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  Burke & James Company

In 1897 The Burke & James company was founded, in Chicago Illinois, by Henry Burke and David James. The company was established as a manufacturer of moderately prices cameras and as a representative to the trade selling other manufacturers products and equipment. Their catalog describes their operations as having a facility that is maintained for metal and wood working as well as an optical shop for polishing, re-cementing, oxidation removal, coating, re-spacing and auto-collimating.

In 1903 B&J was located at 118 W. Jackson boulevard,

On Nov 8 1905 Burke & James purchased the entire estate of James H Smith & Co which includes the good will, patents, trade marks machinery and tools, and continued to manufacture Smith products for a short time.

In 1910's B&J was located at 240-258 E. Ontario St, Chicago, Ill. and they enjoyed the success of the folding Ingento hand camera line and Rexo hand camera line.

In the early 1920's the company was fledgling and was purchased by George Drucker. He reinvigorated the company with the help of Hans Roderweiss a chief optician making moderately priced cameras and a variety of lens.

In 1927 B&J purchased the Goerz Optical company including tooling and the rights to reproduce all of Goerz's lenses.

In 1940 Burke & James, Inc. was located at 223 West Madison St., Chicago, Illinois

In approx 1970 The company was bought by Ilex Optical Co.. At that time it was still a large and prosperous operation but soon declined under its new owner.

In 1975 Burke & James Inc. was located at 333 W Lake St, Chicago, IL. It was in this time frame that it was bought by the owner of Burleigh Brooks Optics, were it continued for a time as a mail order house without much success.

Burke & James company discontinued operations in approximately 1981.

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2012-03-18 17:07:53

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