MINIATURE BINOCULAR BRANDS: (UK & EU TM owner) COMMODORE BINOCULARS ; (UK trademark owner) REVUE BINOCULARS (in upper case letters)

PRIMARY SOURCES OF INFORMATION: UK GOV. COMPANIES HOUSE, UK GOV. INTELLECTUAL PROPERTY OFFICE, WIKEPEDIA

The origins of this company was Littlewoods Pools, a sports wagering organization (1923) which subsequently added a catalog retail component around 1932 by selling through “clubs” of independent sales agents (a sales method similar to that of Amway) and was incorporated. In 1937 Littlewoods started also opening conventional high street retail stores. The company has and has had various affiliated companies with the same registered address of Skyways House, Speke Rd, Speke, Liverpool UK. Littlewoods Ltd held UK trademark 993978 for “Commodore” for binoculars 6/1972-2017, . Additionally the entity Commodore International Ltd of Regent St London holds an EU trademark 2945137 for Commodore for binoculars, spotting scopes, telescopes & telescopic sights from Nov 2002 to Nov 2022. Littlewoods held UK trademark #852522 for “REVUE” (in upper case letters) for photographic equipment and binoculars 1963-2008. By 1982 Littlewoods was the largest private company in Europe.

      UK

   MARKET

EHRENREICH PHOTO OPTICAL INDUSTRIES (USA)

NIPPON KOGAKU USA INC.,

NIKON OPTICAL COMPANY, INC.     

MINIATURE BINOCULAR BRANDS (handled) NIPPON KOGAKU BINOCULARS, NIKON BINOCULARS. (believed owned) UNITRON BINOCULARS

PRIMARY SOURCES OF INFORMATION: NIKON CORPORATE HISTORY BY NICO VAN DIJK, NIKON WEBSITE, 1978 EHRENRICH ADVERTISEMENT, NY DIVISION OF CORPORATIONS, US PATENT AND TRADEMAK OFFICE

Text Box: VINTAGE MINIATURE BINOCULARS

Japanese External Reverse Porro Prism Binoculars. Research MUSEUM

Please note: a great amount of effort has been made to try to be as accurate as possible. But  information about distribution tends to be scarce and fragmentary, and errors or misinterpretation are possible and/or probable. Please keep in mind that any errors are unintentional, and will be cheerfully corrected upon notification And that this is a not for profit attempt to document otherwise unavailable aspects of binocular history by optics enthusiasts, for the benefit of optics enthusiasts. The distinction between Japanese manufacturers, exporters, and distributors and importing country wholesale and retail distribution may be blurred, so I have been generous about inclusion.

 

