Flash Cube Flashback!

I found this Kodak commercial from the 60’s. It thrills me.

It’s new! It’s now! It’s Flash Cube!

Help me…. I can’t stop go-go dancing…

Does anyone else remember flash cubes, or am I really starting to show my age? I was a child of the ’70’s and my first camera predated me, but I have very clear memories of those little cubes. You only got 4 flashes per cube…

Whatever you do, don’t blink!

This was my first camera:


No frills, circa 1968-’73 with no built-in flash. It had a manual wind-on mechanism and I distinctly remember the resounding “click” when you pressed the shutter and the torturous process of winding back the film at the end of a roll. I used to think I was pretty special because my camera had two different settings for if it was sunny or overcast, as you can see in the picture above, just above the lens. It took crappy pictures, but I didn’t care. I took it everywhere with me. Nice to see nothing has changed in that regard…

Ohh, look! I found a picture of me with my trusty Instamatic 33:


I still have the photos I took that day, which would illustrate beautifully the quality (or lack thereof) of the prints, but I couldn’t be arsed going through 30 boxes to find them. I think I still have the camera somewhere, too….

I am such a hoarder.

Song Of The Day – Cream – Tales Of Brave Ulysses



  1. I Am Blog said,

    May 13, 2007 at 8:20 am

    Thanks for the blast from the past! I have some funny pictures from way back then – just need to find the box their in. Great memories! You know this would make a good blog meme if you wanted to start one — post a photo from the 60’s and one now of something similar or the say thing (i.e. car in the 60’s and car now, you in your fav. dress then and now) — or just a random picture from then and now.

  2. Vanessa said,

    May 13, 2007 at 9:29 am

    Hmmm… .a meme, eh? I like yer thinkin’! It’s probably a bit late to do it with this one now, as I’ve not given it that specific focus, but I have a thrazillion old photos and I’ll keep that in mind for next time I go on a nostalgia kick (probably tomorrow, heh).

    Gosh, now you’ve done it. I’m going to drive people mad with memes. Hah!

    You really ought to dig out that box……. πŸ˜‰

  3. Meg said,

    May 14, 2007 at 12:41 am

    Geez I remember and that melted, misty colour they’d go when you’d use a flash! I’m sure I had one of those too – or someone in the family did. Thanks for the flashback (hehe pardon the pun)

  4. Meg said,

    May 14, 2007 at 12:42 am

    D’oh – you’d already dun the pun

  5. Jennifer said,

    May 14, 2007 at 1:57 am

    Video didn’t play…. just a it’a a flash? I love that picture! How cute…. I am a child of the 70’s also and I remember those kind of photos. Don’t hord stuff man sell it on Ebay! I should talk it took me a day to dig out two cords that go to the first computer I ever owned. It still works and is loaded with kids programs so I am finally giving it to my janitor and his gang of little mexicans. This is an Apple computer and it’s at least 14 years old…….. it’s time to say goodbye.. it works great though!

  6. Vanessa said,

    May 14, 2007 at 3:21 am

    Meg – hah! Leaving everyone looking vaguely corpse-like. All those photos have faded horribly with time, or did they look that bad in the first place? 70’s photos had a brownish hue… 60’s kinda blueish….

    Jennifer- The video plays fine for me on a couple of computers. Give it another try. You have an old Apple? Wow. Is it one of those ones with the teeny tiny monitor? I used to use them… That’s very cool that it still works. I’ll bet you could get quite a lot for it on ebay. There are some things I just can’t part with….. like…. books….. heh….

  7. gullybogan said,

    May 14, 2007 at 12:50 pm

    I remember those flash cubes.

    I figured out that there was this little spring-loaded wire inside the cube that – at the press of the shutter release button – slipped out of its pinion-point, flicked across, broke the end of one of the four glass tubes inside the cube, and caused the flash. Presumably something to do with letting oxygen into the evacuated chamber, so that it could react with the chemicals inside…

    Being a boy, I immediately developed this grandiose plan to build a space gun out of one of these cubes, and I tried to figure out how to trip that little wire at the pull of a trigger on an old cap gun.

    While trying to work this all out, I accidentally set the cube off in my face.

    Everything was white, then blue, then red. It stayed red a long time.

