free filmin’

LIFE ad May 9, 1960

Toronto. Free Film forever! And Kodak film at that! Who could resist such a pitch? In my youth, I remember these pitches to casual amateurs to encourage camera use and printing.  The hook was, you mailed your exposed roll in, and for a fee, the prints, negatives, and a fresh roll of the same film was returned to you by mail.

The “never buy film again” meant not changing film kind or brand ever and waiting a week or two to get your free unexposed film, negs and prints returned.

Thanks to George Dunbar and his research for this memory jogger ad from the May 9, 1960 issue of LIFE magazine (a tiny ad on p110). I suspect that the “FREE FILM CO.” didn’t last as long as Kodak…. Never found out if the FREE FILM CO. would accept exposed film from Canada back when it advertised in LIFE.

NB: The title of this post is a riff off the title of a song “Free Fallin’” sung by the late Tom Petty amongst others.

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