UK

   MARKET

Text Box:     VINTAGE MINIATURE BINOCULARS

Japanese External Reverse Porro Prism Binoculars.   VIRTUAL MUSEUM

MARK OHNO

Text Box:    PAGE  NAVIGATION: I WANT TO SEE:

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.

GRAFTON OPTICAL CO. LTD. (UK)

BRANDS W/ MINIATURE BINOCULAR: (distributed, perhaps imported ) ZUIHO BINOCULARS

FULL SIZE BINOCULAR BRANDS: (probably distributed, perhaps imported ) EXCELSIOR BINOCULARS, LUXO STAR BINOCULARS,

PRIMARY SOURCES OF INFORMATION: PHOTO TRADE WORLD YEARBOOK & DIRECTORY 1969/ FOUNTAIN PRESS UK, UK (GOVT) COMPANIES HOUSE  

Grafton Optical Co of 1 & 3 Worship St. London EC2 UK (in 1969) was incorporated on 7/1/1954. The company seems to still operate at River Park industrial Estate, Billet La, Berkhamstead,   UK as a wholesale distributor of ophthalmology optical equipment.

CENTURY OPTICAL CO. LTD. (UK)

MINIATURE BINOCULAR BRANDS: (distributed, perhaps imported ) MANON BINOCULARS, PERL BINOCULARS, MICRON BINOCULARS

FULL SIZE BINOCULAR BRANDS: (probably distributed, perhaps imported ) PSAR BINOCULARS,   SIXETTE BINOCULARS, SPERBER BINOCULARS, TELEMAN BINOCULARS, HEURTEL & REUSS, HULL BINOCULARS, BECK KASSEL OCTETTE BINOCULARS, PANDEKAR BINOCULARS, PANSEPTAR BINOCULARS, PICCOLO BINOCULARS, MAGNOCTAR BINOCULARS.

PRIMARY SOURCES OF INFORMATION: PHOTO TRADE WORLD YEARBOOK & DIRECTORY 1969/ FOUNTAIN PRESS UK, UK (GOVT) COMPANIES HOUSE, OPTICAL YEAR BOOK 1971

Century OptIcal Co of 164-6 Tottenham Road Court London W1 UK (in 1969) was dissolved 8/3/1994. Additional records were archived by Companies House and made unavailable. A listing in “Autocar” indicates they were active by 1960. It is confirmed by documentation in the 1971 World Trade Yearbook that Century Optical specifically distributed Perl 6x15 miniature binoculars, and Perl 8x20 miniature binoculars in the UK.

GREENHILL AND ELLIS (OPTICAL) LTD. (UK)

Greenhill & Ellis Advertisement 1969

MINIATURE BINOCULAR BRANDS: (probably distributed ) GREENKAT BINOCULARS

FULL SIZE BINOCULAR BRANDS: (probably distributed) GREENKAT BINOCULARS,

PRIMARY SOURCES OF INFORMATION: PHOTO TRADE WORLD YEARBOOK & DIRECTORY 1969/ FOUNTAIN PRESS UK, CHEMIST AND DRUGGIST 1964, 1967 BRITSH JOURNAL PHOTOGRAPHY

Greenhill and Ellis Ltd. of Long House Dominion St London EC2 UK (in 1964 & 1969) is confirmed by documentation to have specifically distributed Greenkat 6x18 miniature binoculars in the UK in 1969, and showed them at a trade show in 1967.The company had a change of name in 1977, but there is a glitch in deserializing the digital record at Company’s house. This collection holds a 1967 Greenkat catalog. To view it go to RESEARCH MATERIALS #1 .

J.J. SILBER LTD. (UK)

BRANDS W/ MINIATURE BINOCULAR: (distributed and/or imported ) HANSA BINOCULARS, GLANZ BINOCULARS

FULL SIZE BINOCULAR BRANDS: (probably distributed, perhaps imported ) DENKAR BINOCULARS, CANON BINOCULARS

PRIMARY SOURCES OF INFORMATION: PHOTO TRADE WORLD YEARBOOK & DIRECTORY 1969/ FOUNTAIN PRESS UK, UK (GOVT) COMPANIES HOUSE, BRITISH JOURNAL OF PHOTOGRAPHY VOL 123 1976

J.J. Silber Ltd of 11 Northburgh St London EC1 UK (in 1969) was incorporated on 2/10/1952, and was apparently dissolved around 1992. During the 1970’s the company was located at Engineers Way, Wembley, Middlesex and distributed a wide variety of photographic equipment including Balda cameras in the 1950s, Cannon products later, and accessories under their own brands Optomax, Adcam, Ranger Pix, Ranger Vision, and Ranger Vizion.

