“In 1948, Edwin Land brought out his ‘picture in a minute’ camera for sale to the public. Anybody in their right mind does not test market a new item in Kansas, and the east coast was swamped with orders and sales. I became fascinated with this concept of photography. Priced fairly high, the camera was a huge bulky affair, but Americans were willing to pay. I asked Polaroid what would be their bare bones, cash up front order for a shipment. They replied, three cameras and 36 films. When the box arrived, I was like a kid with a new computer game. I hardly had patience to read the manual; I wasted three rolls of film before I could even get an image to appear! It was hard for customers to get the hang of it as there were two drop ins and inter-leafing and when they did this at home and goofed up, they wanted their money back or a new film.”
Note: Bill’s next sentences that close this letter are particularly interesting, considering the developments of digital cameras since his lifetime. Bill writes:
“Funny that today, people seem to be not so excited about a photo in a minute. They just go to the one hour lab and wait an hour. It has been Japan who has turned the photo industry all around.” -Bill Jeffcoat
The times have certainly changed.