a beacon in the night …

Beacon Flash Camera Ad
LIFE May 14, 1951

Toronto. Happy Canada Day, everyone!

As I mentioned in an earlier post, the 1950s saw a burst of inspiration in selling flash guns to the general public as a means to counter the rather anemic speed of the films of the day (an ASA/ISO rating of 200 was REALLY fast)!

The Whitehouse Products factory in NYC made a line of box cameras that was quickly modified to have the by then ubiquitous flash gun added directly to the camera. Like all box cameras, they were touted as easy to use, not of limited focus, slow shutter speed, and high aperture.

We saw many of the various Beacon models at our various fairs and auctions. Thanks to my good friend George Dunbar for spotting this typical ad in the May 14, 1951 LIFE magazine. Here is a video on the Beacon II without the flashgun.

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