PULLIN PHOTOGRAPHIC LTD.   (UK)

MINIATURE BINOCULAR BRANDS: (distributed and/or imported ) NIKON BINOCULARS

FULL SIZE BINOCULAR BRANDS: (distributed and/or imported ) NIKON BINOCULARS,

PRIMARY SOURCES OF INFORMATION: PHOTO TRADE WORLD YEARBOOK & DIRECTORY 1969/ FOUNTAIN PRESS UK

Pullin Photographic Ltd was listed as being at 11 Aintree Rd Perivale Greenford Middlesex.

It is confirmed by documentation in the Photo Trade Yearbook 1969 that Pullin specifically distributed the Nikon 7x15 miniature binoculars in the UK.

PURSER’S LONDON (HOLBORN) LTD. (UK)

MINIATURE BINOCULAR BRANDS: (distributed?) LUNA BINOCULARS , SUPREMA BINOCULARS, CORTINA BINOCULAR, GREENKAT BINOCULARS

  FULL SIZE BINOCULAR BRANDS: (distributed?) GREENKAT BINOCULARS, BARR & STROUD BINOCULARS, LUNA BINOCULARS,

PRIMARY SOURCES OF INFORMATION: PHOTO TRADE WORLD YEARBOOK & DIRECTORY 1969/ FOUNTAIN PRESS UK

It is confirmed by documentation that Pursers specifically distributed Cortina 7x18 miniature binoculars, Cortina 7x15 miniature binoculars, Cortina 8x 20 miniature binoculars, and Cortina 10x20 miniature binoculars, presumably among other miniature binoculars. No companies house information could be found.

MINIATURE BINOCULAR BRANDS: (probably distributed, perhaps imported ) SCOPE BINOCULARS , BELVEDERE BINOCULARS, SIMOR BINOCULARS, ORION BINOCULARS

FULL SIZE BINOCULAR BRANDS: (probably distributed, perhaps imported ) REGENT BINOCULARS, REGENTLUX BINOCULARS, HENSOLDT BINOCULARS, SLIMLINE BINOCULARS, STERN HARTMANN BINOCULARS, KARL HARTMAN BINOCULARS, NEWMARKET BINOCULARS, EPSOM BINOCULARS, FERNSEH BINOCULARS, ORION BINOCULARS, STERN BINOCULARS, HARTMANN BINOCULARS, VIPER BINOCULARS, ZEIKA BINOCULARS

PRIMARY SOURCES OF INFORMATION: PHOTO TRADE WORLD YEARBOOK & DIRECTORY 1969/ FOUNTAIN PRESS UK

HIGHGATE OPTICAL & INDUSTRIAL CO. (UK)

E. HILL & CO LTD (UK)

BRANDS W/ MINIATURE BINOCULAR: : (importer & distributors) SOLUS BINOCULARS, COMET BINOCULARS, ZENITH BINOCULARS, MERCURY BINOCULARS, OLYMPIC BINOCULARS, CONDOR BINOCULARS

FULL SIZE BINOCULAR BRANDS: (importer & distributor) HILKINSON BINOCULARS, BECK KASSEL OZELOT/DIORIT BINOCULARS, DEKAREM BINOCULARS, BINOCTEM BINOCULARS, KOLIBRI BINOCULARS, LUCHS BINOCULARS, PENTEKAREM BINOCULARS, PLANET BINOCULARS, DELTRINTEM BINOCULARS, DELTRINO BINOCULARS, KOBOLD BINOCULARS, MARE BINOCULARS, CARL ZEISS THURMON/SILVEREM BINOCULARS

PRIMARY SOURCES OF INFORMATION: PHOTO TRADE WORLD YEARBOOK & DIRECTORY 1969/ FOUNTAIN PRESS UK

Highgate OptIcal and Industrial Co was listed as occupying 71-3 Great Portland St., London W1 UK and related Highgate Optical Manufacturing Co was listed at 184   Gt Portland St London W1 (in 1969). No record could be found under that name at UK Companies House. It is confirmed by documentation that Highgate Optical specifically distributed Orion 8x20 miniature binoculars, presumably among others.

