Monday, May 21, 2012

What are the Vintage Displays Missing?

I imagine that if you like to buy old cameras that you like me have spent some time looking in antique shops.  I have noticed that some shops have taken to putting items together by eras in such a way that would be suggestive to a decorator.  This makes sense since it seems that younger people are interested in using vintage items for decorating more than for collecting. I saw one shop, Just Vintage, in Tuscola, Illinois that is wholly given over to this approach. I remember walking in there and feeling a little like I had gone back to a house in my 1960's childhood.  I would guess this is a trend that will increase as shops try to attract the younger buyers.  And while I have nothing against this approach I do as someone who actually lived through those times find one thing missing. 

I know I have my bias in this area, however I can't help but wonder where the cameras are.  My memory of the 60's and 70's and I imagine it is true also of the 50's is that a still or movie camera was present at every event.  Birthdays, holidays, and trips were all documented on film. At least I know this was true of my family and the other families that I grew up around.  And I am pretty sure it was a wide-spread trend at the time. Along with taking the images getting together to see the pictures was a social event.  Probably few people who lived at the time escaped a long evening of viewing someones vacation slides or movies. So I wonder why something that was such a part of those eras seldom is part of these vintage displays?  I suppose that is a question I should ask the next time I see someone who is responsible for one of these displays.

In writing this I got to thinking of how we view images has changed.  I don't think that many of us get together these days to view images the way we did when someone pulled out the movie or slide projector.  While we still share images, maybe even more than we once did, most of the viewing is done individually on some kind of screen.  Everybody in a wide group may see an image, however not at the same time and in the same room.  Although probably most of us don't miss the sometimes endless slideshows or movie nights they did at least teach that there is value in good editing.


  1. I have never looked in Antique shops for cameras. I haven't been in an Antique shop for over 15 years. Am I missing out on a possible treasure ? Great article..


    1. So far I haven't found a lot of good deals, however I don't think that most dealers know much about the value of cameras. So by and large a lot of what I see is over-priced. Still a few times I have found some that were much lower than they should have been. Probably the best deal I found was a Minolta 7SII in mint condition with the case and flash for ten dollars. Still if it wasn't for I find these shops an interesting place to take pictures I don't know if the time would be worth it.