Found this in my digital stash of ads taken from comic books. I wanted to bring back Mail Order Monday today but I didn't find anything in the there that caught my eye.
The Instamatic 44 was sold between 1969 and 1973 (the ad is from 1972). It retailed for $9.95 which is around $55 today! There's a few retro features this model has that I really dig.
Most obvious is that it uses a flash cube.
For you really young readers, that means you could take four pictures with flash for every cube you had with you. Back in the day, flash cubes were just as essential as film.
Next is the manual knob to advance the film, not one of those fancy levers that you could easily operate with your thumb. Forget quick snapshots! It might have been easy to move with just the thumb but nowhere near as easy as a lever. Hopefully it could tell when to stop. I remember one of the cameras I had as a kid where I had to manually advance the film and stop it so the picture number lined up just right in the indicator window.
And of course, the viewfinder. I find it a little ironic that nowadays, only the more expensive/professional type cameras even have a traditional viewfinder anymore.
Older cameras also looked a lot more rugged despite the internals not being as sensitive as modern models. Just look at that textured, thick black plastic casing. I'd bet it would more likely survive an accidental drop than your phone.
The gentleman that took this image of the Instamatic 44 has a bunch of albums on Flickr showcasing various relics of photography that are very cool.