Monroe Sales Color-Flex Camera

EBay has a section within the Photo category called “Wholesale Lots”. There’s some really weird stuff there. There’s also mis-placed, mis-labeled and mis-described items for sale there. One day I came upon a pile of cameras that’d been mis-everything-ed. Misspelled, even. These misfits succumbed to my bid of about fifteen bucks. A few days before the package arrived ( which was months after I’d “won” the cameras ), I did something that gave me bad karma (explained below). I generally have good karma. The generally good karma brought to me this Color-Flex camera within a mish-mash of mistreated miscellany. The sender didn’t use one bit of packing material. His misdeed caused every camera but one to be nearly completely smashed. Misshapen, as it were. Okay. I’ll stop my missive. This Color-Flex camera suffered only one small crack however, I’m convinced that the bad karma caused the breakage.

This camera has two film counter windows in the back. You advance the film until the number “1” is in window A. Take a picture. Then, you advance the film until you see “1” in window B. The images are a bit overlapped, which is pretty typical for this type of camera.

As it turns out, the camera is a bit rare. My friend Doug Wilcox told me not to worry about the crack. He said, “The camera is Catholic. Camera, heal thyself!”

Images taken with the Color-Flex Cameras:

McKeown’s PRICE GUIDE TO ANTIQUE & CLASSIC CAMERAS 2001-2002 states that the Color-Flex was made by the Monroe Sales Company, “c1947. Simple aluminum TLR-style camera. Cream colored enamel and burgundy leatherette covering. Uncommon. With matching burgundy leatherette case, in mint condition: $150 -225. As usually found, with minor abrasions to enamel: $50 – 75.”

My camera doesn’t say Monroe Sales Co. on it anywhere. It does say “Photo Laboratories” on the front lens ring.

Here’s my bad karma incident:

I had some work in an exhibit that was being held in the lobby of a theater during a certain play’s run. The day of the opening, I met my friend at the theater ahead of time, since she was going to put together the snack trays, drinks, etc. Turns out she didn’t need my help, so I sat down on a sofa and entertained her with interesting and playful banter while she toiled. As I was sitting there, the playwright entered. She opened the door and locked her glaring eyes on me. She stomped right up to me, leaned over and never once smoothed her who-the-hell-are-you expression. My friend introduced us. Immediately the playwright ( who I’ll refer to from now on as “the playwright”) said, “Put you to work!” She didn’t ask if I wanted to be put to work. She didn’t ask if I minded helping her ( and I wouldn’t have minded helping her if she’d lost the ‘tude)  … she simply blurted the words out “PUT YOU TO WORK!” Whatever. I hated her from the moment she laid her buggy eyes on me. So, she pulled this cheap picture frame out of her bag. It was a photo of her dressed as Mae West. The glass was cracked. She handed me a new cheap frame and said, “Frame this.” She wanted me to take the photo out of the broken frame and put it into the new one. I proceeded to do just that, though at one point, I discretely turned my head, stuck my finger in my nose and slapped a bit of my DNA inside the new frame’s glass. That photo’s hangin’ in the lobby for the remainder of the play’s run.

Confessing my sins.

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