K.K. Sumida Kōki Seisakusho (㈱隅田光機製作所) or Sumida Optical Works was a Japanese camera maker from 1950 to 1953.
Name and history
"Sumida" is the name of a river in Tokyo, and also of one of the 23 boroughs (区, ku, conventionally if misleadingly translated as "wards") of the Japanese capital. The company was installed there: its address was Arakawa-ku Minami-Senju (荒川区南千住) 2–13 from 1950 to 1952. From mid-1951, the sales department was installed in Minato-ku Shibasakurada Bizen-chō (港区芝桜田備前町) 12. In 1953 the company had a single address, Setagaya-ku Daita (世田谷区代田) 1–748.
The ancestor of Sumida was the company Proud-sha, founded by Miyazaki Shizuma (宮崎静馬) and apparently merged into Miyoshi Kōgaku around 1940. The first cameras made by Sumida were perhaps the Apollo and Mikado folders, a direct continuation of the Roavic by Miyoshi Kōgaku, itself descending from the Semi Prux by Proud. The Apollo and Mikado are sometimes attributed to Nishida, which provided the lenses and shutters, but this is probably a mistake.
One source says that Sumida was first called "Million Optical", but no further evidence has been found to sustain this. (Sumida indeed marketed a camera called Million Proud, where Million is a part of the model name.)
Sumida made a number of cameras called Proud, and the sales department was briefly called "Proud-sha" (プラウド社) in mid-1951. From 1950 to 1952, the company's logo was formed by the letters KSK, with the "S" vertically elongated to draw some sort of cross. From late 1952 onwards, it used a logo formed by the words KSK Proud inside an oval, with a stylized "P". This logo is very close to the one used by Proud-sha before the war.
|Advertisement by Sumida Shōkai in Ars Camera February 1949. (Image rights)|
- The dates correspond to the earliest and latest Sumida advertisements mentioned in Kokusan kamera no rekishi, p.362.
- Advertisements reproduced in Kokusan kamera no rekishi, pp.172–3.
- Kokusan kamera no rekishi, p.345, attributes the "Apollo II" both to Sumida and to Nishida. Sugiyama, items 1269 and 1350, attributes the "Apollo Semi II" and "Mikado Semi" to Nishida. McKeown, pp.737–8 and 907, tries to distinguish between the "Apollo 120" (or "Apollo Semi II") and "Mikado" attributed to Nishida, and the "Mikado 120" and "Mikado Semi" attributed to Sumida. These distinctions seem pointless.
- Lewis, p.73.
- Proud-sha: advertisement dated May 1951, reproduced in Kokusan kamera no rekishi, p.172.
- "Sumida" is written in katakana, unlike in Sumida Kōki.
- Advertisement in Ars Camera February 1949, p.49.
- Ars Camera. Advertisement by Sumida Shōkai in February 1949 (p.49).
- 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.
- McKeown, James M. and Joan C. McKeown's Price Guide to Antique and Classic Cameras, 12th Edition, 2005-2006. USA, Centennial Photo Service, 2004. ISBN 0-931838-40-1 (hardcover). ISBN 0-931838-41-X (softcover). P.907.
- Sugiyama, Kōichi (杉山浩一); Naoi, Hiroaki (直井浩明); Bullock, John R. The Collector's Guide to Japanese Cameras. 国産カメラ図鑑 (Kokusan kamera zukan). Tokyo: Asahi Sonorama, 1985. ISBN 4-257-03187-5.