The Jem Jr. 120 (1940's) - My Father's Camera by 242Digital

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The Jem Jr. 120 (1940's) - My Father's Camera by 


This Jem was my father’s camera and was bought in Belgium in the late 40’s or beginning of the 50’s.

The Jem Jr. 120 was produced in the 1940’s by the J.E.Mergott Co. of Newark, N.J. There are almost no machined parts in this box camera. Everything is sheetmetal, held together by spot welds, rivets and the springy, formed structure of the material. It is an elegant and functional design from the pre-plastic era.

The Jem’s only operational refinement is a lever on the top that allows a choice of Instant or Timed exposures. There are no tripod or cable release sockets. According to the user manual, the aperture is set at f16 and the shutter operates at 1/25th of a second but it is possible to shoot the camera hand-held with a little care.

A single screw on the top of the camera permits the easy removal of the camera’s front to clean the lens, the lens cover plate, the two viewfinders, and the shutter. Even after cleaning, however, the viewfinders are pretty challenging to use; they are large, but lack a magnifying lens.

NIKON D5100 with 18-55mm NIKKOR ZOOM
F/40mm – 1/125s – f/5.6
Topaz and Nikon NX2 Adjustments

Image # RF1-0802

Photographer: Jeremy Lavender Photography – Nassau, The Bahamas
Websites: &

European by birth, I have travelled throughout Europe, North America and Mexico, Central and the Caribbean Islands. Actually I’m based in Europe.

Feel free to visit my website at Alba Pictures

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  • Thomas Eggert
    Thomas Eggertalmost 2 years ago

    Cool !!!!!

  • Thank you Thomas. This “box” is a very sentimental treasure for me and all the photos I have from when I was a child were taken with this camera ;-)

    – 242Digital

  • Tammera
    Tammeraalmost 2 years ago

    Congratulations! Superb Work!

  • Thank you so very much for this feature Tammera. Greatly appreciated ;-) – Jeremy

    – 242Digital

  • vigor
    vigoralmost 2 years ago

    You got to love these old box cameras. My dad had a Brownie that looked like this too! Neat memory!

  • Every time I’m holding this camera, it is like I just “see” my father enjoying to take pictures with

    – 242Digital

  • vigor
    vigoralmost 2 years ago

    I wish I had my dad’s camera, he sure did like snapping family photos! Those were the good ol’ days!

  • zpawpaw
    zpawpawalmost 2 years ago

    What a cool camera! A treasured keepsake no doubt! Does it still work? Looks to be in great shape!:)

  • Yes it still working. Just need a deep cleaning ;-) – Jeremy

    – 242Digital

  • vigor
    vigoralmost 2 years ago


  • Thank you Vigor ;-) – Jeremy

    – 242Digital

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