Minox was designed and first made in pre-war Latvia by Walter Zapp , a Baltic German. The company made cameras during the war finally moving to Wetzlar, Germany post war.
Though originally designed as a camera for everyman, the high manufacturing cost moved it into the luxury camera market. Of course, we see it more now as a spy camera. Indeed it featured in many a spy film and in reality it was heavily used by secret services across the globe.
It was a very small camera for its day with an excellent lens and close focus ability, making it perfect for document photography. The negatives being only 8mm X 11mm are tiny and could be easily hidden. The perfect spy camera in fact.
The model shown here was made in the mid 50’s. It’s missing its carrying chain. The chain was a vital feature as it’s length was set at the perfect focusing length for document photography.
The film comes in a cassette. It’s easy to load and unload. Because of the small size of the cassette and film special developing spirals and tanks were required.
Back in the early 80’s, this was the first camera I bought to collect and not to use. It probably started my obsession with German cameras too.
If you want further details on the continuing story of Minox there’s a good wiki page here…