Company History

The predecessor company to Canon was established in 1933 by Goro Yoshida and his brother in law.

The fledgling company was named Precision Optical Instruments Laboratory and was funded by Takeshi Mitarai. Its original purpose was to develop a 35 mm rangefinder camera. They released their first camera in June 1934 with three variations of their product.

The first camera was called the “Kwanon”. Unfortunately, of the ten Kwanon products produced, none ever reached the market. More unfortunate, the company had yet to develop a lens. The decision was then made to seek help from the Nippon Corporation, the predecessor of the Nikon Company. Finally, the Hansa Canon Camera was released, making it the first commercially available camera made from the company.

The following year, the company name was changed to Canon and the current corporation was founded in 1937.

Over time and continuing until today, the company’s revenue has increasingly come from its line of office products, including digital and analog copiers as well as its line of digital multifunctional devices.

Canon has also joined the digital displays market, joining Toshiba to develop the flat panel display television based on SED technology. In fact, Canon recently announced it was taking over production of such products from Toshiba. Canon is also developing OLED and rear-projection displays.

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