A few weeks ago a good buddy, Brian Malloy, posted a copy of a 1965 ad from Modern Photography magazine. It's a classic throwback, but in this case, a little different from what I normally share.
Even on something as simple as an ad like this there are throwback memories all over the place...
First, is the obvious, I was President of Hasselblad USA for twelve years, starting in 1987. We would have killed to have a few price points like this. Even back then the lowest price to get into the Hasselblad system was the 500 Classic, which launched at $1995 with a 500CM body, 80mm lens and A-12 magazine.
Second, is the retailer at the time. Brooks Camera was owned by Joe Dee. In my Polaroid days he was the first retailer I chose for a double page ad campaign in the trade magazines about the profitability of the Polaroid Special Edition camera line. The series of ads ran in the early 80's.
A little bizarre spin on the story was a visit I made to Willoughby's Camera in NYC shortly after the first ad was released. Eric Herschfeld, then "King" of Willoughby's, was so angry that he wasn't chosen first and threw me out of his office. I hadn't been in the job more than a few months as manager of Polaroid's photo specialty dealers. There's little that could have happened to upset me more, at least business wise, at the time.
I remember calling my boss from a pay phone (There were no cell phones yet!). I called in a state of panic and he laughed and simply said,
"You're in good company. I remember the first time I got thrown out!"
Third, the ad came out of Modern Photography. It was a great magazine and one of the leaders along with Popular Photography and Petersen's Photographic when I joined Hasselblad. Some time in the late 80's they were bought by Popular Photography for the sole purpose of boosting Pop's circulation. They simply merged the subscriber list and killed the magazine.
At the time, another now great friend, Steve Rosenbaum, was the publisher. Steve went on to found S.I.R. Marketing Communications, Inc. and couldn't be more active in the industry today. In fact, we probably talk about something going on in photography ever few weeks.
Last on the list of memories, check out the companies also listed at the start of the ad. Most of them no longer exist or have an extremely small presence in photography today.
As always the point of TBT is just to have fun looking back for a moment. While it's normally old images we all share, a trip down memory lane is still a great trip and there's very little that beats a look back at the early days of the journey we're all on.
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