Bilora Vintage Camera Brand
Bilora Brand Overview
|Founded:||1909 — Radevormwald, German Empire|
|(modern day Germany)|
|Currently:||Kuerbi & Niggeloh BILORA GmbH|
Bilora Brand History
Bilora was a German camera brand produced by Kürbi & Niggeloh, a company founded in 1909 by Wilhelm Kürbi and Carl Niggeloh as a metalware factory. The company’s first foray into the photography market was in 1935 with a simple box camera called the Stop-Box. Like many German camera manufacturers, the company suspended production during World War II and resumed shortly after Germany surrendered.
Business flourished in the ’50s and ’60s. A wide variety of box and viewfinder cameras were produced for sale under the Bilora name as well as for a number of different companies including Ansco, Gevaert, Sears, Montgomery Ward, Yashica, and even Zeiss Ikon. The single biggest client of Bilora’s rebadging operation appears to have been Sears, Roebuck & Company with at least ten Bilora models being sold under the Tower brand.
Increased competition caused camera production to end in 1975 although Bilora continued to make camera tripods until 1991. The company appears to have restructured several times since then and is currently manufacturing metal and injection-molded plastic components for other companies as Kuerbi & Niggeloh BILORA GmbH.
Check eBay to see what’s available.
McKeown, James M. and Joan C. McKeown’s Price Guide to Antique and Classic Cameras, 2001-2002. (Grantsburg: Centennial Photo Service, 2001), 95-99.
“History – 100 years BILORA,” Kuerbi & Niggeloh BILORA GmbH, http://www.bilora.com/en/content/Firma-Geschichte/~nm.12~nc.18/History.html