1960s Kodak Instamatic Camera: The Original Instagram

I think Instagram images are really pretty cool.  They have that retro vibe that makes new pics look like they were taken in the 60s.  But the genuine original Instagram, the Kodak Instamatic Camera, was what started it all, and is what Instagram is based on.  First out in 1963, the Instamatic was a hit with the masses; introducing new users to low-cost photography.  The blue flashcubes were especially cool.  I remember being fascinated with how they snapped onto the camera and rotated when you took a pic.  Here are some fun Kodak ads I found in Seventeen magazines from 1968:

The Instamatic 124 – your basic (er, cheapest) camera.  Perfect for taking pics of your friends at games and dances.  The only thing lacking was that you couldn’t post them to Facebook.  Ah, the innocent days of youth before social media.

Look!  The Instamatic was so easy to use, even a girl could do it!  Drop in the film, snap on the flashcube and snap away.

Next up is Christmas.  Now was your chance to get a possible upgrade from the less than $20 Instamatic 124.  The less than $28 Instamatic 134 had an electric eye that measures the light and sets the lens for you.  The less than $30 Instamatic 174 had automatic film advance.  And the crème de la crème of the Instamatic camera outfits was the less than $35 Instamatic S-10.  This baby was so slim and compact it fit into a pocket!  Imagine!  Its extra-sharp lens and 1/125th-second shutter speed supposedly took great pictures.  It is worth noting that every camera outfit was “neatly boxed” and included camera, flashcubes, batteries, wrist strap and Kodak film.  Let’s see Instagram do that.

~Marilyn Huttunen


One Response to “1960s Kodak Instamatic Camera: The Original Instagram”

  1. Anna

    Hi there, I was wondering if you knew what issue of seventeen the first picture came from? The one that reads “what you’re going back to deserves a great camera”. I’m trying to find a copy of the specific month issue that the ad ran in. Thank you!

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