things we take for granted

LIFE September 28, 1953
ad for Polaroid

Toronto. See a great photo. Out comes the smartphone. Click, click, click, click, and one of the rapidly taken shots is a real winner. Upload to home and friends. Phone into pocket and we continue on. Just a normal sunny day in the life … Well it wasn’t that way over a half century ago, not  by a long shot!

Most pictures were black and white, not colour. Processing (unless you had a darkroom or access to one) took a week or longer. And you took only one or two carefully composed shots – prints cost money back then- real money!

Polaroid came out with their picture in a minute process in 1948 and five years later they  were STILL trying to convert amateurs into regular users. But the one minute Polaroid process was limited to one print, and a very pricy print at that. Too many amateurs decided to keep going with traditional film and prints. Sure it was slow, but really, really cheap compared to Polaroid and their big clunky folder cameras (shades of Kodak decades earlier).

In response, Polaroid made ads like the page 5, 1953 LIFE ad above to encourage amateurs to go for their pictures in a minute process for the fun involved. My thanks to PHSC member and good friend George Dunbar for bringing back memories of those days of old when pictures in a minute were truly revolutionary.

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