Friday, September 30, 2011

Of Course I Wasn't At The Fair...

... but if I had been, here are the sorts of photos I probably would have taken with the Kodak Brownie we had at the time:

It's good to have surrogates out there in the world working for us, even if we'll never know all of their names.


  1. The picture format reminds me of a camera my mother had when I was young. Unless I'm mistaken the pictures were taken on 127 film. It was huge compared to 35mm.
    My parents got me a developing kit somewhere around the time they got me a crystal radio kit. Before, I think. I guess they were looking for hobbies for me.
    I never used the film developer part of it because it had a bunch of yucky chemicals and also it seemed like there was a good chance of ruining the film. The kit also a contact printer which I did use to expose photographic paper to light filtered through the negatives. I only ever printed black and white pictures. After exposing the paper you had to soak it in a tray of stinky liquid to bring out the dark spots where the negative had been clear.
    Then you had to hang the paper to dry. I remember doing it in the bathroom with a red light screwed into the socket. I had to put the trays on the toilet. There was a developer trat and a stopper tray. And if you didn't put it in the stopper quick enough it was ruined.
    I didn't make a hobby of it. It was easier to take the film to the drug store. I used up the chemicals that came with the kit and quit.
    I mention all this to put the memory into context. You didn't need an enlarger to print 127 film. You just laid the (square) negative in the middle of a square piece of paper that was just enough bigger to make a border. Then you laid the thing on a special little light box, with an insert frame to align the film and block the border from being exposed. I suspect some professionals used an alignment frame with cutouts to expose the date onto the paper. Sometimes the dates were printed with ink, tho. Looks like, anyway.
    You turned on the light in the lightbox to make the exposure and then you developed the paper by running it through chemicals that you then evaporated into the air in a small room.
    That's why I recognize the format. It's part of my chemical exposure/sensitivity history.

  2. But anyway, that's one of my favorite things about "social networking" is online friends who bring me links of interest I might not find on my own.
    I tell people "half my brain is on the Internet" and my dumbness shows when I'm not connected.
    Your use of the word surrogates makes me realize it's plural. It's not that "half my brain" is in the network. It's that I have so many brain surrogates who are part of the network. The network makes us smarter, if we want. I mean, if we find smarter surrogates. It can also make us dumber, if that's the kind of surrogate information gatherers we adopt. Our brains trend toward the average intelligence of our group.