    I pretty much lost interest in the space gun after that.

  8. Vanessa said,

    May 14, 2007 at 2:51 pm

    Crikey Moses. I had no idea that’s how they worked. They might as well have loaded them with gunpowder. I wonder how many other kids nearly lost an eye (or two).

    Shame about the space gun. You could have used it in your film….

  9. May 14, 2007 at 5:30 pm


    Submited post on PressPosts.com – “Flash Cube Flashback!”

  10. Jennifer said,

    May 14, 2007 at 11:28 pm

    Yeah, Crikey moses it’s not working…… : ) I can’t even click through to You Tube.

  11. Vanessa said,

    May 15, 2007 at 5:56 am

    It’s still working fine for me…

    Here you are, my dear. Try this.. πŸ™‚

  12. Jennifer said,

    May 15, 2007 at 7:03 am

    Oh, I forgot how they rotated around….. that was so funny.

  13. Vanessa said,

    May 15, 2007 at 7:07 am

    Yah! How we take our built in flashes for granted. Only four flashes per cube! People used to get very shirty if they wasted a single shot… Then there was all that delicate glass to carry around…

    Doesn’t it make you want to go-go dance? πŸ˜€

  14. artvandalay said,

    May 15, 2007 at 2:32 pm

    Awwww….your so cute. At least the photos are colour, so your not that old.

    I remember cubes, I used to throw them against the wall, cheap thrills when I was a little shit.

  15. Vanessa said,

    May 15, 2007 at 2:46 pm

    Heh, I think that photo was circa 1980…? It was a hand-me-down camera…

    Did they explode when you threw them against a wall? Damn, why didn’t I know this?

  16. May 15, 2007 at 3:00 pm

    “Does anyone else remember flash cubes”

    Hate to admit this, but no. I was born in 1979…lol.

  17. Stiletto said,

    May 15, 2007 at 3:33 pm

    I am tapping every reserve in my brain and trying real hard to remember…It is somewhat familiar but I think –

    Holy shit! Less than eighteen bucks? (The commercial was still playing as I was typing). And everyone thought that was innovative!

  18. Vanessa said,

    May 15, 2007 at 3:50 pm

    TT – Do not despair. If you read some of the comments, you’ll see they were a menace to small children everywhere….

    Stiletto – I wonder how much $18 in 1967 is worth now? Bloody overpriced, if you ask me. Although, at the time, it was better than nothing, which is pretty much what was available before…

  19. artvandalay said,

    May 15, 2007 at 3:54 pm

    $18 bucks for the latest technology is nothing. How much are we willing to pay now for all the junk that will soon be obsolete?

  20. Vanessa said,

    May 15, 2007 at 3:57 pm

    I still reckon that would have been quite a lot of money back then…. and they’re disposable. HIGHLY disposable….

  21. sumbum said,

    May 16, 2007 at 2:14 am

    I love the picture, so very Aussie, feeding a kangaroo and all. so cute.

    I think I have one of those instamatic cameras still except I got it at a garage sale or something. I don’t know if it works but it looks pretty kick ass sitting on my shelf.

  22. Vanessa said,

    May 16, 2007 at 2:50 am

    I think I’ll do a blog of photos of me with kangaroos. I seem to have a slightly disproportionate number of photos of me looking like a tourist in my own country….

    (Roo’s in the wild won’t let you get within 50 feet of them..)

    I wonder how easy it is to find film for those old cameras now? The old cartridge type film. Probably not that hard… You should try it out πŸ˜€

  23. maureenoz said,

    May 17, 2007 at 2:49 am

    I remember buying my first flashcube and took that camera to the world’s fair in New York City in 1962. I was the only girl in the science club that went on the trip and I thought I had the world by the tail. I was only 14. Sweet and innocent and popped more flashcubes than anyone I knew. How times have changed.

  24. Vanessa said,

    May 17, 2007 at 2:59 am

    Aw, that’s a cute story. How exciting that must have been…. I’d have uesd up a bucketload of flash cubes on an outing like that.. heh.

    Thanks for dropping by πŸ™‚

  25. woofwoof said,

    May 23, 2007 at 12:26 am

    luv it!

  26. Vanessa said,

    May 23, 2007 at 3:01 am

    Thank you! πŸ™‚

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