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Photos by Sylvain Halgand text by Sylvain Halgand. From the collection of Sylvain Halgand
France Version française

Chronology of the Sem brand  New window

Manufactured in France from 1949 until (After) 1957.
Index of rarity in France : Infrequent (among non-specialized garage sales)
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Inventory number: 25

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Sem Baby Sem

Traduction de C. Akgungor.

If you ever have the occasion to see a Reyna Cross, a Sem-Kim and a Baby-Sem together, you'll instantly notice the family likeness between them. That's normal because each is descended from the other. In the beginning, Cornu manufactured the Reyna cameras (1941). Paris was under occupation, so the production is done in nono (non-occupied) zone in Saint Etienne. After the liberation of France, the company took the name SEMM and settled down in Aurec, at the Haute-Loire region. SEM stands for Société of Etablissements Modernes de Mécanique (Company of Modern Mechanics Factory) but the second M quickly disappeared. During the renaming operation of the company, the camera changed also its name and became Sem-Kim. The technical evolution of Sem-Kim moved it away from its original simplicity. In 1949, it was decided to return to the origins and to launch a simple camera again, which was the Baby-Sem, the first generation.
*The SEMM brand name is registered on 29 March 1946, at the record office of Saint Etienne Court of Commerce. (Number 7707).

That second generation will not resemble anymore to its predecessors.