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Most of the photos on this site were extracted from reference images (high-resolution tiffs, 20 to 200 megabytes in size) from the Library of Congress research archive. (To query the database click here.) Many were digitized by LOC contractors using a Sinar studio back. They are adjusted by your webmaster for contrast and color in Photoshop before being downsized and turned into the jpegs you see here.

 
 
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VINTAGRAPH • WPA • WWII • SUMMER IN ITALY, 1951

Wayne Camera: 1970s

Wayne Camera: 1970s

The Wayne Camera Center circa 1970s in the Preakness Shopping Center, Wayne, NJ. I believe that's the founder, Bill Orkulsky, who started the store in 1955. Not sure if the ladies present are his wife and daughter or just employees. Lots of future "collectibles" and "kitsch" for sale. View full size.

Cameras of Yore

I still use the Pentax Spotmatic that I have had since 1968 (it went thru a clean/lube/adjustment several years ago). I also use my Canon AE-1 Program that I have for several years. Finding 35mm film getting harder, processing is even harder than that - I have the results put on CD so I can upload them to the PC. Just bought a decent digital camera - lighter to carry, easier to use.

Instamatics and a slide projector table

I think I see some Kodak Instamatics in the distant case on the left behind the young woman's head.

And just inside the frame on the lower left is a small table for slide projectors by "EV". It has a couple of electric outlets on a tilted side panel that serve the same purpose as modern power strips we use today. Plug the table's power cord into the wall, then plug the slide projector and other accessories into the outlets on the table. Other models came with a small, illuminated white panel beside the outlets where you could preview slides outside the projector. That's the model my dad had while he made industrial slide shows for his employer back in the '60s. Helped the editing process.

Time-o-lite

Late to the party, but there on the lower left shelf (glass case) is a fondly-remembered Time-o-lite, which ruled the light-deprived lives of not only photographers, but (like me) lithographic camera operators. If it was controlling a set of strong carbon arc lamps on the camera, life could get very interesting indeed.

Nikon F

I still have my Nikon F which was made in 1973. Forty years later it sits on a shelf.

Many years of nice pics came through the lens of that camera!

Airequipt

Yep, the projector on top of the counter is an Airequipt. Like the Sawyers/et.al. projectors, they were designed for straight trays. When Kodak came out with their Carousel design the other "big players" had to follow suit. The updated Airequipts would take their special round tray and the older Airequipt-style straight trays, distinctive metal trays with individual metal "sleeves" for each slide. The distinguishing trait of their round tray was the metal plate at the center which had two prongs that engaged slots on the tray guide to support the tray.

Obviously, I spent a lot of my life in shops very much like this one. I managed small camera shops for over 20 years after having being a customer, either myself or with my dad, for over 15 years prior. Attached is a pic of one that I managed, The Camera Corral in Houston Tx,from back in 1975.

D.C. Camera Shops, II

The last real camera store I can recall in my part of the D.C. area was a large shop in a shopping center along Rockville Pike, near a large Computer chain outlet. I still have my pre-war Contax IIa, some Exactas, a Canon or two and an Ikoflex. All replaced by a Nikon 5700 and a Nikon D1x.

Nostalgia

I bought my first 'Real' Camera in a store much like this one. It was on the Ground floor of the Prudential Building in Newark N.J. I bought it in 1967. The camera, which I still have, and on RARE occasion use, is a Zeiss Ikon Super Ikonta B model that uses 120 roll film. (circa 1950) I can get 16 shots to a roll.

The camera is folding type with a bellows and is strictly ALL manual. you have to set the shutter speed and aperture by hand before you push the shutter release button.

It is interesting to see the looks on peoples faces when I set it up on a tripod with a cable release hooked up to it.

Fotomat

Wow, I remember being in this store in my teens. It was just up the road from another icon, a Fotomat booth in the T-Bowl shopping center.

Czechoslovak Axomat enlarger

The enlarger at the right is a Czechoslovak Axomat (probably the 1a). I've still got mine (purchased in London circa 1972). Superb lens quality and great to use.

Electric slide (projector)

I *think* that is an Airequipt slide projector on the right display case. I don't recall any other make that had the vertical carousel; I believe Kodak's was horizontal. It is kind of clunky to work. We still have an Airequipt that my father bought in the early 1970s and it still works just fine.

