The South Plains College Media Communication Department received an interesting Christmas gift this year. In early December, employees at the Salvation Army Family Store in Levelland donated a small suitcase of vintage cameras to the department.
The bag, originally donated to the Levelland Salvation Army by Beth Wels, was full of about a dozen vintage cameras of various makes and models. Students in COMM 1316 News Photography got a chance to handle them during the first week of class.
By far, the largest and heaviest camera in the bag is a Polaroid Land Camera Model 150. According to a 2012 Bostom.com article called “History of Polaroid and Edwin Land”, the first Polaroid camera was released in Boston in 1948.
The Polaroid Land Camera Model 150 dates back to 1957. Various camera websites say this camera is part of Polaroid’s first series of folding cameras that used instant film in rolls. The camera’s instruction manual, which is still available on the internet, says a picture taken on the camera developed within 60 seconds.
As cool as it would be to try this camera out, film for it was discontinued back in the 1990s. But that didn’t stop students from looking through the camera’s viewfinder and snapping a shot of what they saw using their smartphones.
Billy Alonzo, Chairperson of the South Plains College Media Communication Department, says he plans to create a display of vintage cameras within the Communications Building.