Weekly Photo Challenge: Old-fashioned

Old-fashioned now, but not in 1965.

Are you old enough to remember the Polaroid Swinger? It was a big day for  my family when we got The Swinger. We’d been seeing the commercials for months with the catchy, kitschy jingle. Uncle Joe bought the camera for my family, I think. We weren’t the kind of people who would go out and buy something that frivolous ourselves, even if it was only “…nineteen dollars, and ninety-five…”

The Swinger was the first instant camera at the time that was affordable to the average person. For anyone who doesn’t know what an “instant” camera was, the film self-developed, so you could see your pictures in minutes. It was a big deal at the time, as back then, we had to hitch up our horse and buggy, take the film to the drug store, wait about a week, then pick up the pictures to see if they turned out. The quality of the instant pictures was spotty at times. Sure you could see everybody, but the color was often pale, and you had to coat the picture with a sealer which often left an uneven, messy-looking patina on the picture. In other words, the pictures never looked as good as they did on the commercial. The Swinger was marketed towards young people, with a commercial showing a young Ali McGraw having a great day at the beach with her friends. The camera came in a huge case which would have made Ali look less cool, had she been shown carrying it around. It included slots for all the accoutrements – the flash bulbs, sealer  and the film. It’s hard to picture any young person today who’d be willing to carry all that around, just to take a picture.

The Swinger handy carrying case (© Huffygirl 2011)

And just so you don’t feel left out, here’s the catchy jingle that I instantly remembered the minute I saw the old camera at my parent’s house:

“Meet the Swinger, Polaroid Swinger,

 Meet the Swinger, Polaroid Swinger.

It’s more than a camera, it’s almost alive, it’s only nineteen dollars, and ninety-five,

Swing it up it says ‘yes’, take the shot, count it down, zip it off.

Meet the Swinger, Polaroid Swinger…”

The camera that's "almost alive" (© Huffygirl)

 Related Link:

© Huffygirl 2011


16 thoughts on “Weekly Photo Challenge: Old-fashioned

    • Too bad you’re not coming to my estate sale – I have 3 old cameras – the Swinger, an Instamatic, and the Kodak disk ( a short lived one I think – the negatives came back on a round disk.) Unless you want me to mail them to you?

    • Unfortunately I haven’t found that many photos from the Swinger among my parent’s things. I think maybe we couldn’t afford the film and probably did not use it that much.

    • Yes, fortunately we’ve come a long way, although now I look at my pictures on my computer or on the camera, instead of sorting through those exciting yellow envelopes from the drug store.

  1. Yes, I remember the Swinger! We never had one, though. My dad didn’t like the quality and would only take pictures with his Nikon SLR. Photography snob. I, on the other hand, had to be content with my Kodak box camera. Loved your picture!

    • Thanks CE. I would have loved to have an SLR back then. My family got by on a couple different sub-par cameras. After the Swinger, I think we had the Instamatic with the flash cubes. The connection was always bad and you had to spit on the flash cube before attaching it to the camera. Now we have phones with built-in flashes – go figure!

    • I’m not sure if I have any of the photos left – still sorting through all the stuff from my parent’s house. If I recall, the photos did not really turn out that great. Still, it was fun at the time.Thanks for stopping by.

  2. Love your story. Like listening to an old friend over a cup of coffee, tea or whatever suits your fancy.

    Growing up, I thought only the well-to-do could afford polaroid cameras. To have instant pictures was amazing! When I got married I could finally afford one. After awhile, I didn’t think it was such hot stuff. I couldn’t get duplicates for friends or family. But it was pretty good technology for the time.

    glad i stopped by. will add you to my blogroll so i make sure to visit again. 🙂

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