[Sawyer's - the View-Master people - also made a projector with a vertical carousel. It was also marketed under the Montgomery Ward name, like mine. -tterrace]

No clever title

I also went to a shop like this (but a little larger) with my father in the late 60s and early 70s, NYC's Willoughby's on West 32nd Street by Penn Station, where he knew some of the staff very well. His cameras of choice were a Hasselblad 500C for regular photography, using 120 and sheet film, and a Linhof Technika for portraits. I "played around" with an old Brownie Six-20 of his, which I still have, using 620 B/W and color film.

Film, glorious film.

I'd buy that place out of 127, 120, and 35mm film.

Late 1972 or early 1973

To the right of the Minolta counter display where the young girl is standing is a smaller card advertising the "Minolta CAR AND CAMERA Competition." Presumably they would take this display down when the competition ended on January 31, 1973.

DC Camera Shops

Switzarch, do you remember Industrial Photo on Georgia Avenue in Silver Spring? That was the last place I could buy the 3000 ASA Type 47 film for my '52 Model 95 Polaroid. I could get it there until the late 1980s or early 1990s.

The camera has been retired for a while and the store is long gone.

Kodak Film

Was stuff we developed with fresh hand filtered Mekong River water with no
temperature control needed.

Yes, you can help me

I'd like a five pack of Kodacolor 220 100 ASA film please. Man, I haven't said that for a lot of years.

Great memories in this photo and I'm still laughing over davidk's past definition of the future!

F8 and Be There!

This photo takes me back to a great time in my life. Although it wasn’t in the 1970’s, I had the great fortune to work in a camera store in the late 1980’s. Remarkably, the store was laid out in a fashion similar to the one in this extraordinary photograph. Two great benefits of working in a camera store and being a devout shutterbug: discounts, and the ability to special-order all sorts of stuff to experiment with. I still have my motorized Nikon FE and F2 on a shelf in my office. Antiquated paperweights to some perhaps, but to me these mechanical gems represent a time that I had to think before depressing the shutter. Words to live by!

Still analog

It was in a shop like this, in January 1971, that I purchased a Honeywell Pentax Spotmatic (35mm) and learned the capabilities of SLR cameras. I still use this camera. Quality lasts. Unfortunately, the splendid Kodachrome 64 film is no longer available.

View-Master

It would have been about this era when I received that View-Master projector (in the glass case on the right) as a Christmas Gift. You didn't get to see the pictures in stereo of course.

Selsi

[Selsi manufactured optical products, such as magnifiers and loupes, as well as binoculars and telescopes. -tterrace]

Selsi was an American importer rather than a manufacturer, and careful about what they put their brand on: not absolutely first rate stuff, but very good, especially for the money. They were around from 1854 - 2010 and still are, in modified form.

On eBay, used Selsi binoculars are often listed as "Sevi" brand because of a fairly confusing logo.

Polaroid film

The right section of shelves to the right of the man the shelf that is second from the top I can make out the section of Polaroid film. I can make out the sign that reads "Polaroid Pictures" and most of the film type on the shelf. From right to left is T47, T107, T48, T108 the Polaroid sign, unknown film and three rows of Swinger camera film.

Photo Finish

We had a Photo Section in our electronics store. We would lease the space. Usually two floor display cases and a wall unit behind them with those some of those same diamond shaped film box compartments. The Lessee's rent was usually covered by film sales and the income from the processing charges. The camera and lens sales generated their profits. By the way is that Ellen DeGeneres' mother behind the showcase on the right?

Memories

Reminds me of Baker Camera Supply in Washington, D.C. Where you went for the right equipment to get that perfect shot.

The scientific age

On the white box in the lower right, underneath the binoculars: "Precision products to keep pace with the scientific age." So which age are we now, 40 years on? The digital age? Can you imagine telling that to the folks in this photo. They would do well to wonder, "The future is ... fingers?"

[Selsi manufactured optical products, such as magnifiers and loupes, as well as binoculars and telescopes. -tterrace]

Recently defunct

Wayne Camera Center closed recently, after the man who bought the business in 1980 decided to retire. It had moved out of the Preakness Shopping Center location several years earlier.

Heaven!

Oh - boxes, and boxes, and boxes of film, and slide projectors!

I know the "digital" age is here and there is nothing we can do about it, but.. for someone my age, whose entire teenage years and young adulthood (including my honeymoon in 1972) is filed away in trays of Ektachome-X (ASA 64) slides, this is the type of store I spent hours and hours in, getting advice from KNOWLEDGEABLE people about how to take better pictures.

Just looking at this photo makes me think I've died and gone to heaven!

Film

What's Kodak film?

 
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