50th Anniversary of the Instamatic

Mar 12, 2013 - Tag: PHOTO

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March 2013 marks the 50th anniversary of the Kodak Instamatic family of cameras. These cameras, featuring the instant-loading 126 (Kodapack) film cartridge, were by far the most successful of the time. Instamatics, like the Brownies they replaced, were the entrée cameras for a new generation of photographers.

Some of the accolades associated with this iconic 1960s-era camera are:
• The Instamatic provided the amateur photographer an inexpensive, well-made, and easy-to-use camera
• The Instamatic was the most successful Eastman Kodak Company camera since the introduction of the Brownie camera of 1900
• More than 50 million Instamatic cameras were sold worldwide between 1963 and 1970, with 7.5 million sold within the first two years of production
• It was introduced at a time when camera innovation was dominated by German and Japanese companies, proving American engineering could still produce competitive products
• The Instamatic 100 was designed by Frank A. Zagara, who won a Certificate of Design Merit from the Industrial Designers Institute
• The cartridge-loading system was a bombshell success, copied by numerous camera and film manufacturers around the world
• The 126 cartridge was designed by Kodak engineer Hubert Nerwin, with patent number 3,138,081 granted June 23, 1964
• The name Instamatic name became synonymous with snapshot photography, similar to the Kodak name during George Eastman’s time

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