’cause cheap is how I feel

Keystone K-20 8mm camera

Toronto. If you were living in the Eastern States in 1961, you could buy a  Webcor Regent Coronet stereo tape recorder and get a free movie camera. The camera was the low cost Keystone twenty model with a single f/2.3 fixed focus lens – basically a box camera for 8mm.

The tape recorder was a reel to reel audio recorder which came with two microphones. Such machines were very popular at the time. In the late 1950s, my friend Terry and I took his massive Ampro reel to reel tape recorder backstage at the Rymark (on Peel) in Montreal and recorded a session by Bo Diddly when he was a rising name in music.

Keystone made many cameras over the years. The company was established in Boston in 1919 and survived until 1968 when it was sold to Berkey Photo and moved to Clifton NJ. as  part of Berkey’s camera division. I bought my dad a Keystone 8mm camera in the late 1950s that looked like this model except it had a turret. The Twenty was likely Keystone’s entry level model as higher priced cameras sported turrets and faster lenses in those days before reasonably priced zoom lenses.

Thanks once again to my good friend George Dunbar for spotting this historic advertisement in the March 17, 1961 issue of LIFE magazine. NB. the title of this post  is from the Cowboy Junkies’s haunting “‘cause cheap is how I feel” tune sung by Margo Timmins on their “the caution horses” CD. The group is Canadian, started in Montreal and later moved to Toronto.

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