Obsolete Technology: Photography Edition

This image is completely unremarkable–alumni arriving at the brand spanking new RMC to work on planning the 1959 Rice Day. I guess I can work up a little bit of interest in the driveway, which isn’t a driveway anymore, but what’s more eye-catching is the photograph as an artifact in and of itself. Does anyone know what type of device produced this? At first I thought it was like a polaroid but on closer inspection I don’t think that’s right. I’m also curious about why I don’t see more like this, although it might be that someone just failed to do the usual thing and tear off the pointed end. Stancliff photo file 1959 Rice Day Bonus: L1010347

Extra Bonus: Speaking of Rice Day, I almost forgot about this post. It has received more hits than any other post on this blog. By a lot. Don’t think too hard about why.

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10 Responses to Obsolete Technology: Photography Edition

  1. BJ says:

    The Polaroid Land Camera had a tab attached to pull the picture out of the camera and a serrated edge on top!

  2. BJ says:

    Extra fun fact: until 1958, the deckle edges appeared on all four corners of Polaroid Land Roll Film. This is probably Type 47 film.

    • loki_the_bubba says:

      +1 for use of ‘deckle’, although I would prefer the variant ‘deckled’ for edges.

      • BJ says:

        There’s no accounting for taste, but “deckled” w/r/t edges is less frequently attested (who knows, possibly because the noun antedates the verb). Even though design is my trade and lexicography is my pastime, I confess I’m much more interested in deckle as it relates to brisket.

  3. almadenmike says:

    Made quite a few of these Polaroid photos to record the positions of momentum-conserving bouncy balls and such in Rice freshman physics lab.

  4. marmer01 says:

    The front car is definitely your father’s Oldsmobile, a staid 1955 88 two-door sedan. The car in back is a 1954 Chrysler sedan. Can’t see enough of the trim to determine which model of Chrysler.

  5. effegee says:

    Polaroid film developed the exposed image while you waited. When you pulled the tab to remove the exposed film, rollers broke open chemicals to create a print and squeegeed them more or less uniformly across the negative and photo paper. After something like 3 minutes, the contact print was peeled off the negative/developing package. The early b&w film required the user to smear a fixer across the image area of the separated print after the chemicals evaporated. Otherwise, the image would deteriorate rather quickly. Polaroid eventually figured out how to eliminate the rather messy “after peel” fixing step and later also came up with color film too.

  6. David M. Bynog says:

    Sometimes a candle is just a candle.

  7. Karen Shelton says:

    I remember my dad had a camera like that. I liked the smell of the fixer.

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