Toronto. Late last year (December 28th), I wrote an extensive article on the Micro 16 and its ad. When first released the camera’s use by police departments as a spy camera was touted.
This ad sent to me by good friend George Dunbar shows how the tiny Whittaker factory down in LA embraced colour and Hollywood actresses. This July 28, 1947 ad taken out in LIFE magazine proclaims how easy the camera cold be used, featuring actress Joan Bennett “photographing” her children (Bennett was a popular actress at the time).
The ad displays sample colour pictures and emphasizes the camera’s precision-set lens with the standard box camera boast that it was fixed focus “3 feet to infinity” while overlooking the fact that such a feat was based on a short focal length, small aperture lens being used. Film and prints came to $1 for 12 B&W photos sent out and returned by post, or 10 colour transparencies for $1 with processing included – prints were an additional 40 cents each or three for a dollar (all American funds). The transparencies were in a strip. Not mounted for a slide projector (SVC made a projector for both 35mm film strips and mounted 35mm film transparencies).
Whittaker’s tag line was”Makers of Precision Airplane Valves and Cameras”. While “precision made” the tiny camera was no more than a simple box camera: fixed focus, Instant or Time shutter, and embellished with three Waterhouse stops for a crude control of light. Suitable for daylight photos using DuPont B&W film or Ansco colour transparency film.