The Rise in Vintage: Why Old Stuff is More Popular Than Ever
In recent years, it seems there has been a growing interest in vintage items, from fashion and home decor to photography and music. The appeal of vintage or retro items can be attributed to several factors, including the quality and durability found in old things, the unique individuality that they have, and the desire to move away from mass-produced items that dominate today's society.
Word Check: Vintage refers to something that is authentic from an era of at least twenty years prior, while retro means that it's new but imitates an item of the past.
So, my Polaroid TimeZero from 1981 is vintage, and my Polaroid Now+ from 2021 is retro.
I wanted to name this blog post The Rise of Retro for a nice alliteration, but regretfully that'd be incorrect.
I like stuff that's tangible.
One of the greatest advantages of Polaroid prints is their physicality. Unlike digital images that are stored on a device, Polaroid prints are touchable and can be held in your hand. This gives them a nostalgic and tangible quality that can't be explained.
Somehow it's the last day in January and I haven't written a thing for 2023. -_-
Here's a [now incomplete] picture of my Polaroid camera collection! Most are vintage.
The cool thing about seeing the different models is that it's sort of representing time snippets. You can see the evolution of how the designers at Polaroid were improving, or at least changing, the body styles of the cameras.
Meet the TimeZero.
The Polaroid OneStep TimeZero was launched in 1981 as a replacement for the original OneStep, which was made by Polaroid from 1977 to 1980. The original Polaroid OneStep traditionally had the white face plate, but the TimeZero only came in black. I believe it was also the only Polaroid camera to have a square shutter button instead of round.
The body of the TimeZero is completely plastic, and has one lens with a fixed aperture of f14. It was named TimeZero because of a breakthrough in their SX-70 film packs, which claimed to punch out a faster-developing instant photo.
Edwin's work stacked upon British chemist William Herapath (1820-1868), who had unsuccessfully tried to make large synthetic crystals that would simulate the natural crystals, which were the best polarizers available for the time.
Edwin saw an alternative.
Using fine polarizing crystals he produced, he suspended them in a liquid lacquer, and using an electromagnet, he aligned them.
Using a sheet of thin, clear plastic, he made a continuous sheet of crystals. And as the lacquer dried, the crystals kept their position.
The result was ground breaking: a pliable, thin, transparent polarizing sheet that was cheap to make.