pictures on the spot

Polaroid Ad Nov 1955

Toronto. In the last half of the last century, photography had a number of goals for improvement for amateurs. Three come to mind: Faster media, so pictures could be taken indoors or at night; colour at lower cost; and faster delivery.

Most of the industry chose the first or second approach. Everybody touted flash and flash bulbs for indoor and night shots; many promoted colour (especially slides and the requisite projector and screen); but Polaroid was different: they chose faster delivery. So fast in fact that they called their new system “picture in a minute”.

The Polaroid ad on page 67 in the November 21st 1955 issue of LIFE magazine showed how a typical American family could jazz up Thanksgiving (the holiday is a month later than here in a nod to a warmer climate) with photographs – and not just photographs but Polaroid “picture in a minute” photographs. Kids turned away? Take another photo! Grandpa snoozing? Take another photo! The much higher cost (vs. traditional film and prints) was never mentioned. Or the fact that you could only use Polaroid cameras (well made for sure) and Polaroid film packs with built in chemistry and photo paper. You may like to check out this site for how Polaroid film works.

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