The History of Canon 1933 - 1961
Prologue up to the birth of Canon
History of Enterprise
History of Products
- Canon’s predecessor, Precision Optical Instruments Laboratory, is founded in Roppongi, Minato-ku, Tokyo, to conduct research into quality cameras.
- The Kwanon, Japan's first 35 mm focal-plane-shutter camera, is produced in prototype form.
- The company files for registration of the "Canon" trademark.
- The Hansa Canon, a 35 mm focal-plane-shutter camera, is introduced.
- Precision Optical Industry, Co., Ltd. is founded.
- In-house production of Serenar Lens commences.
- Japan's first indirect X-ray camera is developed.
Indirect X-ray camera
- Takeshi Mitarai is appointed president of Precision Optical Industry, Co., Ltd.
- Production commences for the midrange J II focal-plane-shutter camera.
- The Ginza Camera Service Station opens.
- The Canon S II is introduced, receiving great acclaim from ranking officers in the Occupation Forces and foreign buyers in Japan.
- The company becomes Canon Camera Co., Inc.
- Government designates Canon cameras priority exports when Japan resumes export activities.
- Canon shares are listed on the Tokyo Stock Exchange for the first time when postwar stock trading resumes.
- The Canon II B wins first prize at a national camera exhibition held in San Francisco.
- Canon concentrates head office and manufacturing plants in Shimomaruko, Ohta-ku, Tokyo.
- The Canon IVSb, the world's first speed-light synchronized 35 mm flash-and-shutter camera, is introduced.
- Canon and the NHK Science and Technical Research Laboratories jointly develop a television camera to prepare for the commencement of television broadcasting.
- Canon’s New York branch office is opened.
- Supplier of precision components Chichibu Eikosha Co., Ltd. (today, Canon Electronics Inc.) becomes a Canon affiliate.
- The Canon 8T, an 8 mm cinecamera, is introduced.
- Canon Europa, the sole European distributor, is established in Geneva.
- 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.
- A field zoom lens for television broadcasting is introduced.
- Through a tie-up with Documat Inc. of the U.S., Canon enters the micrographics market.
- Canon enters the market for magnetic heads.
- The Canon Flex, Canon’s first SLR camera, is introduced.
- The Synchroreader is introduced.
- Canon develops a magnetic head for use in VTRs.
- The company's main factory in Toride (today, the Toride Plant) is completed.
- "Electric-eye" boom is sparked by the introduction of the Canonet.
- Canon completes Japan's first rotary microfilm system.