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The History of Canon1933 - 1961

Prologue up to the birth of Canon

History of Enterprise
year
History of Products
1933
  • Canon’s predecessor, Precision Optical Instruments Laboratory, is founded in Roppongi, Minato-ku, Tokyo, to conduct research into quality cameras.
1933
1934
1934
  • The Kwanon, Japan's first 35 mm focal-plane-shutter camera, is produced in prototype form.
    KWANON

    KWANON

1935
  • The company files for registration of the "Canon" trademark.
1935
1936
1936
  • The Hansa Canon, a 35 mm focal-plane-shutter camera, is introduced.
1937
  • Precision Optical Industry, Co., Ltd. is founded.
1937
 
1939
1939
  • In-house production of Serenar Lens commences.
1940
1940
  • Japan's first indirect X-ray camera is developed.
    Indirect X-ray camera

    Indirect X-ray camera

1942
  • Takeshi Mitarai is appointed president of Precision Optical Industry, Co., Ltd.
    Takeshi Mitarai

    Takeshi Mitarai

1942
 
1945
1945
  • Production commences for the midrange J II focal-plane-shutter camera.
1946
  • The Ginza Camera Service Station opens.
1946
  • The Canon S II is introduced, receiving great acclaim from ranking officers in the Occupation Forces and foreign buyers in Japan.
1947
  • The company becomes Canon Camera Co., Inc.
  • Government designates Canon cameras priority exports when Japan resumes export activities.
1947
1949
  • Canon shares are listed on the Tokyo Stock Exchange for the first time when postwar stock trading resumes.
1949
  • The Canon II B wins first prize at a national camera exhibition held in San Francisco.
1951
  • Canon concentrates head office and manufacturing plants in Shimomaruko, Ohta-ku, Tokyo.
1951
 
1952
1952
  • The Canon IVSb, the world's first speed-light synchronized 35 mm flash-and-shutter camera, is introduced.
1954
1954
  • Canon and the NHK Science and Technical Research Laboratories jointly develop a television camera to prepare for the commencement of television broadcasting.
1955
  • Canon’s New York branch office is opened.
    Canon’s New York branch office is opened.
1955
 
1956
  • Supplier of precision components Chichibu Eikosha Co., Ltd. (today, Canon Electronics Inc.) becomes a Canon affiliate.
1956
  • The Canon 8T, an 8 mm cinecamera, is introduced.
1957
  • Canon Europa, the sole European distributor, is established in Geneva.
1957
  • The Canon L1 still camera and Canon 8T 8 mm cine-camera become the first products to receive the Good Design product designation awarded by Japan's Ministry of International Trade and Industry.
1958
1958
  • A field zoom lens for television broadcasting is introduced.
1959
  • Through a tie-up with Documat Inc. of the U.S., Canon enters the micrographics market.
  • Canon enters the market for magnetic heads.
1959
  • The Canon Flex, Canon’s first SLR camera, is introduced.
  • The Synchroreader is introduced.
1960
1960
  • Canon develops a magnetic head for use in VTRs.
1961
  • The company's main factory in Toride (today, the Toride Plant) is completed.
1961
  • "Electric-eye" boom is sparked by the introduction of the Canonet.
  • Canon completes Japan's first rotary microfilm system.