Few people have heard of it, yet many consider John Blankenbaker's KENBAK-1 to be the first commercial personal computer.

Koss introduced these headphones over 40 years ago, and they remain affordable favorites to this day.

Kodak Colorburst 350 Instant Camera


Polaroid had a good thing with their instant print pictures, and everyone else in the photography game knew it.  Instant photos were a miracle back when the norm was a wait of several days for photos to come back from the lab.  With an instant camera, it was like you were carrying the whole drug store in your pocket.

Insty photos were a sweet plum, and Kodak wanted in.  They'd long used the name “Instamatic” on many of their snapshot-type cameras, but now Kodak could deliver self-developing instant prints, just like Polaroid.  Kodak introduced the "Colorburst" line in the late seventies - this particular model hails from 1981. As you can see, it's a big boy.  Not the kind of thing you slip into your pocket.  The 350 has amenities like a built in flash, and even a spot on the back reserved for the included monogram stickers to personalize the camera.

An enraged Polaroid sued Kodak to put a stop to Colorburst - winning more than 900 million dollars in what was a landmark settlement in 1990.  Kodak offered their customers their money back if they mailed in the camera's front nameplate.  That's why sometimes these cameras are difficult to identify in "the wild" - they seldom have their Kodak branding still intact.

Colorburst_monogramIt's interesting to note that Polaroid and Kodak had a relationship before this. Kodak was the manufacturer of Polaroid film from 1963-69.  I didn't find any reference to suspicion of Kodak's having used this knowledge in the development of their own instant format.  There was even a visible difference between the two formats - the Kodak photos had a matte finish rather than the typical shiny Polaroid print thanks to Kodak's emulsions being in reverse order from Polaroid's.

Today the notion of "instant" photos aren't the magical miracle they once were.  Both Polaroid and Kodak have their sights zoomed in on the world of digital photography & printing, but at the same time both hold onto their decades old film heritage. - whether it's instant or not.


Another Kodak "Instamatic"
Polaroid I-Zone Camera
Polaroid Pinhole Cameras
Polaroid Today


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