Meet the Swinger

Oh, how I longed for the Polaroid Swinger! I was the target demographic for this breezy 1965 television commercial, which made it seem so appealing:

Meet the Swinger, the Polaroid Swinger
It’s more than a camera, it’s almost alive
It’s only nineteen dollars, and ninety-five

This camera talked to you — a blocky display said YES when you had the settings right, and in ten seconds, you had a picture that you could show your friends so you’d all see what cool and carefree teens you really were!

I was already in love with Polaroid, thanks to my Uncle Steve Brown who worked for Polaroid and who spent every family holiday doing his instant photography magic. The Swinger seemed magical like that, only without the complicated camera and the fixative stick.

Plus, although I was smart enough to know better, a hopeful little voice within me believed that the Swinger somehow came with a cool lifestyle. Sadly, despite my many hours of babysitting, nineteen dollars and ninety-five was beyond my means, and I never got to ride my bike around the countryside with this adorable little camera swinging merrily from my handlebars. I could only photograph my friends using my Kodak Instamatic, which had to be sent off for developing. (And I can still hear the click and shift and smell the melty-plastic aroma of those Flashcubes.)

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