Umemoto

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Umemoto Seisakusho (梅本製作所, i.e. Umemoto Works) is a Japanese company, founded in 1935 by Umemoto Kinzaburō (梅本金三郎), after he was asked in 1932 by the distributor Kikōdō to set up a camera plant.[1] (Umemoto Kinzaburō had already opened a small plant in Yokokawa in 1931, where he was acting as a subcontractor for his former employer.)[2] The factory was completed in 1935 and was situated in Tokyo, Kameido.[3]

Before the war, the company made the Super Makinet Six and Neure Six 6×6 strut-folders and the Super Flex Baby 4×4 SLR, which was the first Japanese roll-film SLR. Most cameras made by the company were distributed by Kikōdō. During the war, the company was required to make military equipment. It seems that it produced a 4.5×6 folder called Semi Makinet, about which little is known. The production of cameras was certainly stopped in about 1943. The Tokyo plant was burnt down in 1945 and the company moved to Yamagata between 1945 and 1948 before coming back to Tokyo, where a new factory was rebuilt on the same ground.[4]

After the war, the company briefly took the name Umemoto Kōki Seisakusho (梅本光機製作所, i.e. Umemoto Optical Works) and made one last attempt at camera production with the Rocky Semi, certainly adapted from the wartime Semi Makinet, but this was not a commercial success.

The company became Y.K. Umemoto Seisakusho (有限会社梅本製作所) in 1962.[5] It still (2008) exists and makes photography-related parts, such as tripod heads for Kenko.

Another Umemoto company was selling cameras in Osaka in the early 1930s; it was called Umemoto Shitsuten (梅本質点) in 1930, and Umemoto Shōten (梅本商店) in 1932.[6] It was not related to the Umemoto family of Umemoto Seisakusho.[7]

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Notes

  1. Umemoto company history.
  2. According to the Umemoto company history, the address was Tōkyō-shi Honjo-ku Yokokawa (東京市本所区横川).
  3. According to the Umemoto company history, the address was Tōkyō-shi Jōtō-ku Kameido-machi 3-chōme 84-banchi (東京市城東区亀戸町三丁目八四番地) before the war.
  4. Umemoto company history. The current address (2008) is Tōkyō-to Kōtō-ku Kameido 3–37–6 (東京都江東区亀戸三丁目37番地6号) according to the Umemoto corporate information.
  5. Umemoto corporate information.
  6. Advertisements in Asahi Camera February 1930 (p.A34) and June 1932 (p.A39). Its address was Ōsaka-shi Nishinari-ku Tsurumibashi-kita-dōri 4–7 (大阪市西成区鶴見橋北通四丁目七).
  7. Not related: private communication to Rebollo_fr by Umemoto Akio, grandson of Umemoto Kinzaburō, the founder of the Umemoto company.

Links

In Japanese:


Umemoto cameras
6×6 strut folders 4×4 SLR 4.5×6 folder
Super Makinet Six | Neure Six Super Flex Baby Semi Makinet | Rocky Semi
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