wishful thinking …

Polaroid Ad in spring, 1962

Toronto. When Edwin Land announced the famous Polaroid Land system a few years after the war, dealers had difficulty keeping the “picture-in-a-minute” cameras and film in stock.  By the time this ad showed up, the Polaroid system was down to a brief 10 seconds from start to finish for B&W prints.

However; many folk decided waiting for far less costly prints was better than seeing the results in 10 seconds using a very expensive process. Many users realized that taking a “perfect” photo like the ads showed was far more complicated than just pointing and shooting the camera.

In the days of “picture-in-a-minute” excitement, many amateurs had a Polaroid used with only a few rolls before the camera was quietly shelved, and it was back to the Kodak again with its cheap film and processing. With other cameras, bad prints were tossed; good ones were kept in an album or shoe box for future generations.

This April 6, 1962 ad in LIFE (p 25) was typical of the day, promising great photos of that special event (like an Easter outing) in just 10 seconds. Ironically, LIFE devoted this issue to ways to stretch your money – too bad everyone wasn’t using a Polaroid camera … A big thanks to my friend George Dunbar for this ad reminiscing what might have been.

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