nighthawks and newshounds

1950s ad for Graphic camera – on time payments!

Toronto. As night descends on the city, sirens cry out warnings. Yellow crime tape surrounds parts of the city. Marking the spot where deaths, accidents, fires, or other maladys of humanity happened.

The area is lit up by brief flashes of bright light. Newshounds jostle for that prize winning shot. Hours later black and while photos are in city newspapers!

All this was common place in North America during the first half of last century. The camera of choice by most pros and wannabe newshounds was a Graphic by Graflex.

Today, newshounds have pretty much disappeared along with thick, informative newspapers, legions of reporters, black and white photographs … and Graphic cameras with their ubiquitous flash guns and flash bulbs. Today, short video takes in full colour command the TV viewers’ interest. These takes are often shot outside the city, or even the country – but they fill in the time between commercials quite nicely.

Once again my good friend and fellow PHSC member, George Dunbar, has shared a special advertising find, this time a Graflex ad on page 45 in the April, 1956 issue of Popular Photography during the period when Graflex offered new cameras in an attempt to retain and even gain market share by promoting cameras purchased on time. Note that the nighthawks in the title of this post brings to mind the famous painting by American Edward Hopper some 14 years earlier.

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