60 Years Ago - January 1954

Discussion in 'Classic Manual Cameras' started by marc_bergman|1, Jan 31, 2014.

  1. I have seen in several magazines a section where they go back in time to show what was happening at a certain time period long ago. I thought I would try the same thing with my Modern Photography magazine collection. I have chosen to do it in 60 years ago, 55 years ago, and 50 years ago posts each month. They would consist of an article or two, some equipment ads, and some camera store ads. This will give you an indication of what camera enthusiasts were reading in that time period.
    Let's start with 60 years ago. These scans are from the January 1954 issue of Modern Photography. This is an article about George Eastman founder of Kodak.
    Here is page 1.
  2. Here is page 2.
  3. Here is page 3.
  4. Here is page 4.
  5. Here is page 5.
  6. Here is the last page.
  7. Here is an ad for the Voigtlander Bessa II.
  8. Here is an Exakta System ad.
  9. Here is a Graflex double page ad.
  10. Here is an Iloca Quick B ad.
  11. Here is a Kalart flash ad.
  12. Here is a nice Kodak ad.
  13. This is an Omega enlarger ad. Those things were built.
  14. Here is a Polaroid ad.
  15. I don't know how many of you have every seen a Rectaflex. It is a pretty interesting camera with the turret.
  16. Here is the Voigtlander Vito II.
  17. Here is a camera store ad from Dowling's, one of New York's finest.
  18. Here is an ad for my hometown cameras store. Westen's was on State Street in Santa Barbara.
  19. So let me know what you think. Your comments and suggestions are appreciated.
  20. Great idea, Marc! Love the George Eastman article and the Graflex Ad. The news photographer testimonials and portraits are tops! What a treasure trove you have. Very much appreciate your sharing it.
  21. That George Eastman was one stylin' dude. Great photo.
    Yup, my first camera was an Australian Kodak Starlet -- VP127 (could you even buy anything else for it?)
  22. Thanks, Marc!
    It brings back those memories, when I was a press photographer in 1953-54. ...and got married in December 1953. We just celebrated 60 years together! So, we, too are vintage sweethearts.
    I still have a Crown Graphic and Omega D2 enlarger, which get occasional use!
  23. Great idea, please keep it going. I'm eagerly awaiting part two of the Eastman story.
  24. Reminded me of a visit to the museum in the Eastman estate in Rochester. Many makes of cameras on display. Worth a few hours if you're in the area. Thanks.
  25. I made my first prints with an Omega D2 in High School in 1971. My own first enlarger was a Federal 6X9 diffusion model with the so-so 3 inch f/6.3 Fedar Anastigmat. It must have been older then me and was not easy to use. The next year I got a Bogen 22A Special, which I still have. When you look at some of the prices of cameras like the Contax and the Rolleiflex and then consider what people earned in 1954, photography could be an expensive activity even then.
  26. Great stuff. Love the Exacta page. Prior to the Nikon F the Exacta had the best SLR "system" but alas. they were kinda klunky and so-so on reliability. I still have one in very nice condition. And the Crown Graphic. I want one. Oh, I have one, except for a lensboard which is on its way. Those were the days. Photographers actually commanded respect. "You press the button, we do the rest," sounds like a digital camera ad -- and of course Eastman Kodak invented them.
  27. And here is my personal store of stores: the Spiratone ad, also from Modern, January 1954
  28. Love this. It's my favorite feature in Popular Photography each month, but they only use tiny images and short blurbs. This is much better.

    I particularly like the Omega D2 in the ad. I thought my D2 came out in the 60s but now I see it's from the 50s. I'm at least the third owner and it's still mint and still cranking out prints.
  29. Louis - Glad you liked it. I think it is a good way to share my material in a way that doesn't overwhelm anyone.
    Peter - My first camera used 127 film. Loved the large slide in a small package.
    Jack - My congratulations to you and your wife on you 60th anniversary. I remember seeing newsreel footage of photographers on the field during baseball games with their Graphic cameras. I wonder when they stopped doing that?
    Charles Sumner - I will post part 2 of the Eastman story next week.
    Charles Stobbs - Thanks for the tip on the Eastman Estate museum.
    Jeff - My first enlarger was a Beseler 67. I got it in 1975 and used it for 30 years. It was built like the Omegas. You are correct about the price of the top gear. My family was still using Kodak Brownies and using maybe a roll of film a month.
    Gary - Glad you liked it. I suspect Nikon engineers looked at the Exakta system as a blueprint for their Nikon F.
    JDM - Thanks for posting. I saw the ad but I wanted to wait for a slow month to post one of those great 6 page ads. They are still fun to look at after all these years.
  30. Marc
    The thread is certainly very interesting but it might be much better if these scans were posted on another site, such as Flickr, Photobucket or other sharing website and linked to and discussed here. Three reasons:
    (1) The photo.net terms - http://www.photo.net/info/terms-of-use - of use allow ONLY posting of original content that YOU created. This avoids photo.net having to decide what is and isn't protected under copyright, what is and isn't fair use etc. etc.
    (2) Even if rule (1) didn't exist, these articles, ads etc. may still be protected under copyright. For material of that vintage, copyright extends from a minimum of 28 years after publication to a maximum of 95 years, depending on whether copyright was renewed. However whether or not the material is still under copyright, rule (1) still applies.
    (3) The scans would be much easier to view if posted on a sharing site like Flickr or similar where the images will appear on the screen instead of having to click on links to make them show up.
    When a magazine publishes a "retrospective" of things from 50 or 60 years ago, they are usually publishing their OWN material over which they certainly have copyright. However again, copyright isn't the only issue here. Rule (1) supersedes all copyright questions, so in this case copyright is moot. Even if you had express permission from the copyright holder, rule (1) would still apply.
    So please post any future scans on an image sharing site and link to it. It would be best if you could actually do that with these images, then I can edit your original post with the link and remove the individual scans. Otherwise the scans may have to be removed and I'd hate to do that with interesting items like these.
  31. When it comes to copyright and trademark laws it seems everyone has an opinion or interpretation.
    Also seems that a little common sense would dictate that it is extremely unlikely a poster of a vintage camera ad is going to be pursued by a lawyer or original copyright/trademark holder (assuming they are still alive or company even exists). When was the last time you heard of any legal action against a person posting a vintage ad?
    If copyright / trademark was a concern for the fellow who runs the Butkus free camera manual website it seems certain he would have been sued out of existence long ago or told to cease. I'm pretty sure Butkus site does have some disclaimers informing his download fans what's ethically appropriate; for example no one wants to have there efforts sold and profited by others.
    I just did some research on the copyright/trademark subject via Internet searches and all I can say is "if I were to post a vintage ad here or on Audiokarma (vintage hi-fi) I'd not lose sleep about being sued or told to cease such activity". Just my lay opinion of course. Needless to say, there's a lot of loop holes / exceptions in copyright/trademark laws that do allow reasonable use (such as old ads) by lay folks.
    As for large files, yes that can be a concern.
    Now I'll likely take the heat for these comments!
  32. As I made clear, it's not a copyright issue as such, it's a terms of use issue. It's not about photo.net getting sued. It's not about who is responsible for posted content. It's not about liability
    "You agree to upload and post only User Content that you have created yourself"

