My little box of inspiration

Reading USA Today  this morning I saw an article ( ) on the 50th birthday of the Kodak Instamatic camera. I imagine every photographer remembers their first camera. This one was mine.

It cost 16 dollar, or as the article said, about 120 in today’s dollars. My memory has proved a bit faulty. I remember getting it for my 10th birthday and I believed it came out that year. It actually came out two years before and was a game changer for Kodak. Back then Kodak was like Apple today, making innovative products everyone wanted. And everyone wanted this camera. It was the first to package the film into a drop-in cartridge, the 126, and the first to have a ‘built-in’ flash. They sold millions in that first year alone. It was like the precursor of the iPhone or iPod, a product that made everything that came before seem old and dated.

My first memory of using it was at the zoo in Fort Worth. That might have even been a birthday trip. With that great zoo and all the animals around me I remember shooting goldfish in a tiny pond outside one of the stone animal buildings. Maybe I chose them because I could get so close.  My two brothers have both told me they remember the camera going to the beach in Southern California on vacations, even using it themselves. I do remember shaking sand out of it a few times. That little camera must have been nearly indestructible. I still have it and mechanically it still works just fine. Now getting the flash bulbs or the 126 cartridge might be problematic.

I’m not sure I can say definitely that this camera started me on my photographic journey but if not it sure was a great little box of inspiration. Thank you Mom and Dad for the best birthday gift. You know me so well.

my first camera, the Kodak Instamatic 100

my first camera, the Kodak Instamatic 100


One thought on “My little box of inspiration

  1. Pingback: My little box of inspiration | Art Meripol Photographs

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