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.

Subminiature Film Fun

Canon 110 ED

We're spoiled by modern miniature gadgetry. Things were different back in the early 1970s: Phones were attached to the wall by wires, Honda and Toyota vehicles were regarded as toys, the Intel 4004 was the pinnacle of microprocessor technology, and digital photography was unheard of.

Kodak introduced the tiny 110 cartridge format in 1972, along with a lineup of sleek little Pocket Instamatic cameras. Their top of the line model was the stainless steel Pocket Instamatic 60 with automatic exposure and rangefinder. They went on to produce such cameras at the rate of about 8 million per year, and the 110 format remained popular throughout the 1990s.

The 110 format didn't fare well in the digital age because of its tiny negative size, which made it somewhat challenging to produce respectable enlargements. Of course, the big problem with 110 was that the vast majority of these tiny cameras were cheaply made with dodgy lenses and very few exposure control options - users mistakenly believed that the film itself was to blame for the blurry images generated by these department store specials, while the truth was that the cameras themselves were junk. In fact, the 13 x 17 mm frame size is significantly larger than a Super 8 image (or even a 16 mm movie film frame, for that matter).

The reality is that a high-end subminiature camera can produce wonderful images. Such devices are still manufactured by Minox, but it's worth watching out for well-maintained vintage cameras such as the Canon ED, which featured a 26mm f/2 lens, CdS cell aperture-priority electronic exposure, and a coincidence rangefinder with  parallax correction marks. It measures a mere 142 x 28 x 56 mm and weighs 295g. Many other good quality Pocket Instamatics feature focusable multi-element lenses with electronic exposure metering. They're small enough to slip into a pocket and are guaranteed conversation starters (Yes, Kodak still manufactures the little 110 film cartridge).

Kodak Pocket Instamatic 60

Minox Subminiature Cameras


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