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 The Thunderbird Camera… named after “The American Classic”. Long after receiving this camera, I happened into a small fortune of c41 127 size film. Thought I’d blast a roll through the Thunderbird. I was shocked to find that this camera expressed itself in true form as a pillar of visual culture! The images! After the photo lab gave me the processing for free (yet another mistaken idea that the pictures didn’t “come out”, see terms and definitions ) I had a revelation about this camera … it can only see life as if from a park bench-morning-after episode. Honest to God. Check it out. I love these images!

The stats: accepts 127 size roll film. 12 square exposures. Completely plastic. McKeown’s has it listed under “Brumberger” but it’s just like the Mark XII and I can tell that Herbert George is most likely the father. In fact, the Thunderbird camera is just like a lot of plastic cameras that are named after cars. Most were put out by Spartus. I wonder why this one is named after a brand of fortified wine?

This camera holds hope and I think I may muck around with it a bit … possibly put it on a twelve step program.

I revisited the site of my most favorite Thunderbird Camera image. Though it caught on fire a number of years ago, it remains standing. There was a guy there, totally tweaked-out on meth. His friend came over, thinking I was taking their picture. We spoke for a moment. He appreciated the old camera. He works at Subway. I doubt I’ll be eating there any time soon.

2 Responses

  1. I love the connection with a cheap fortified wine. There is an English “tonic wine” made in the name of Buckfast Abbey in Devon, which is a great favourite of Scottish underage drinkers and ne’er-do-wells. The abbey had a display in the chapel promoting Buckfast Tonic Wine for a “better life” (cheers…) which raised a smile, but the grin was caused by the side chapel dedicated to “Our Lady of Buckfast” – that prompted a very different mental picture to what the monks might have had in mind. If you can stand the cough-medicine taste and survive the alcohol&caffeine combination , you too will see the world like the Keystone camera. Before freaking out.

    1. I just looked it up … “Bucky”! That’s hilarious. It looks very Manischewitz-like. I’ll be there in a couple of weeks and I just might need to try it. Or not. Thanks, Tom!

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