Slogan: You can Canon
The history of this company, now known to everyone and everyone who knows what photographic equipment is, began in 1933, when two young Japanese engineers, Goro Yoshida and Saburo Uchida, created a small laboratory Seiki Kogaki Kenkyujo. A little later it will be renamed to Precision Optical Instruments Laboratory. The goal was to create a Japanese camera that could stand on a par with the legendary German ones. There was a catastrophic lack of money, and it is not known how it would have ended if it were not for the financial support of the gynecologist Takeshi Mitarai. Being a close friend of Uchida, he provided the young company with the necessary amount.
At first, friends were engaged in the fact that having bought German equipment, they dismantled and carefully studied it. But their first own development was not at all a banal clone. They managed to develop something special, thoroughly saturated with the Japanese spirit: even the name was given to her in honor of the many-armed Buddhist goddess of mercy - kwanon. The camera turned out to be extremely successful and even began to be considered one of the outstanding Japanese achievements of that time.*. Inspired by such a successful undertaking, friends are thinking about entering the international market. So on June 26, 1935, the brand appears Canon - a successful adaptation of the name of the first camera (the manufacturer of which has now become known as Precision Optical Industry Co., Ltd.). The very first model was produced in very small quantities.**, then it was replaced by the Hansa model. At first, only the cameras themselves were produced, on which lenses were mounted. Nikkor (now this brand belongs to the main competitor Canon - a Japanese company Nikon).
|Hansa Canon (1936)|
As you know, Japan lost the Second World War miserably. But Precision Optical Industry Co., Ltd. resisted. Largely thanks to the invaders, who were happy to purchase its products (the Japanese at that time had no time for cameras). But this was clearly not enough. Therefore, Takeshi Mitarai (who has become president of the company since 1942) creates two subsidiaries - Akatsuki Musen Co., Ltd., for the production of radio receivers and Kashiwa-Yakugyu Co., Ltd.engaged in pharmaceuticals. In 1949 they were closed - as soon as the country began to get out of the crisis, the need for these additional markets disappeared. However, in the future, the matter was not limited to photographic equipment anyway.
1947 is significant for the company in that it began to be called Canon Camera Co. Inc. This name will remain until 1969, after which it will be shortened to the modern Canon Inc. (The reduction was due to a significant expansion of production, which was no longer limited only to cameras).
Canon begins to expand the range of manufactured cameras. The first "reflex cameras" appear. They begin to produce their own optics, gradually improving its quality. The 60s were marked by the emergence of other types of equipment - laser and inkjet printers, copiers, calculators, video cameras, projectors ... The volume of production is growing, the first production facilities appear abroad. In 1976, the Canon AE-1 camera appeared, the distinguishing feature of which was the presence of a microcomputer "on board" - an unheard of hitherto. In general, among the developments of the company there are many innovative and unique. To date, three lines are popular: Ixus, powershot, EOS.
|Canon EOS 550D (2010)|
Headquarters Canon located in Tokyo, Japan (Tokio, Japan). Representations are scattered all over the world. Production facilities are located in China and Taiwan, but all professional equipment is assembled exclusively in Japan. The number of employees is in the hundreds of thousands. To the group Canon includes two hundred companies producing a wide variety of products.
*) Contrary to popular belief, pre-war Japan was not at all such a completely backward country as it is now often described. It is possible that it did not reach the global level, but there were outstanding achievements here too. Especially in the military field. It is Japan that has the honor of creating the largest battleship in history - the Yamato super battleship. It was here that they managed to create a submarine with the highest underwater speed at that time (to the detriment, however, of other qualities). And it was in this country that they managed to develop an oxygen-powered torpedo, the creation of which was not done either in the USA, or in Great Britain, or even in Germany, a country whose submarines were a real curse for the Allies.
**) According to official information, only one model of them has survived, which is stored in the Canon. But there is a legend according to which a certain traveler allegedly saw one such camera in a shop selling various small junk in the backyards of India. He failed to buy it, as the store was closed. So it is possible that somewhere in the world a couple of copies still survive. And if such a rarity suddenly falls into your hands, you can be sure that it is now fabulously expensive.