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Ad in LIFE for Yashica’s Electro 35 camera

Toronto. Last century many new (to North America and Europe) camera makers incorporated and touted the latest fads hoping to increase market share. Yashica was no exception with its Electro 35. Yashica used Space Age, Atomic age, and Transistors while promoting its Electro 35.

Two big ideas in the 1960s were transistors (remember transistor radios?) and lasers (holograms, CD and DVD readers/writers, pointers, etc.). Each transistor is equivalent to a simple triode vacuum tube but far smaller and more efficient. Transistors took off first, predating the integrated circuit which runs today’s personal computers and has 3 million or so transistors on one tiny chip.

Yashica called its latest 35mm camera the “Electro 35” and touted its precision FOUR silicon transistor light sensor and its f/1.7 lens. This combination allowed shutter speeds from 30 seconds to 1/500th second depending on the light and film speed. All for a measly $100 US in the USA.

This ad for the Electro 35 appeared in the August 19th, 1966 issue of LIFE magazine on page 77. The ad focussed on American consumers since another company represented Yashica in Canada. The Electro 35 was just one of the many steps from the seriously technical Daguerreotype process and its primitive cameras of the 1840s to the ubiquitous smartphone cameras of today. Thanks to my good friend George Dunbar who shared this piece of history with me.

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