France 1937 – Subminiature – Custom film – Rare.
The Eljy and Super-Eljy cameras were produced by Lumiere (from the Lumiere brothers) from 1937 and are among the most recognizable French miniature cameras.
They were extremely popular cameras as they were built with almost no major evolution from 1937 to 1951 when they were replaced by the Eljy-Club. The differences between the Eljy and the Super-Eljy are really subtle and were probably artificially introduced to create different price points for both models.
The Eljy was the very first 24 x 36 mm camera to be produced in France and was extremely well built, the most notable limitation was the fact that given the size, you could only take 8 frames per (custom) film.
The Eljy name comes from the initials L & J (pronounced “El” & “Jy” in French) of Lyon and Joinville, the French cities where the Lumiere brothers had factories.
Given the long production time, the Eljy is a fairly popular collectible, the rarity depends on the production period which you can identify from a letter in the serial number. The shown models are a Super-Eljy from 1939 and two Eljy from 1946 and 1949, and are quite hard to distiguish.