Thursday, June 26, 2014

Back in Time - Flash Photography

Richard S.
approximately 1938 or 1939
Many old photos were taken outside because it was easier than using the flash attachment. The flash attachment was usually a silver cone on a bar that was secured to the side of the camera. A flash bulb (many were clear but later some were blue) was placed in the middle of the cone. Sometimes the bulb was a dud, and other times it flashed prematurely when the bulb was inserted in the cone. It took patience to use a flash attachment.  The flash bulb was invented in the 1930s

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 I remember when flash "cubes" were introduced in the 1960s. The cubes contained four small bulbs, and the cube automatically rotated to the next bulb when a photo was taken.

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Electronic flashes were used widely in the 1970s and 1980s.

Do you remember using flash bulbs or flash cubes when taking photos?

11 comments:

  1. I remember flash cubes. I think I used a Kodak camera just like the one in the photo.

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  2. I'm old enough to remember both. Now I have a hot shoe flash ....makes everything SO much easier.

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  3. Yes, I too remember these....so glad for the improvements in this area.

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  4. I remember both. The first camera that was actually mine had the cube, but my parents' earlier camera had the bulbs. I hated them.

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  5. That's really a cute picture of your brother!

    Yes, I remember using both the bulbs and flash cubes. This takes me back to the day, for sure. The digital age has sure changed everything dramatically.

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  6. It was my job as a little girl to "pop" the flash blub into the cone. None of them ever flashed early so my dad said I had a knack for it. I was so proud! You have brought up some great memories Nancy! Thanks so much.

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  7. Yes my Mom had a brownie camera with the round bulbs and a flash attachment. I had a camera that took the Magic Cubes... sometimes they were duds. Photography has come a long way:)

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  8. YES!! I RECALL THE flash bulbs. I still prefer available light to flash, but sometimes you have to use the flash.

    Nancy I keep meaning to say how much I love your old sewing machine for the Wyoming Breezes header

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  9. Oh yes! I used to love watching the cube spin around. When I was a child, my parents had an old Brownie. Well, I guess it wasn't old then. Anyway, it didn't have a flash, or they lost it. So most of our pictures are outside with us squinting into the sun. If mom wanted to take a picture in the house, she put all the pole lamps behind her.

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  10. No... the Kodak 110 or whatever the long, slim camera with the built-in flash was is the first I really remember. I recall seeing the cubes in a drawer or somewhere, but that's as close as it got.

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  11. Sure do, and it seemed like you never had one with you when you needed it! Aren't digital cameras great? It used to take us ages to work through a roll of film, and now we take a whole bunch in several minutes. Kids won't ever remember having to wait to see the developed photos, will they?

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