- GERMAN ORIGINS #1

- GERMAN ORIGINS #2

- GERMAN ORIGINS #3

- GERMAN ORIGINS #4

- GERMAN ORIGINS #5

- GERMAN ORIGINS #6

- JAPANESE ORIGINS #1

- JAPANESE ORIGINS #2

- JAPANESE ORIGINS #3

- JAPANESE ORIGINS #4

- JAPANESE ORIGINS #5

- JAPANESE ORIGINS #6

- JAPANESE ORIGINS #7

- INTRODUCTION #1

- INTRODUCTION #2

- DISTRIBUTION #1

- DISTRIBUTION #2

- DISTRIBUTION #3

- DISTRIBUTION #4

- DISTRIBUTION #5

- DISTRIBUTION #6

- DISTRIBUTION #7

- DISTRIBUTION #8

- DISTRIBUTION #9

- FUN ANALYZING BRANDS #1

- FUN ANALYZING BRANDS #2

- FUN ANALYZING BRANDS #3

- FUN ANALYZING BRANDS #4

- BINOCULARS BY BRAND A-B

- BINOCULARS BY BRAND C-G

- BINOCULARS BY BRAND H-M

- BINOCULARS BY BRAND N-Q

- BINOCULARS BY BRAND R-S

- BINOCULARS BY BRAND T-Z

- PHOTO GALLERY #1

- PHOTO GALLERY #2

- PHOTO GALLERY #3

- PHOTO GALLERY #4

- PHOTO GALLERY #5

- PHOTO GALLERY #6

- PHOTO GALLERY #7

- PHOTO GALLERY #8

- PHOTO GALLERY #9

- PHOTO GALLERY # 10

- PHOTO GALLERY # 11

- PHOTO GALLERY # 12

- VINTAGE ADVERTISING #1

- VINTAGE ADVERTISING #2

- VINTAGE ADVERTISING #3

- VINTAGE ADVERTISING #4

- VINTAGE ADVERTISING #5

- VINTAGE ADVERTISING #6

- VINTAGE ADVERTISING #7

- VINTAGE ADVERTISING #8

- ORIGINAL BOXES #1

- ORIGINAL BOXES #2

- CAN YOU REPAIR THESE?

- REPAIR SEIZED OCULARS IF

- COLLIMATE AND REPAIR CF

- MORE REPAIRS #1

- MORE REPAIRS #2

- MORE REPAIRS #3

- IDENTIFY THIS

- SWAP SHOP & MISC

- MISC #1

- MISC #2

- BIG & SMALL #1

- BIG & SMALL #2

- BIG & SMALL #3

- BIG & SMALL #4

- BIG & SMALL #5

- BIG & SMALL #6

- BIG & SMALL #7

- BIG & SMALL #8

- OTHER BINOCULARS #1

- OTHER BINOCULARS #2

- OTHER BINOCULARS #3

- OTHER BINOCULARS #4

- OTHER BINOCULARS #5

- OTHER BINOCULARS #6

- OTHER BINOCULARS #7

- OTHER BINOCULARS #8

- OTHER BINOCULARS #9

- OTHER BINOCULARS #10

- OTHER BINOCULARS #11

- OTHER BINOCULARS #12

- OTHER BINOCULARS #13

- OTHER BINOCULARS #14

- OTHER BINOCULARS #15

- BINOCULAR CATALOGS #01

- BINOCULAR CATALOGS #02

- BINOCULAR CATALOGS #03

- BINOCULAR CATALOGS #04

- BINOCULAR CATALOGS #05

- BINOCULAR CATALOGS #06

- BINOCULAR CATALOGS #07

- BINOCULAR CATALOGS #08

- BINOCULAR CATALOGS #09

- BINOCULAR CATALOGS #10

- OTHER BINOCULARS #11

- DATA BINOCULARS BRANDS

- INDEX #1 (A-L)

- INDEX #2 (M-Z)

- JB JE MFGR. CODE LIST

- TRADEMARKED LOGOS

MINIATURE BINOCULAR BRANDS ( OWNED): RKK RIKEN BINOCULARS

PRIMARY SOURCES OF INFORMATION: CAMERAPEDIA

Riken Kōgaku Kōgyō K.K. (JAPAN)

理研光学工業㈱

Riken Optical Industries Co

Riken Kōgaku Kōgyō K.K. ( 理研光学工業㈱ ) was formed in 1938, but it’s origins date to to Rikagaku Kenkyūjo, 理化学研究所 , meaning Physico-Chemical Research Institute, or more correctly Kokuritsu Kenkyū Kaihatsu Hōjin Rikagaku Kenkyūsho / 国立研究開発法人理化学研究所 ? . The research institute was founded initially as a private foundation in 1917, and in addition to pure research from around 1927 it also created the Riken Konzern to spin off commercial firms using scientific achievements of the research institute (in 1937 at its peak it had 63 firms with 121 factories.) After the war the commercial entities ceased to be part of the foundation and in 1958 the research portion became a public corporation funded by the government as a national research institute. So the history is complex. Riken Kōgaku Kōgyō K.K. exported a good number of 6x15 binoculars to the United States during the occupation period and shortly thereafter and these are marked “RKK” and “Riken” and sometimes also carry the name of US distributors, and after 1953 the company was known for Ricoh cameras. The company became Ricoh (K.K. Rikō , リコー) in 1964, but this was probably after their production of miniature binoculars ceased. The current multi national entity Ricoh Co Ltd may have largely evolved from the sister photographic paper company.

