|Born||4 September [O.S. 22 August] 1905
Riga, Russian Empire (now Latvia)
|Died||17 July 2003
|Employer||Valsts Elektrotehniskā Fabrika (VEF)
|Known for||Invention of Minox subminiature camera|
Zapp was born in Riga, Governorate of Livonia (now Latvia). 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. 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.
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. 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. 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.
- "Walter Zapp". Find A Grave. Retrieved 20 December 2010.
- Apinis, Pēteris (2006). A Hundred Great Latvians. Riga: Nacionālais apgāds. p. 126. ISBN 9984-26-288-X. OCLC 238892134. "Walter Zapp was born on 4 September 1905 in the family of a Riga merchant. His father was a British subject, but his mother was a Baltic German."
- Rangefinder 59 (12). December 2010. p. 98.
- Pēteris Skorovs. "Minox Patents". Historical patents. Retrieved 24 February 2014.
- Teenetemärkide kavalerid: Walter Zapp Retrieved 24 August 2013.
- "EUROPA. Eesti patendid/ 072-06-1994". Postmargid. Eesti Post. Retrieved 25 August 2013.
- 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
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