Tōyō Seiki Kōgaku

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Tōyō Seiki Kōgaku (東洋精機光学, meaning "oriental precision optics") was a Japanese camera maker of the 1950s.

Contents

History of Tōyō Seiki Kōgaku and possibly related companies

The company made the Princeflex TLR, as indicated by the camera markings and by advertisements dated September 1953 to April 1955.[1] It also made the Elbowflex TLR and Elbow Six folder, as indicated by an advertisement dated April 1955.[2] However the latter two cameras were advertised in September 1955 as made by Cosmo Camera Seisakusho.[3] It thus seems that Tōyō Seiki Kōgaku changed its name to Cosmo Camera Seisakusho in mid-1955. The name Cosmo was used until 1954 by Alfa Camera Seisakusho, maker of the Alfaflex and Cosmoflex. Cosmo Camera Seisakusho was perhaps the result of a merge between Tōyō Seiki Kōgaku and Alfa Camera Seisakusho.

The Easternflex, sometimes attributed to Tōyō Seiki (東洋精機), was certainly made by the company too, as well as the Luna and TSK shutters (see the discussions in the corresponding pages).

The Larkflex TLR, actually advertised by Lark Camera Seisakusho, is sometimes attributed to "Toyo" or "Tōyō Kōki" (東洋光機).[4] It might share parts with the Tōyō Seiki Kōgaku cameras but this is unsure.

Tōyō Seiki Kōgaku may have been the same as Tōyō Kōki (東洋光機), which made the Elegaflex; and Tōyō Kōgaku (東洋光学) which made the Elizaflex.[5] It might also have been the same as Toyo Seiko which made the Rolex 35 III (see Toyo Seiko).

List of related cameras

Made for sure by Tōyō Seiki Kōgaku or its successor

Perhaps connected to Tōyō Seiki Kōgaku

Notes

  1. See the Princeflex page for a detailed list of advertisements.
  2. Advertisement reproduced in Kokusan kamera no rekishi, p.121.
  3. Advertisements reproduced in Kokusan kamera no rekishi, pp.121 and 136.
  4. Lewis, p.82 says that "Two Toyo cameras were introduced [in 1953], the Larkflex and the upgraded Elegaflex." Kanno gives Tōyō Kōki (東洋光機) as the manufacturer of the Lark flex, distributed by Tōyō Shōkai (東洋商会). Takeuchi also gives Tōyō Kōki as the manufacturer.
  5. These manufacturers are named by Kanno, p.116; he does not speculate on their interrelationships.

Source and further reading

  • Asahi Camera (アサヒカメラ) editorial staff. Shōwa 10–40nen kōkoku ni miru kokusan kamera no rekishi (昭和10–40年広告にみる国産カメラの歴史, Japanese camera history as seen in advertisements, 1935–1965). Tokyo: Asahi Shinbunsha, 1994. ISBN 4-02-330312-7.
  • Kanno Tsunetoshi (管野経敏). "A kara Z no kokusan niganrefu" (AからZの国産二眼レフ, Japanese TLRs from A to Z). In Miryoku saihakken: Nigan refu: Firumu kamera ha e no messēji (魅力再発見・二眼レフ:フィルムカメラ派へのメッセージ, Fascination rediscovery — TLRs: A message to film cameras). Tokyo: Shashinkogyo Syuppansha, 2006.
  • Takeuchi Jun'ichirō (竹内淳一郎). "Nihon kamera no hinshitsu kōjō to yushutsu kensa" (日本カメラの品質向上と輸出検査, The quality improvement and export testing of Japanese cameras). Keizaigakubu kenkyūjo kiyō (経済学部研究所紀要) 33 (Nihon University, 2003), 163–94. Available here.
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