8/3/09

Were you a POLAROID SWINGER?

I didn't know any Swingers. Still don't. I've lived a sheltered life. But for those who did Polaroid Swing in the 1960s this is for you. From the December 3, 1966 TV Guide.

The Polaroid Swinger ad_12.3.1966_tatteredandlost

Somehow I think with our attention spans today most people wouldn't even be able to handle the 15 second wait to develop the shot before they'd be screaming, "Come on already!!" 

According to the good old standby source for "just the facts ma'am" Wikipedia says:
The Polaroid Model 20 "Swinger" was a popular Land Camera produced by the Polaroid Corporation between 1965 and 1970. At $19.95 USD it was the first truly inexpensive instant camera, a fact that helped fuel its enormous popularity and made it one of the top-selling cameras of all time. The Swinger was especially successful in the youth market due to its low price, stylish appearance, and catchy "Meet the Swinger" jingle in a television advertisement featuring a young Ali MacGraw.

The Swinger featured an extinction exposure meter tied to the aperture which displayed the word "YES" in a window below the viewfinder when the exposure was set correctly. Earlier models also displayed the word "NO" when not properly adjusted, while later units used only the YES indicator. The Swinger also included a built-in flashgun for AG-1 flashbulbs.

The Swinger used Polaroid's 20-Series roll film, which was the first Polaroid roll film to develop outside the camera.

Variants included the Model M-15 "Swinger Sentinel" (the Swinger II in non-US markets), which was a cheaper Swinger without the built-in flash, and the Model 3000 "Big Swinger", which used 100-Series pack film instead of the old-style picture rolls. The Swinger name was also used on several international-market Polaroid cameras in the 1960s and 1970s.
Now, for your viewing pleasure, and I use the term "pleasure" lightly because by the end of this you might be pulling your hair out.



Seriously, we're now used to 15 second commercials. This one is a minute. It begins to feel like an eternity after Barry Manilow has sung "Meet the Swinger, Polaroid Swinger" the third time. And yes, that is Ali McGraw pre-Love Story.

So how do you think the whole film developing on the beach in blowing sand actually worked out?

Now, will someone please get this song out of my head!

15 comments:

  1. Maybe this explains my Barry Manilow aversion.

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  2. It is surprising he got any work after that, isn't it?

    I just finished watching a movie and the whole time I had "Meet the Swinger, the Polaroid Swinger, meet the Swinger, the Polaroid swinger..." looping through my brain. Be gone demon. BE GONE! OUT I SAY! OUT!

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  3. Anonymous11/14/2009

    If I remember right you had to put a fixer on or the photo would fade. It was in a sponge thingy that came with the film. You would smear it across the photo. I shot one for a couple of years at least. It was my first camera I purchased. Under $20 at a Super America gas station in Shakopee, Mn. Actually a pretty nice little camera.

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  4. That's really interesting. I didn't know you had to do that. I wonder if other Polaroids were the same. Do you remember if you had to apply the solution immediately or could you apply it when you got around to it?

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  5. Anonymous11/14/2009

    I remember if you didn't get it on correctly the photo would fade in streaks. I think you actually had a little time to put it on. I put it on pretty quickly however. It has been a long time since I used that camera and I don't even remember where it went to. I did buy a couple of One Steps year late, I still have both of them and they still work. They really didn't get as much use as that Swinger though. If I run across some photos from it, I'll post them on my flickr site. http://www.flickr.com/photos/21981741@N02/
    I am a photographer and shoot quite a variety of different film cameras as well as a few nice digitals. This is mainly for you, you don't need to post this on your blog. You can have a look around. I can't post them as Swinger photos with that tag or you'll get something different than intended. I will post them as "old Polaroid black and white" ok?

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  6. Anonymous,

    Unfortunately I can't send you a return email because you signed on as anonymous. But I did go to your site. You have some very nice work. I didn't find the Polaroid folder, but then I've been having net access problems all day so it just might not be drawing on my screen.

    I see that you have used a Mamiya Sekor 500 DTL. That was the first 35 mm I ever owned. Got it as a Christmas gift my junior year in high school. Served me well for decades. Miss using that camera.

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  7. Hi,

    Sorry about that. I put my Google account email address up for you.

    I haven't set up the Polaroid folder yet. I only have a couple from the Swinger posted and those were heavily photoshopped because they were in such bad condition. I have some more, I just have to go into the studio and locate them. I have thousands and thousands of photographs that are not filed properly. I used them for reference for my paintings occasionally and then just put them in boxes.

    The Mamiya was the first 35mm I ever bought.

    You can call me Alan.

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  8. I wish I'd taken better care of photos I took when I was kid. All the negs seem to have disappeared. For me that's the saddest part of the mess of family photos. I can't imagine where the negs went.

    When you get the Polaroids up let us know.

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  9. I found 3 and posted them. Not fancy scans or touched up, but they are there. Sorry it took so long, I have had the heat off in my studio over the winter and hadn't thought to look. I came across someone taking some fine polaroid black and whites on flickr and that brought you to mind when I posted them for her to see.

    Have fun!

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  10. Thanks Downsville, but I need a link. I can't find the link you sent last year.

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  11. http://www.flickr.com/search/?w=21981741%40N02&q=polaroid+swinger&m=text

    Ok try this one.

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  12. Yes! It worked. They're wonderful. Your car was great, but my favorites are the ones of Chief. Thanks for getting me the link.

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  13. Excellent. Glad you liked them. If I find any thing else that may be worth looking at, I'll post it. I shot a lot of photos with that camera. I don't know where they are now though.

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  14. Hey, I wish I could even find my old 35 negs from back then. Somewhere along the line I lost all of them. With a Polaroid you know that you only have one shot, one original. You know if you lose it that's it. With negs you figure eventually you can get more prints...unless you're as careless as I've apparently been. Yes, keep them coming. I love their quality.

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  15. Good point about the negatives. I have some that I know where they are, but I can't find them because I didn't catalogue them and there are just too many. Occasionally I run across something of interest and scan it then.

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