Originally Posted by charjohncarter
Odd, never heard of them. I worked in a camera store in 1963 and he had a junk box full of Leica knock offs. But I don't think he took any German knock offs. Most were Japanese.
In the USA in 1963 they would be the Japanese knock offs, as firms like Nicca, Leotax and Tanack had the USA as their biggest export market and to a lesser extent Canada and maybe Australia and New Zealand.
In the USA, the rarer Japanese knock offs came with returning US Armed Forces personnel that were stationed in Japan post WW 2
Most of western Europe was still a closed shop to Japanese cameras, even as late as 1963
In Canada the Nicca cameras badged as Tower were available only because we had Sears stores (Simpson-Sears), brands like Leotax were not common and the rarer ones like Honor or Melcon or Chiyotax were unheard of.
I remember talking to a former Toronto camera shop clerk in the early 1980s and he told me that in the mid 1960s Tower (Nicca) cameras were taken as trade-ins on new SLR purchases and if there was a slight fault with the shutter, the camera body was thrown in the trash, but they kept the LTM Nikkor 50mm lens for re-sale.