    USA     

   MARKET

YOKOSHO CO. LTD. (JAPAN)

    USA     

   MARKET

MINIATURE BINOCULARS BRANDS:(believed associated) YOKOSHO BINOCULARS

FULL SIZED BINOCULARS BRANDS: (believed associated) YOKOSHO BINOCULARS

PRIMARY SOURCES OF INFORMATION: U.S. DEPT OF COMMERCE FOREIGN COMMERCE WEEKLY 1958

The 1954 US Dept of Commerce foreign Commerce weekly lists Yokosho Co Ltd. as a “manufacturer and exporter of optical goods, electrical appliances, radios, watch straps, etc and general merchandise.” I believe they may be responsible for Yokosho brand binoculars.

C.R. KENNEDY (SALES) PTY, LTD. (AUSTRALIA)

SELSI CO., INC (USA)

BRANDS W/ MINIATURE BINOCULAR:(US TM owner) SELSI BINOCULARS,

BRANDS FULL SIZE BINOCULAR:(US TM owner) SELSI, STEREOPHOS BINOCULARS

PRIMARY SOURCES OF INFORMATION: US PATENTS AND TRADEMARK OFFICE, VARIOUS RESEARCH POSTS INCLUDING BY JUNKEESHOP, MANTA, NEW JERSEY DIV OF REVENUE & ENTERPRISE SERVICES

Selsi was founded in 1854 as the Sussfield Lorch Co, an importer of European optical products. By 1900 they were Sussfield, Lorsch and Schimmel (the names of principals). They used the trade name “ S E LS I” derived from S ussfi e ld, L orsch and S ch i mmel. They held U.S. trademark # 71229410 for “ SELSI ” for binoculars and telescopes from 3/1926 to 10/1967, (still in force) and US TM #71376696 for STEREOPHOS for binoculars 1936-1986. They were one of the first importers to open offices in Japan after WWII. The New Jersey Div Of revenue lists Selsi Company Inc as active, as having incorporated in New Jersey 9/15/1967 and is currently located in Midland Park, NJ. Selsi products included binoculars, monoculars, microscopes, telescopes, barometers, pedometers, clocks, drafting sets, and probably other things, and Selsi branded binoculars are common in the USA. TO SEE OUR SELSI CATALOG NAVIGATE TO BINOCULAR CATALOGS #05

ARROW TRADING CO., INC (USA)

    USA     

   MARKET

MINIATURE BINOCULAR BRANDS: (believed owned or used) ARROW BINOCULARS,

PRIMARY SOURCES OF INFORMATION: NY DIV OF CORPORATIONS, OBSERVED MARKINGS ON ARROW BINOCULARS AND OPERA GLASSES BOXES INDICATING ARROW TRADING CO INC WAS THE EXCLUSIVE DISTRIBUTOR

The US distributor Arrow Trading Co., Inc. was incorporated in NY on August 27, 1969 (though probably operated before that) and was dissolved by proclamation on Dec 27, 2000. Arrow trading Co. appears to have been involved in a dispute over marketing a red handled camping knife made in China as a Swiss Army knife. Arrow Trading held a trademark for Arrow for knives and presumably used it on binoculars also.

