General Products / Metropolitan Industries / Utility MFG Co / Spartus Corp, 711-15 W . Lake St., Chicago, IL
The Clix Minicam is part of the infamous family of bakelite minicams produced out of the same Lake Street factory in the late ’30s and 1940s. These cheap-o “candid type” cameras were marketed under literally dozens of different brand names AND manufacturer names, with no rhyme or reason as to which name would appear on which model type. The motivations behind this strategy are quite interesting, as is the man behind the business: former big band jazz drummer Jack Galter. You can read about the full history of the “Chicago Cluster” of cameras on our main Spartus Camera Corp. page.
As for this particular camera, the Clix Miniature is supposedly a brand of the “General Products Co,” but identical cameras during the same period are credited to the equally generic sounding Metropolitan Industries, as well as better known Jack Galter brands like Monarch MFG Co. and Spartus Camera Corp. Meanwhile, the CLIX name itself appears to be one of many examples in which Galter used a popular pre-existing brand name and re-purposed it for his own benefit.
The Clix Camera is one of many “Chicago Cluster” cameras in our museum collection: