The Nikon Camera in America, 1946–1953


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About the Book

This work examines the roles that American businesses and photojournalists played in the early overseas marketing of the Japanese–built Nikon camera and its Nikkor optics between 1946 and 1951. Particular attention is paid to the San Francisco–based Overseas Finance and Trading Company, which was the major U.S. importer of Nikon products between 1949 and 1953. The work also details the roles of Overseas Finance leaders Hans Liholm and Adolph Gasser in providing marketing and technical guidance to Nikon in the company’s formative years.

About the Author(s)

Michael Wescott Loder was the campus librarian at Ciletti Memorial Library, Schuylkill Campus, Pennsylvania State University for twenty-five years. He is retired and lives in Kutztown, Pennsylvania.

Bibliographic Details

Michael Wescott Loder
Format: softcover (7 x 10)
Pages: 227
Bibliographic Info: 106 photos, appendices, notes, bibliography, index
Copyright Date: 2008
pISBN: 978-0-7864-3221-9
Imprint: McFarland

Table of Contents

Acknowledgments      vii

Foreword by Robert J. Rotoloni      1

Preface      3

Introduction: A Meeting in San Francisco      7

1. Background: Nippon Kogaku’s History to September 1945      11

2. The Genesis of the Nikon: A Company in Search of a Product      21

3. Creating an Overseas Market      61

4. The “Discovery” of the Nikkor (and What Immediately Followed)      93

5. 1951 to 1953: OFITRA’s Success and Ultimate Failure      113

Epilogue—From the Nikon S to the Nikon F and Beyond      145

Appendix I. Transcription and Analysis of Nikon and Nikkor Production, August 1948–April 1951      159

Appendix II. The Fate of Nippon Kogaku’s Factories      171

Appendix III. The Contractual Agreement Between Nippon Kogaku and the Overseas Finance and Trading Company, April 26, 1950      177

Appendix IV. Changes to the First Model Nikons, 1947–1954      179

Chapter Notes      189

Bibliography      195

Index      213