Experience a unique journey through time with an inspiring self tour of michaels world-famous camera museum! Cameras and photographic equipment have been part of the Michaels family business since 1928. At that time, michaels was primarily a pharmacy combined with a small range of photographic equipment.
The camera collection began in a modest way during the 1950's. michaels began operating as a specialty camera store in 1975. Due to the imposed import restrictions following World War II, the number of cameras obtainable for resale were severely limited.
Prior to the end of 1950, second-hand cameras by German manufacturers such as LEICA, ROLLEI, EXACTA and VOIGTLANDER were readily available in camera shops. However, virtually no Japanese cameras were available at that time. Following the relaxation of import restrictions in the early 60's, a plethora of Japanese cameras with names such as LORDOX, SAMOCA, NEOCA, PAX, DIAX, BEAUTY, SAVOY and NOVO came on to the market. None of these brands have survived today’s market, but are well represented in the museum.
The museum consists of some 8000 pieces (there are approximately 2,000 on display), of which about 3000 are cameras ranging from subminiature to 12x15 inches in size. Many of the cameras date back to the late 1880's through to recent times, and include early digital cameras. The museum also features lenses; movie cameras; movie and still projectors; darkroom equipment, including enlargers; flash equipment; films and plates; advertising material; microscopes; a vast library consisting of reference books, instruction books, photographic magazines & brochures.