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)

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© Huffygirl 2011