    That's clear. Photo.net has decided that anything posted on this site must be original content and the intellectual property of the poster. That's the site's policy. Doesn't matter if you post something that's in the public domain with no copyright attached. It's not a matter of copyright or intellectual property law, it's a matter of the site's terms of use. It's that simple. If you want a reason for the Terms of Use, my best guess is that Photo.net didn't (and doesn't) want the responsibility of looking at every posting and trying to decide whether or not it's a copyright violation. And then arguing the point with a poster. So the simple rule. If you didn't create it, don't post it. Simple, clear, no interpretation required.

    Nobody wants to stop people looking at or discussing old magazine ads and articles. You just should not post copies of them here, that's all. No heat for anyone, just a request to abide by the Terms of Use of this website. The ads and articles are very interesting. They just should not be posted here. Links to them on an external site are fine.
  33. Great idea. Enjoyed immensely. Dave
  34. I have a Flickr account. I will load them up there and link to them.
  35. A very interesting set of old adverts, Marc - thanks for scanning and posting. Shame about this 'Terms Of Use' issue arising, though. I agree with Garry T. that it's unfair and contrary to the spirit of comment. After all, how do any critics get to make expert comment on a book, film or whatever, if permission is needed? It would turn out to be totally contrary to making fair comment, because the next step would inevitably be the copyright holder asking to see the prospective comment in advance, and only giving permission if the comment was 100% favourable.
    I always thought reproduction of such old stuff was covered in law by the provision of 'Fair Useage', meaning no specific prior permission is needed so long as credit is given to the source.
    Anyhow, please keep us all posted on just where you intend to move the scans, and of course when you post any next stuff. I'm sure there's quite a few folks like me, who find these vintage adverts and write-ups fascinating. PETE IN PERTH
  36. James G. Dainis

    James G. Dainis Moderator


    It would be a good idea to upload them to Flickr as a set. Then only one link would be needed to allow access to all images in the set.

    As moderator of this forum I have let the occasional content created by someone other than the poster to skate by. Still, it would be better in the future if all members adhere to the Terms of Use and upload only content that they have created themselves.
  37. The Iloca is yet another of those little 35mm cameras that popped up after WW2. There has to be hundreds that I've never heard of yet. That was a fascinating era!
    Kent in SD
  38. Here's an interesting web site to see how much the toys are in today's dollarettes:
  39. Great project, Marc. Thanks. Some of the older cameras (Ex. Bessa II 6x9 cm) are still doing good service. Will have to take the time to read the Eastman article.
  40. Wow! $400 for an Exakta VX with f/2 lens. In 1954 dollars! Same price as the Leica? That's like 4-6 weeks pay. I got my F3 in 1983 for $329 in 1983 dollars.
  41. Excellent idea, Marc, and great to share some of your collection. Nothing is ever simple, anymore... Despite the difficulties, Flickr would seem to be a solution. Many thanks for your efforts.
  42. When does a scan of a page, for example, illustrating key points in discussion in many cases (e.g., original ad for old camera, early reviews, etc.), become an "image" in the meaning of the"terms of use"?
    I have always taken that phrase to refer to photographs where there might be confusion over who the photographer is.
    Flickr and similar external sites are so very ephemeral too.
    A year from the original date of post, most externally linked files are gone, as a look back at older posts will quickly reveal. Why archive at all if the links go dead?
    I don't see it mattering much to the forums dealing with current cameras, but for the historical forums like CMC and MFC this is truly a "big .... deal" in the words of the Vice President.

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