E. Hill & Co of Hilkinson Works, Potters Rd, New Barnet, Herts was established in the 1930’s. . It is confirmed by documentation that E. Hill & Co specifically distributed Solus 8x20 miniature binoculars in the UK in the late 1960’s. Hilkinson was a brand used by E. Hill on a variety of optical products, including binoculars, telescopes, monoculars, linen testers, and magnifiers. The Hilkinson brand is still in use.

E. ESDAILE AND SONS PTY LTD (AUSTRALIA)

MINIATURE BINOCULAR BRANDS: (believed owned ) ESDAILE & SONS SYDNEY BINOCULARS

PRIMARY SOURCES OF INFORMATION: E. ESDAILE & SONS (book: State Library of New South Wales), TROVE, (obituary of founder), ESDAILE FAMILY HISTORY

E. Esdaile Optician was founded as a manufacturing Optician around 1894, and later became   E. Esdaile and Sons around 1947, and was located at 11 Hunter St and later 42 Hunter St., Sydney, New South Wales Australia. They sold and/or distributed optical goods and scientific instruments from around 1894-1962, including binoculars, barometers, barographs, levels, stop watches and drafting equipment. This included miniature pattern binoculars marked ESDAILE & SONS SYDNEY

PYSER BRITEX SALES LTD.

SWIFT-PYSER/ PYSER SGI (UK)

Pyser Britex Advertisement 1969

Hygate Optical Advertisement 1969

Pyser Britex Sales Ltd. 246/250 Regent St London UK also Firecroft Way, Edenbridge Kent, UK (under this and several similar names) were the distributor for Swift Optical goods including binoculars. It is confirmed by documentation that Pyser Britex specifically distributed Swift 7x18 miniature binoculars and Swift Sport 7x25 miniature binoculars, presumably among others. Pyser –Britex Ltd was incorporated Nov 4, 1953. Pyser Britex also distributed microscopes and telescopes.

RANK PHOTOGRAPHIC (UK)

BRANDS W/ MINIATURE BINOCULAR: : (distributed ?) ASAHI OPTICAL BINOCULARS

FULL SIZE BINOCULAR BRANDS: (distributed ?) ASAHI OPTICAL BINOCULARS  

PRIMARY SOURCES OF INFORMATION: PHOTO TRADE WORLD YEARBOOK & DIRECTORY 1969/ FOUNTAIN PRESS UK  

Rank Photographic was listed at Aintree Rd, Perivale, Greenford, Middlesex. ). I could find no UK Companies House information on them.

      UK

   MARKET

L’OPTIC MODERN LTD. (UK)

      UK

   MARKET

BRANDS W/ MINIATURE BINOCULAR: : (distributed ?) SKYBOLT BINOCULARS, GLORY BINOCULARS, BELVEDERE BINOCULARS

FULL SIZE BINOCULAR BRANDS: (distributed ?) ROSS BINOCULARS, CARL ZEISS BINOCULARS, SAARBOURG BINOCULARS, BOSCHE BINOCULARS, L’OM BINOCULARS, FERNSEH BINOCULARS  

PRIMARY SOURCES OF INFORMATION: PHOTO TRADE WORLD YEARBOOK & DIRECTORY 1969/ FOUNTAIN PRESS UK  

L’Optic Modern Ltd. was listed at 71 Great Portland St. London W1. I could find no UK Companies House information on them. In addition to binoculars astronomical telescopes of their brand have been observed.

VALENTINE AND CARR LTD. (UK)

      UK

   MARKET

BRANDS W/ MINIATURE BINOCULAR: : (distributed ?) YASHICA BINOCULARS

FULL SIZE BINOCULAR BRANDS: (distributed ?) YASHICA BINOCULARS  

PRIMARY SOURCES OF INFORMATION: PHOTO TRADE WORLD YEARBOOK & DIRECTORY 1969/ FOUNTAIN PRESS UK  

Valentine And Carr Ltd. was listed at 7 Charlotte St. London W1 and at Brampton Road trading Estate, Hampden Park, Eastbourne. I could find no UK Companies House information on them.

GERBER OPTICIAL SUPPLIES (AUSTRALIA)

BRANDS W/ MINIATURE BINOCULAR:(owned) GERBER BINOCULARS

FULL SIZE BINOCULAR BRANDS: (owned) GERBER BINOCULARS

PRIMARY SOURCES OF INFORMATION: GERBER WEBSITE

Gerber Optical Supplies of 64-76 Kippax St. Surry Hills NSW Australia (and 94a Birriga Rd Bellvue Hill) held Australian trademark # 318141 for Gerber for binoculars 1978-1999, and was a wholesale distributor of binoculars and sports optics and was founded in 1977 according to their website. It is unclear if they are still trading. A google company link says closed and the website now seems shut down, so perhaps not.

