Besta Miniature Bakelite Camera by Monarch MFG Co., 1940s

Besta Camera

Monarch MFG Co. / Utility MFG Co. / Spartus Corp., 711-15 W. Lake St., Chicago, IL

The “Besta” is merely one of dozens of brand names slapped on the lens plates of this 1940s bakelite minicam mold. Known as the “Chicago Cluster,” the cameras patented and mass-produced by Jack Galter at his 711 W. Lake Street factory were famously marketed under numerous brand AND manufacturer names. You can get the complete story on Galter and the tangled Spartus Corp. web on our main Spartus Camera Corp. history page.



The Besta is one of many “Chicago Cluster” cameras in our museum collection:

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