|Date||Camera||Enlarger||Dev. Tank||Tripod adapter||Film (1x)|
|1940-JUN||79 USD||35 USD||8.50 USD||2.95 USD||0.90 USD latvian-made|
|120 to 150 USD Buy-Back
|4.00 USD american-made
On the 20th of June 1940, The New York
Times reviewed the VEF Minox
camera in its regular
"Notes of the Camera World" column. The article mentioned that the
coming week (01 July 1940) the camera will be introduced to the american
market for the first time
and go on sale in the New York area.
The reception was generally
several camera magazines started to review the VEF Minox
camera. Here an example exert: "...termed the "teeny weeniest war refugee" by a
feminine camera news
reporter, the Latvian-made "Minox"
[...] is definitely, the smallest camera we have ever attempted to
review..." (1940, Camera: a practical magazine for photographers:
61). The most talked about topics in the camera community were its
its unusual Latvian origin and the steep sale price. The camera had a
cost of 79USD which was considerably more than the sale price in Latvia
Initially the small enlarger retailed for 35USD, the development tank
for 8.50USD, the tripod adapter for 2.95USD, and one 50
exposure film cassette for 0.90USD.
Vitols, who establiseh Minox Inc had previously set up Minox's
representation in England. Once he arrived in New York, he is believed
established links with the baltic import/export company Ad-Auriema (est
1935 New York).
With their experience in importing goods and distributing them throughout the US, Minox Inc was registerd on the 3rd
of June 1940 Minox Inc using Auriemas company address in Manhattan at
116 Broad Street, New York (116
Broad Street, New York, NY)
(near Battery Park).
The main shareholder was VEF Riga with 180? shares (90%), followed by Janis
with 18shares (9%) , Auriema with 1 share (0.5%) and the laywer John Mahoney with
the remaining 1 share (0.5%). Not long after incorporation Janis moved his
company to the Latvian-American War Relief Commitees
downtown Manhattan (92
Liberty St. New York, NY) which had a spare office at the
time. 4 years after arriving in the USA, Janis married on the 31 March 1944 Mable
La Montague (a pesonell supervisor in the psychatric division at
The early staff included E.J.Mechan who was Sales Manager for Minox Inc. Soon
after, the Minox camera was being
distributed outside New York.
On the 18th of August
and 1st of September 1940 advertisements appeared in West Virginia (the
Charleston Daily Mail), Chicago (Bass store) and on the 30th of
September 1940 in Los Angeles (Los Angeles
is an advertisement of the VEF Minox
camera by Winter Inc. (525-527
West Sixth Street, Los Angeles, CA), showing that camera
stores from coast
to coast were stocking the VEF Minox
by the end of
receipts from a store in
Hollywood California documents the sale of "4000 series" cameras.