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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