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Minox cameras fascinated a lot of people, since its invention in the late 30's. Walter Zapp's dream of inventing a small film camera became real, and with it, it brought into the world a lot of fun, history witness, enthusiasts and hobbies. True, some disagree with Zapp's inventions, mainly related to the alleged collaboration with the Germany during the 1938 - 1945 period.

Given the circumstances and the situation of the political world in the late 30's Europe, I would say that unless one has not lived those days, one should refrain himself from emanating misconceptions, or downright political correct non-sense. But , as said, I am not going to discuss this here, for obvious reasons.

Anyways, what I want to discuss here are the patents Walter Zapp/VEF Riga/Minox GmbH filed in various countries. These patents are not related solely to cameras, as Zapp was a prolific inventor and he devised a whole lot of other useful tools and accessories for Minox. As far as I know, there is a long list of patents, stretching for quite a long period of time, in various countries such as Latvia, US, Germany, etc.

I am not going to launch myself into the research of data contained by these patents, I am not qualified and I wouldn't know where to start. However, I do believe many Minox enthusiasts out there would be interested to see and peruse the patents which made possible the becoming of the Minox story and adventure.

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Click on image to go to Minox patents page (www.peterisskorovs.com)

As part of documenting myself for this article,I have been looking to procure as many details and information pertaining to Minox cameras and accessories range.After all, these I believe to be public domain, so it should not be hard to obtain them. But the reality of it all is that many patents are only published in part, data is not fully accessible, links to do not always work, and most of the data I have seen on the internet was not usable because the patent does not show all the pages, or are badly printed or scanned, poor resolution, etc.

Today, I was (pleasantly) surprised to find a repository of Minox patents, fully downloadable and perfectly archived and organized. How the heck did I miss this one? The website belong to Mr. Peteris Skorovs, of Latvian extraction, so you see where and how the paths of this gentleman and of Walter Zapp are intertwined. Mr. Skorovs is a Patent Examiner with the European Patent Office, and I can see why the data he presents has to be relied upon. His interests and activities are multiple, and i do recommend you to pay a visit to his website here, it certainly is worthwhile.


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