HAGEMEYER EXPORT & IMPORT CO., LTD (JAPAN)

Sub. HAGEMEYER N.V. (NETHERLANDS)

  WORLDWIDE

           MARKETS

BRANDS W/ MINIATURE BINOCULAR: : (TM owner) HACO BINOCULARS, SUPER HACO BINOCULARS

PRIMARY SOURCES OF INFORMATION: DIAMOND’S JAPAN BUSINESS DIRETORY 1990, FUNDING UNIVERSE, INFOPEDIA

Hagemeyer Trading was founded in the 1890’s and incorporated in 1904 as the Dutch Trading Co Hagemejier & Co., in Surabaya in Java, importing goods from the Netherlands into the Netherlands East Indies. The company now is focused on the eletrotechnical industry and has subsidiaries in Sweden, Norway, Finland, Russia, Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, Peoples Republic of China, Germany, Czech Republic, the UK, Guernsey, Jersey, Ireland, Austria, Switzerland, USA, Canada, Mexico, Chile, Belgium, Spain, Denmark, Spain and elsewhere.   The Japanese subsidiary Hagemeyer Export and Import Co., Ltd handled the Haco and Super Haco miniature binoculars in the past when the company handled consumer products, and I suspect that brand name HACO binoculars to be derived from Ha gemeyer Co . Hagemeyer Export and Import Co Ltd. (Hageemeijer & Co’s Handelmaatschappij NV) of Amsterdam Holland held Canadian trademark #386495 for HACO for binoculars & barometers 5/1975–? with first Canadian use 1965.

IVECO ISRAEL WEISSBORT (GERMANY)

BRANDS W/ MINIATURE BINOCULAR: : (EU TM owner) IVECO BINOCULARS  

PRIMARY SOURCES OF INFORMATION: UK COMPANIES HOUSE, HANDELSREGISTER INFORMATIONEN

Iveco Israel Weissbort with several addresses in Stuttgart Germany was an import export wholesale firm which held German trademark # 786262 for “ IVECO ” for binoculars, filed 7/3/1961 and terminated in 2001. I believe the firm was better known for patented packaging machinery and process utilizing plastic film, which they developed around 1965-1966. That part of the business was sold and is still active, but it appears the portion of the business that handled binoculars has closed.  

SANYO PHOTO SUPPLY CORP., HAKUBA PHOTO INDUSTRY CO LTD., HAKUBA SHASHIN SANGYO KABUSHIKI KAISHA,

  ハクバ写真産業株式会社 ( JAPAN)

MINIATURE BINOCULAR BRANDS: (UK TM owner ) HAKUBA BINOCULARS (distributing?) SANYO   BINOCULARS,

PRIMARY SOURCES OF INFORMATION: BLOOMBERG, UK INTELLECTUAL PROPERTY OFFICE

Sanyo Photo Supply Corp was founded in 1955 as a Japanese wholesale importer/exporter of photographic equipment and accessories. In 1976 the company hanged it’s name to Hakuba Photo Industry Co Ltd, and is still active and today is located at 1-3-7, Kamezawa, Sumida –ku, Tokyo, Japan 130-0014. Hakuba Photo Industry Co Ltd. held UK trademark # 1122406 for Hakuba for optical apparatus 1980 to present.

KUROKI OPTICAL INSTRUMENT CO. (JAPAN)

KUROKI KŌGAKU KŌGYŌ CO. LTD

KUROKI OPTICAL CO. LTD., 関東光学株式会社

    USA     

   MARKET

MINIATURE BINOCULAR BRANDS (believed owned) KANTO BINOCULARS, KANTO CAROL BINOCULARS, KANTO ROSETTE BINOCULARS, GLANZ BINOCULARS, PRIMARY SOURCES OF INFORMATION: FOREIGN COMMERCE WEEKLY 1949 ADVERTISEMENT, 1958 OWENS REGISTER, 1959 BINOCULARS MANUFACTURERS LIST, 1966 OPTICAL INDUSTRY AND SYSTEMS

OFITRA/ OVERSEAS FINANCE AND TRADING CO., INC. (USA)

