Milestones

Innovative products and pioneering developments have shaped the past 100 years at Olympus. You can find our most significant milestones, from the company’s foundation in 1919 to today, here.

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100 years of groundbreaking milestones

2019

Celebration of Olympus' 100th Anniversary.

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2018

Introduction of new Corporate Philosophy.

2017

Launch of ORBEYE surgical microscope, incorporating the latest advances in 4K 3D video technology.

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2016

Launch of OM-D E-M1 Mark II.

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Launch of VANTA series, a range of hand held XRF analyzers.

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2015

Introduction of a surgical endoscope system with 4K resolution based on technology developed by Sony Olympus Medical Solutions Inc.

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2013

Launch of OM-D E-M1 mirrorless camera.

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2012

Launch of OM-D E-M5 mirrorless camera.

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Launch of EVIS LUCERA ELITE system and EVIS EXERA III system.

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Launch of THUNDERBEAT, an integrated surgical energy device.

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Formation of OSTA, Olympus Surgical Technologies America.

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Announcement of Olympus’ medium-term vision, designed to realize a “New Olympus” and take the Company “Back to Basics.”

2011

Formation of a third-party committee by Olympus to investigate prior concealment of company losses.

Launch of Omni-Scan MX2, a phased array flaw detector.

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Launch of VISERA ELITE integrated surgical video endoscope system.

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2010

Formation of OSTE, Olympus Surgical Technologies Europe.

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Acquisition of Innov-X Systems, Inc. to expand Olympus’ presence in nondestructive testing.

Launch of BX3 system biological microscope.

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2009

Launch of Olympus Pen E-P1 mirrorless camera.

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Launch of EPOCH1000 series ultrasonic flaw detectors.

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2008

Merger with Gyrus PLC to deliver additional technology and sales/marketing knowhow to the Olympus surgical business.

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Establishment of Olympus Vietnam Co., Ltd. manufacturing facility for cameras and medical equipment.

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2006

Opening of Shanghai Medical Equipment Service Operation Center (SORC Shanghai) in China.

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Launch of EVIS EXERA II and EVIS LUCERA SPECTRUM endoscopic video systems, featuring Narrow Band Imaging (NBI).

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2005

Acquisition of R/D Tech Inc. to expand the nondestructive testing device business.

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Opening of Shirakawa Medical Equipment Service Operation Center (SORC Shirakawa) in Japan.

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2004

Launch of FLUOVIEW FV1000, the world’s first laser scanning microscope with two independent scanners.

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Launch of LEXT OLS3000 microscope, the first in the LEXT 3D confocal laser microscope series.

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2003

Renaming of company to Olympus Corporation.

Launch of E-1 digital SLR camera with interchangeable lenses.

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2002

Launch of EVIS LUCERA, the world’s first high-definition endoscopic video system.

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Launch of VISERA series, an integrated video system for surgery.

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Launch of electrosurgical IT Knife.

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2001

Introduction of IPLEX industrial videoscope system.

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2000

Introduction of EVIS EXERA series endoscopic video system.

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1996

Launch of FLUOVIEW confocal laser scanning biological microscope.

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Launch of MX50 semiconductor inspection microscope.

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Launch of C-800L/D-300L and C-400L/D-200L, Olympus’ first consumer digital cameras.

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1995

Establishment of Olympus Endo-Repair Europa GmbH, the endoscope repair service center for the European market, in Hamburg, Germany.

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1993

Launch of BX series of biological microscopes and UIS series of object lenses, which improved product appeal in the AX, BX, CX, and IX series of microscopes.

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1991

Launch of first μ [mju:] / Infinity Stylus camera, which became one of the world’s best-selling Olympus cameras.

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1990

Launch of EVIS 100 (1989) and 200 (1990) endoscopic video information systems.

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1987

Establishment of the Beijing office to market microscopes and endoscopes in China.

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Acquisition of the British company KeyMed Ltd. as an Olympus subsidiary.

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1985

Introduction of Olympus’ endoscopic video information system.

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1983

Development of OES (Olympus Endoscopy System), featuring new waterproofing and optical fiber technologies along with ergonomic handling.

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Merger of two U.S. sales units to form the North American subsidiary, Olympus Corporation.

Launch of AH2 microscope series, the world’s first microscope with autofocus functionality.

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1980

Launch of BH2 microscope series.

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Development of an Olympus ultrasound endoscope system.

1979

Acquired Winter & Ibe GmbH to establish Olympus Winter & Ibe for the production and supply of surgical endoscopes and instruments.

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Opening of the National Service Center in San Jose, California, for U.S.-based Olympus equipment repairs.

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1977

Establishment of Olympus Camera Corporation as a sales base in the United States.

1975

Collaboration with Hamburg-based Winter & Ibe GmbH to produce surgical rigid medical endoscope, with Olympus supplying the optical systems.

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1972

Launch of OM-1, a compact, lightweight, SLR camera, which was initially named M-1.

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1969

Introduction of ZUIKO PEARLCORDER, the world’s first microcassette tape recorder.

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1968

Establishment of Olympus Corporation of America as a sales subsidiary for microscopes and medical equipment in the United States.

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1966

Launch of GFS gastrofiberscope, which didn’t have a camera mechanism on the tip.

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1964

Launch of GTF gastrocamera with fiberscope.

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Start up of Olympus Optical Co. in Hamburg, Germany, as Olympus’ European headquarters (1963) with registration completed in 1964.

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1959

Launch of Olympus PEN, an innovative half-frame film camera.

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1952

Launch of GT-I gastrocamera.

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1950

Development of world’s first practical gastrocamera.

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1949

Renaming of company to Olympus Optical Co., Ltd.

1936

Launch of first Olympus camera, the Semi-Olympus I, after development of Zuiko photographic lenses.

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1927

Launch of Showa GK immersion microscope.

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1921

Registration of Olympus name as a trademark.

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1920

Sales launch of Asahi microscope.

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1919

Founding of Olympus by Takeshi Yamashita under the company name Takachiho Seisakusho; established in Tokyo, Japan, for domestic production of microscopes.

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