The Candid Camera Corporation of America was established in May 1938 by Carl and Joseph Price, and Benjamin Edelman. The company was located on the fourth floor of a building located at 844 W. Adams St., Chicago Illionis. The company was launched with the introduction of an inexpensive 35mm Bakelite box camera called the "Perfex 35mm Speed Candid Camera", designed by Leonard W. Gacki and Joseph Price. The distinguishing feature was that it incorporated a focal plane shutter, the first made for a 35mm camera. Additionally, the Perfex line featured a unique 38mm threaded lens mount. The first model was sold to catalog house "Triangle Electric" and then distributed through photographic stores. The camera proved to be a moderate success.
In 1939 the Perfex forty Four was introduced. Instead of plastic, the body was made of die cast aluminum covered in black leather and chrome trim. In 1940 the thirty-Three and Fifty-Five models were introduced. The Perfex Twenty-Two was produced during the dark days of WWII, from 1942 until 1945, making it the most uncommon of the Candi Corp cameras.
In 1945, the company changed its name to the Camera Corporation of America. Most of the models chrome knobs were being finished in black.
In 1947, The One-O-One and One-O-Two cameras were introduced that eliminated the focal plane shutter and replaced it with a more modern and reliable leaf shutter.
By 1948 the company was beginning to find itself in financial problems. They had eventually incorporated higher end Alphax and Compur-Rapid shutters, and high quality Ektar and Xenon lenses in their cameras. But it did not increase sales.
In early 1949, Leonard W. Gacki designed and introduced the Cee-ay. The Cee-ay was a departure from the traditional prefix design and featured a coupled split-image rangefinder, automatic finder transport, an exposure counter, a built-in flash synchronization through the Synchro-Alphax shutter, and fitted with a wollensak lens.
The introduction of the Cee-ay was not enough to keep the struggling company afloat. The Camera Corporation of America was forced to file bankruptcy due to continuing poor sales. In September 1949, they sold the production equipment for their final model, the Cee-Ay 35, to a small start-up company, Ciro Cameras Inc., located in Delaware, Ohio. The new company continued to manufacture the Cee-Ay 35 and marketed it as the Ciro 35 through 1954. Ciro applied some modestly successful marketing strategy by offering three variants as determined by which lens was mounted on the camera and whether it was in chrome or black. These were called the R, S, and T models.
In approximately 1955, Graflex Inc., decided to enter the 35mm camera market and were looking for an acquisition to launch this new side of their business. Graflex bought Ciro and took over marketing of the Ciro 35 models which soon evolved into the more sophisticated Graflex Graphic 35 .
2001 Glass, brass, & chrome: the American 35mm miniature camera - Page 239, Kalton C. Lahue, Joseph A. Bailey
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