Olympus Chronology

Evolution as an Integrated Optical Manufacturer

As Japan moved into its high-growth phase in the 1960s, Olympus achieved rapid growth by expanding its exports, focusing its technology resources, and modernizing its management. In fiscal 1968, the year before its 50th anniversary year, Olympus shifted to an aggressive management stance, including the adoption of a target calling for net sales in excess of 12 billion yen. It also adopted a management philosophy.

With the expansion of its two main business areas— microscopes and cameras—Olympus needed to ensure timely management decision-making and decided to adopt a business division structure. Management in each area was integrated from development to marketing, and operations were centralized at different production plants: microscopes at Ina, cameras at Suwa, and measuring equipment and medical devices in Tokyo.

Olympus diversified into the industrial endoscope field. It also achieved unprecedented success with the Olympus Pen half-size camera series and built the endoscope business into a key area of activity through the expansion of medical fiberscope production.


The GTF fiber gastroscope

  • Olympus Optical becomes a co-sponsor of the first Microscopic Observation Competition and carries out the final judging. (Nov. 1960)
  • Tetsuo Nakano is appointed President. (Dec. 1961)
  • A plant is opened in Ishikawa, Hachioji City, Tokyo. (Aug. 1963)
  • Olympus Optical launches the Olympus Pen F, the world's first half-size single-lens reflex camera. (1963)
  • The GTF fiber gastroscope is launched. (Mar. 1964)
  • Olympus Optical Co., (Europe) is established in Hamburg, Germany, as an overseas subsidiary for Europe. (Apr. 1964)
  • Takatomi Naito is appointed President. (Jun. 1967)
  • Olympus Optical expands into the industrial endoscope field. (1968)
  • Olympus Corporation of America is established as a sales subsidiary for microscopes, measuring equipment and medical equipment in the United States. (Feb. 1968)
  • Olympus issues its first corporate philosophy. (Oct. 1968)
  • Olympus announces the Zuiko Pearlcoder, the world's first microcassette tape recorder. (Jun. 1969)