Raise your hand if your first camera was a Kodak Instamatic. No, not necessarily the first camera you ever used, but the first camera that WAS yours. For me it was my trusty little Instamatic, as shown here in this ad from 1964.
Click on image to see it larger.
I can still remember it in its black and yellow Kodak box. My folks bought it for me at the Navy Exchange. Up until then I'd used various Brownies that had belonged to my mom. But this one was all mine. Of course my folks bought the film and paid for the processing so I was very cautious with what I took shots of. But this little camera went on many vacations, photographed many friends, and even made it to a few rock concerts, where I managed to take really nice flash shots of the back of the head of the person in front of me.
I had one of the originals that required little flash bulbs, but my friend had one with a flash cube. I still have the mental image of her licking the bottom of that cube before putting it in place on the top of the camera. Not sure where she learned that trick. Not sure I remember licking the little flash bulbs mine used. Maybe it was just something she enjoyed doing. I do know we tried to push those little cameras far beyond what they were capable of doing. And she took some damned interesting shots by putting a faceted stone in front of the lens. The Mad Hatter at a Be-In was the one I remember the most.
Unfortunately my little camera doesn't look so great now. It's in a drawer, still in the leather case I had for it, but parts look rusted. And to my dismay I find that there is a roll of film still in it. That film has to date back to at least the 70s. I would love to see what's on it. Perhaps photos of my mom and dad that I would give anything to see. Most likely the film is simply too far gone to even show anything and I doubt I could find anyone to process it. I also have an unopened box of film for the little gem. All stuff to just put up on a shelf now for fond memories. That's what vernacular photographs are all about. Our memories and those of others. My camera is tattered but not lost.