What’s in a Business Name? Canon

Credit: Canon http://global.canon/en/corporate/logo/

Credit: Canon http://global.canon/en/corporate/logo/

When you think of the timeless companies that have shaped how we capture and keep our memories forever, one of the first names that will come to mind is Canon. Canon, Inc. is a Japanese corporation that creates a full spectrum of photography and imaging products including printers, cameras, camcorders and copiers. What is in a business name like Canon?


The Origin of the Name

Canon, Inc. originally named 精機光学研究所, or Precision Optical Industry Co. Ltd. It was first founded in 1934 with this name, and it produced the prototype for the first 35mm camera with a focal-plane-based shutter in Japan. The company name was lengthy, which made it hard for consumers to catch on.


In 1947, in response to a need for a shorter name, the brand was renamed Canon Camera Co., Inc., which was shortened further to Canon, Inc. in 1969. The name Canon was derived from the Buddhist figure Guan Yin, or 観音 in Japanese.

Evolving Products

To stay relevant, Canon has consistently worked to invent new products and enter new markets. From putting out the first Japanese 35 mm focal-plane-shutter camera to producing Japan’s first indirect X-ray camera in 1940, Canon enjoys a reputation for quality and innovation. The company created the first field zoom lens designed for television in 1958 and followed it up with the first movie camera with a zoom lens in 1959.

Over the years, the name “Canon” has remained synonymous with high-quality camera and imaging equipment that meets the needs of professionals and hobbyists alike.


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