OTSUKA OPTICAL CO LTD. (JAPAN) 大塚光学株式会社

MINIATURE BINOCULARS BRANDS (TRADEMARKS OWNED, probably Japanese trademarks): DIA STAR BINOCULARS, DIA STONE BINOCULARS

BRANDS W/ REGULAR BINOCULARS: (TRADEMARKS OWNED?): PIPIT BINOCULARS

PRIMARY SOURCES OF INFORMATION: OTSUKA OPTICAL CO. LTD WEBSITE

Otsuka Optical Co Ltd of Saitama Japan was founded Nov. 9, 1956, and is still active. They design produce and distribute binoculars, astronomical telescopes, rifle scopes, and spotting scopes under their brand names, plus lenses and optical machines. They are known to have had products made for them by Carton Optical Co., Kenco Co Ltd, Mizar Co Ltd., Olympus Imaging Corp, Uchida Yoko Co., Ltd, Vixen Co Ltd., and probably some other companies in the past. Their products are known to have been distributed in the USA, UK, France, Italy, Sweden, Denmark, Saudi Arabia, UAE, Japan, and other Asian countries.

L.S. BITTERMAN CO., INC. (USA)

MINIATURE BINOCULAR BRANDS (used) BITTCO BINOCULARS

PRIMARY SOURCES OF INFORMATION: DAUGHTER OF OWNER, DIR US IMPORTERS 1978, 1982

The L. S. Bitterman “BITTCO” brand appears on various mostly Japanese photo products such as lenses, tripods, shutter releases, lens hoods, exposure meters, camera cases, slide viewers and also appears on some microscopes, binoculars, and opera glasses, and even on Japanese made handcuffs. According to the daughter of one of the owners, L. S. Bitterman was a family owned and operated wholesale business founded in the 1940’s by Louis and Nathan Bitterman, with another brother joining them, and her father joining them when he returned from WWII. Directories show it located at 5508 First Ave S., Seattle, Washington 98108 USA at one point. The company appears to have had a rather long life. L.S. Bitterman Co. appears in newspapers as a donor to Jewish causes in the Pacific northwest in the 1960’s, and also appears listed in trade directories into the 1980’s.

Man using miniature binoculars Gentleman with Miniature binoculars Older Man Enjoying Miniature Binoculars

MARK SCHEFFEL HOLDINGS LTD. (UK)

SCIENTIFIC & TECHNICAL LTD

MINIATURE BINOCULAR BRANDS (believed owned or used) MARK SCHEFFEL BINOCULARS

PRIMARY SOURCES OF INFORMATION: BIRDS 1978, TRADE & INDUSTRY 1975

Mark Sheffel Holdings Ltd was established around 12/24/1968 and was located at the Towerfield Trading Estate/ Progress Road Trading Estate, Southend-On-Sea, Essex UK. In 1975 they advertised as being the exclusive UK distributors for Mark Scheffel binoculars. Around 12/31-1978 the company name apparently changed to Scientific & Technical Ltd, and the company was believed dissolved around 1980. Note: Information was patched together from fragmented sources.

Woman with golden Binoculars

LITTLEWOODS ORGANIZATION PLC (UK)

LITTLEWOODS PUBLIC LIMITED CO (UK)

LITTLEWOODS LTD (UK)

LITTLEWOODS RETAIL LTD (UK)

THE INTERNATIONAL IMPORT AND EXPORT CO LTD

      UK

   MARKET

FERRANTI-DEGE (USA)

MINIATURE BINOCULAR BRAND (owned) FERRANTI-DEGE

PRIMARY SOURCES OF INFORMATION: WEB INFO

Ferranti–Dege was a family operated retail camera store located in Harvard Square at 1300 Massachusetts Ave., Cambridge, Ma. (Boston). They were founded in 1955, and closed Oct 13, 2006. They contracted for various binoculars marked with and marketed under their own name, including miniature binoculars that they acquired from Swift and sold with the Ferranti-Dege name on them.

    USA     

   MARKET

    USA     

   MARKET

YASHICA INC.( USA)

YASHIMA KŌGAKU KŌGYŌ K.K.

八洲光学工業㈱

K.K. Yashica/ ヤシカ ( JAPAN)

MINIATURE BINOCULAR BRANDS (US TM owner) YASHICA BINOCULARS

PRIMARY SOURCES OF INFORMATION: CAMERAPEDIA