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AGI (Aeronautical and General Instruments Co. of Croydon, England), a maker of instruments for military purposes, was founded in 1915. In 1936 it was based in Croydon. It made a military aerial reflex camera which resembled the Reflex Korelle. After the war British imports of optical goods were limited so that it was an attractive opportunity for AGI to found Agilux Ltd. in 1946 (or 1947) as a subsidiary to make cameras for the civilian market. Among the first products was a civilian successor of AGI'S reflex camera, the Agiflex. As well as their own brand, Agilux made cameras for others, including Ilford. Most of AGI's products were slightly unusual in that AGI made all of the components, including the lenses and shutters. The company abandoned general camera production in the early 1960s (AGI filed patents for shutters in the 1980s[1]) AGI (now Aeronautical & General Instruments Ltd. in Poole, Dorset) still manufactures a wide range of instruments and systems, for the defence and civilian markets. These include a gun-barrel inspection camera.[2] The parent company AGI Holdings was bought by private equity firm J.F. Lehmann in 2014.[3]

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  1. British Patent 1578590 of 1980, A Focal Plane Photographic Camera Shutter System, describing a shutter for aerial cameras using a continuous belt shutter blind, and British Patent Application 2101755 of 1983, Focal Plane Camera Shutter, describing a simpler shutter, of two blades sliding under simple spring tension; at Espacenet, the patent search facility of the European Patent Office.
  2. AGICAM gun-barrel inspection camera system at AGI.
  3. Press release (archived) dated 26 August 2014, at PR Newswire.


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