Canon celebrates 80th anniversary of the company’s first camera

Canon recently commemorated the 80th anniversary of the birth of Japan’s first 35mm focal-plane-shutter camera, dubbed the Kwanon, which was produced in prototype form in 1934.

KwanonCamera

The engineers who created the camera decided to name it after Kwannon, the Buddhist goddess of mercy, hoping the deity would share her benevolence as they pursued their dream to produce the world’s finest camera. The camera’s lens, called Kasyapa—after Mahakasyapa, a disciple of Buddha—also took its name from Buddhism. Additionally, the top portion of the camera body featured an engraving depicting the thousand-armed Kwannon.

In 1936, two years after the birth of the Kwanon and following much trial and error, Canon launched the Hansa Canon, its first commercial 35mm focal-plane-shutter camera, thus embarking on the Company’s history as a camera manufacturer.

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