Sunday, January 25, 2009

Crosley Camera: "Vaporware?"

The "Crosley Camera Press Jr. Model" was mentioned in the Crosley story as a product that had been put on the market and lost a lot of money.

My source on that was unreliable, unfortunately. The tale of loss was a fabrication. The Crosley Corporation announced the camera, but never got it into production. It began as an idea presented by someone outside the company. It was going to be a camera with everything, and--in the manner of nearly all Crosley products--it would have something different. In this case, the product would look different. The back would be convex, touted as enhancing the focal length of the lens.

The 35mm camera would, according to Crosley announcements, come with a bunch of extras, including a flash reflector, "steadying handle," built-in flash bulb socket, built-in flash synchronization, built-in receptacle for flash (hot shoe), and more. In the Crosley tradition, one or two "extras" weren't exactly extras. (Rather like an ad in the Cincinnati Enquirer touting WLW's grand opening broadcast as "Absolutely Free!")

The Camera magazine pretty much summed up the situation: "The Crosley camera, much touted in advance ballyhoo, has been removed from this year's market, may appear next year instead ..."

Why didn't the camera make it to the market? Like the Xervac and Reado, the Crosley Press, Jr. Model Camera got lost in the shuffle of the war.


JimBo said...

I recently re-watched a 1988 Crosley special maybe from a PBS type station that showed a Crosley camera prototype in a museum somewhere. It was kind of round in shape. So they must have made at least one.


Michael A. Banks said...

I have that program on videotape. I'd forgotten that it showed a camera; I'll check it out.

I did pick up somewhere that the sides were curved.

philander said...

I know this is on old thread but perhaps someone will see it. The Ohio Camera Collector's Society is doing a research project on Cameras Made in Ohio. We would love to include the Crosley in the project even though it never made it to market. Any leads, photos etc would be appreciated. Thanks! Dan Hausman