World Library  
Flag as Inappropriate
Email this Article

Walter Zapp

Article Id: WHEBN0006040654
Reproduction Date:

Title: Walter Zapp  
Author: World Heritage Encyclopedia
Language: English
Subject: September 4, July 17, List of inventors
Publisher: World Heritage Encyclopedia

Walter Zapp

Walter Zapp
Born 4 September [O.S. 22 August] 1905
Riga, Russian Empire (now Latvia)
Died 17 July 2003(2003-07-17) (aged 97)
Binningen, Switzerland
Education Autodidact
Occupation Inventor
Employer Valsts Elektrotehniskā Fabrika (VEF)
Minox GmbH
Known for Invention of Minox subminiature camera

Walter Zapp (Latvian: Valters Caps; – 17 July 2003)[1] was a Baltic German inventor.[2] His greatest creation was the Minox subminiature camera.[3]


Minox Riga camera made by VEF
Limited edition Minox CLX camera, with Walter Zapp signature

Zapp was born in Riga, Governorate of Livonia (now Latvia).[2] In 1932, living in Estonia, he began developing the then subminiature camera by first creating wooden models, which led to the first prototype in 1936.[3] It was introduced to the market in 1938. Minox cameras were made by VEF (Valsts Elektrotehniskā Fabrika) in Latvia. VEF made 17,000 Minox cameras.

During the Spring 1941 Resettlement of Baltic Germans, Walter Zapp moved to Germany. From 1941 to 1945, he worked on the development of electron microscopy at AEG in Berlin.

After World War II, in 1945, he founded the Minox GmbH in Wetzlar, Germany. The company still exists.

In 2001, when he went to Latvia for the last time, he said that he had gone to celebrate his 100th birthday in Latvia. He died aged 97, in Binningen near Basel, Switzerland.[2]


The innovative design and technical solutions of Zapp's camera were patented around the world. VEF received 66 patents in 18 countries for Zapp's inventions.[4] Later in the 60's, Zapp was named as the inventor in several patents granted to Minox GmbH for improvements and modifications of a subminiature camera. On the beginning of 90's, Zapp patented his last invention, the Minox T8 pocket telescope.


Awards and honors

In 2001, Walter Zapp got the honorary doctorate of the Latvian Academy of Sciences and was decorated with the Order of the Cross of Terra Mariana for his special services to the Republic of Estonia.[5] Eesti Post has issued a Europa postage stamp in 1994 to commemorate Walter Zapp and his patented invention (Estonian patent No. 2628), the Minox subminiature camera.[6]


  1. ^
  2. ^ a b c
  3. ^ a b
  4. ^
  5. ^ Teenetemärkide kavalerid: Walter Zapp Retrieved 24 August 2013.
  6. ^

See also

Further reading

  • Morris G. Moses, John Wade. Spycamera: The Minox Story. 2nd, illustrated edition. HOVE FOTO BOOKS SATTER Incorporated, 1998. ISBN 1874707286, ISBN 9781874707288
  • D. Scott Young. Minox: Marvel in Miniature. 1st Books, 2000. ISBN 1-58721-068-1
  • Hubert E. Heckmann. MINOX The Queen of Spy Cameras, Variations in 8x11. Wittig Books, 2012. ISBN 978-3-88984-153-7

External links

  • Minox Historical Society
  • Obituary at the Independent

This article was sourced from Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License; additional terms may apply. World Heritage Encyclopedia content is assembled from numerous content providers, Open Access Publishing, and in compliance with The Fair Access to Science and Technology Research Act (FASTR), Wikimedia Foundation, Inc., Public Library of Science, The Encyclopedia of Life, Open Book Publishers (OBP), PubMed, U.S. National Library of Medicine, National Center for Biotechnology Information, U.S. National Library of Medicine, National Institutes of Health (NIH), U.S. Department of Health & Human Services, and, which sources content from all federal, state, local, tribal, and territorial government publication portals (.gov, .mil, .edu). Funding for and content contributors is made possible from the U.S. Congress, E-Government Act of 2002.
Crowd sourced content that is contributed to World Heritage Encyclopedia is peer reviewed and edited by our editorial staff to ensure quality scholarly research articles.
By using this site, you agree to the Terms of Use and Privacy Policy. World Heritage Encyclopedia™ is a registered trademark of the World Public Library Association, a non-profit organization.

Copyright © World Library Foundation. All rights reserved. eBooks from Project Gutenberg are sponsored by the World Library Foundation,
a 501c(4) Member's Support Non-Profit Organization, and is NOT affiliated with any governmental agency or department.