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the Speed-O-Matic

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Cameras1176 of 1294Mercury IIRolls
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Posted 7 years ago

(31 items)

Edwin Land perfected instant-picture technology, but Polaroids were certainly not the first "instant picture" cameras.

The Speed-O-Matic, made in 1948, is just one example of the many attempts to popularize the idea. Unfortunately for the Speed-O-Matic Corporation however, the process required to make pictures with this camera was anything but speedy, especially compared to the Polaroid, which was also first unveiled in 1948.

The Speed-O-Matic process:
Load the film pack into the camera, shoot the first picture.
Remove the film pack, flip it, reload it, and shoot the second picture.
Remove the film pack, plug it into the development tank (provided in the camera kit).
Transfer the exposed paper sheets into the tank by way of a sliding metal injector.
Fill the tank with "solution 1", wait two minutes, empty the solution, and rinse the tank with cold water.
Fill with solution 2, wait one minute, rinse.
Fill with solution 3, wait 45 seconds, rinse.
Fill with solution 4, wait another minute, and rinse once again.

This was required every two shots! It sure is a cool-looking camera though...


  1. rniederman rniederman, 7 years ago
    Okay ... I'm biased to wood and brass cameras, but I have to admit this is really cute - love the simple, understated elegance.

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