Luther George Simjian

Luther George Simjian

Luther George Simjian

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Luther George Simjian (Armenian:Լյութեր Ջորջ Սիմջյան)(January 28, 1905 in Turkey – October 23, 1997) was an Armenian-American inventor of numerous devices and owner of over 200 patents.


The Son of Armenian parents, Luther Simjian grew up in Antep, Turkey, but was separated from his family after the Armenian Genocide, when he had to flee first to Beirut, later Marseille. In 1920 he emigrated to the USA, where he found shelter with relatives in New Haven, Connecticut. Beginning at the age of 15, he worked there as a photographer. He gave up his initial plans of studying medicine when he was engaged as a laboratory photographer by the Yale School of Medicine. Later, in 1928, he became director of their photography department, and invented several machines such as a projector for microscope images.

In 1934 Simjian moved to New York City, where he invented a self-posing portrait camera, with which the photographed person could see and optimize their own image in a mirror before the photo was actually taken. In order to manufacture and distribute the camera, which became a success for use in department stores, he founded the company Photoreflex. Years later, after selling the invention and the trade name, the company was renamed Reflectone, a name drawn from another of Simjian's inventions, a kind of cosmetic chair with movable mirrors, where one could see their own body from all perspectives.

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