Tommy, can you hear me

Fairchild Cinephonic 8mm System ad in LIFE

Toronto. By the fall of 1960, Camera and material makers had tried hard to attract new amateurs to the photography fold. Slides, colour negatives, colour prints, movies, flash, built-in exposure meters, hand held exposure meters, pictures-in-a-minute, and more! All efforts worked to expand the use of photography by amateurs.

Fairchild even tried 8mm movie sound using special film and cameras. Their camera and projector were expensive at the time. This ad (page 55) ¬†from the October 10, 1960 issue of LIFE magazine is a fine example of the short lived phenomenon of home movies in sound. Just think of the complexity involved (a snap today for anyone with a smartphone or digital camera…).

Thanks to George Dunbar for this reminder of yesteryear and a fad that drowned in its own complexity. The title is from the song of the same name in the 1969 rock opera and 1975 film Tommy by the Who.

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