MINIATURE BINOCULAR BRANDS (handled): NIPPON KOGAKU BINOCULARS/ NIKON BINOCULARS

PRIMARY SOURCES OF INFORMATION: ) NIKON JOURNAL/NIKON HISTORICAL SOCIETY, POPULAR PHOTOGRAPHY 1951, PHOTOGRAPHY JAN 1991

The Overseas Finance and trading Co., Inc. of 826 Merchants Exchange Building, San Francisco California USA had exclusive USA and US military worldwide PX (post exchange) distribution for Nippon Kogaku/ Nikon products from April 1950 to 1953, after which it was taken over by Ehrenreich Photo Optical Industries until their purchase in 1981 by Nikon. OFITRA was owned by Uno Lindholm,, a Swedish entrepreneur with Japanese connections, and had offices in Stockholm Sweden and Tokyo Japan as well as San Francisco and had not handled optical products previously.

    USA     

   MARKET

      USA     

  MILITARY POST

     EXCHANGE

       MARKET

MICHAUD INC. (USA)

MINIATURE BINOCULAR BRANDS (believed owned or used): MICHAUD BINOCULARS

PRIMARY SOURCES OF INFORMATION: ) 1982 CUSTOMS COURT CASE, CHILTON JEWELERS CIRCULAR 1970& 1981, CALIFORNIA SECRETARY OF STATE

US importer Michaud Inc of 630 Santa Monica Blvd., Los Angeles California USA was established around 1957 and was active until around 1993, and was believed to have imported binoculars under the Michaud brand name, including miniature models.

    USA     

   MARKET

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CONSUMERS DISTRIBUTING CO. LTD. (USA)

LA COMPAGNIE DISTRIBUTION AU CONSUMMATEURS LIMITEE (CANADA)

MINIATURE BINOCULAR BRANDS (U.S.TM owner): SKYLINE BINOCULARS

FULL SIZE BINOCULAR BRANDS (canadianTM owner): CONSUMERS BINOCULARS

  SOURCES OF INFORMATION: US PATENT & TRADEMARK OFFICE, TRULIA, WIKIPEDIA

Founded in 1957, the catalog showroom company Consumers Distributing Ltd had at it’s peak 243 outlets in Canada, plus 217 outlets in the USA (in NH, Ct, Ma, NY, NJ, Pa, Md, Ca & Nv). They held US trademark #73206214 for Skyline for binoculars as well as for opera glasses, monoculars, telescopes, spotting scopes, and around 60 other items related to sporting goods Nov. 1979 to Feb. 1993. First use 1958 . Consumers held Canadian trademark #0384127 for CONSUMERS for binoculars 1987 (files 1975) -2003. Customers would select products from catalogs at home, and visit the showroom/warehouse to pick them up. The company went bankrupt in 1996.

EDWARD MARCUS LTD. (UK)

MINIATURE BINOCULAR BRANDS (believed owned or used): MARCUS LVA BINOCULARS

PRIMARY SOURCES OF INFORMATION: EDWARD MARCUS LTD WEBSITE, UK COMPANIES HOUSE

     UK

  MARKET

  IRISH

   MARKET

Founded in may of 1945, Edward Marcus Ltd. of Wombell, Barnsley, UK is a specialist distributor of LVA/ L ow V ision A ids to Optometrists, Opticians, and various associations, schools, and other distribution channels

  WALES

    MARKET

ITO KŌGAKU KIKAI SEISAKUJO INC. (JAPAN)

ITOH OPTICAL CO.

MINIATURE BINOCULAR BRANDS (believed owned or used): LINET BINOCULARS

PRIMARY SOURCES OF INFORMATION: JAPANESE BINOCULAR MANUFACTURERS LIST 1957 (EUROPA/PETER ABRAMS), OBSERVATION OF MARKINGS ON FULL SIZE LINET BINOCULARS

Ito Kogaku Kikai Seisakujo Inc, also known as Itoh Optical Co. (the latter may be a distribution subsidiary) is listed as being an assembling manufacturer and located at 5-227 Ikebukuro, Toshima-Ku, Tokyo, Japan in 1957. They are believed to have distributed binoculars under the LINET BINOCULARS name. They appear by JB code as a manufacturer of some full size binoculars, but Linet miniature pattern binoculars observed so far were manufactured by Meiji Seiko Kōgaku.  

LEAH JANA ENTERPRISES, INC. (USA)

Probably also JANA ENTERPRISES, INC.

MINIATURE BINOCULAR BRANDS (believed owned or used): JANA BINOCULARS