camera is cheap and a film for free

ad for remaindered Twin Flex in 1942

Toronto. The Univex Corp set out to capture the low end photographic market in the States. The war in Europe caused a hiccup in their film supply. Univex used a custom style core on its “00” roll film with the film manufactured in Belgium.

Univex (Universal Camera Company) survived this situation after a near death experience. This ad claims the Twin Flex is, “A GENUINE PROFESSIONAL TYPE REFLEX CAMERA AT A LOW PRICE THAT YOU NEVER DREAMED POSSIBLE”. Even before the remaindered price of “$2.98 – film free), the retail price was a mighty $5.50 for “… The Type Camera
That News Photographers Use”. Skillful words that attracted the gullible in thousands.

This particular advertisement appeared in the July, 1942 issue of Popular Mechanics magazine. In 1940, near bankruptcy, the company found an American film supplier just before America leapt into WW2 as well – out of the frying pan and all that … A nod to my good friend and fellow PHSC member, George Dunbar for sharing this ad with us. And a thank you for the information in McKeown’s 11th edition regarding the Universal Camera Company.

Note, the title is a riff on the delightful Dire Straits song, “Money for Nothing“.

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