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Monday, February 14, 2011

Gadgetology: A 35mm Slide Home.

Born in the 60's, I naively think that everyone had the same childhood as I, but maybe that's not quite true. Let's look at one experience I think everyone must have had: random afternoons with parents or other relatives and stacks of Kodak slide carousels and a slide projector humming in anticipation for the next slide to be dropped. I can almost remember the roasted ozone and burning dust odor of the lamp and the click! clack! click! of the slide exchanger. Endlessly rotating through slide after slide of unfamiliar cars, previous addresses, hobbies and occupations of my pre-kinder parents, with a few random relatives, friends, pets, and strangers thrown in . I don't think those marathon sessions affected me adversely except that maybe it's why I've had to purchase almost every folding mini-slide viewer I see (well, not every one). I can't seem to locate any presently, but I did hang on to this one I purchased years ago.
Complete with case, pristine Bake-light construction, and working bulb (tho dim), it has been living in my attic for several years. I just liked the design, and I have a collection of non family slides (more on that later). I'd always heard that Bake-light was very collectible, but I don't know why. I enjoyed seeing 3 samples of this viewer on Ebay averaging $250 (no bids on any of them). It wasn't until a good "dig" 2 weeks ago that caused me to make this re-appear and assemble my slide transfer exhibit "Then and Now" display.
I was lucky enough to find an Estate Sale in the middle of the worst New England Winter (O come on! It is!) that was located in Ridgefield, CT. The drive there was precarious, not because it was snowing, but more because every local road has been reduced to 1.5 lanes making any journey on hilly or winding roads unnecessarily thrilling. The house was rundown, but not by poverty, this was owned by an eccentric. A chemical engineer/inventor who had worked for Timex and received a few patents through his work with liquid crystal watch displays. Or, that is the best I could determine from the mess left behind. I could have really spent all day here, but with AVA in tow, I felt it best to get in and get out before she and I fell victim to driving and parking conditions. There were other treasures here that will have to wait for another post, but the gadget, which is the subjst of this post was the little red unit called "The Wolverine."
Knowing that I had some 35mm slides, I thought this would be a neat purchase. It was new in the box with all the accessories minus a cleaning brush and a manual, and for about $5, I thought it might be worth it to try it out. Many many years ago, I worked as a projectionist and was able to save much of the  promotional publicity items we couldn't use from being tossed.  I managed to collect over 250 slides from various movies, many of them dogs, but kept them over the years.
I've since found the manual and specs for the "Wolverine," It holds a 5 megapixel image sensor and can be found for anywhere between $80 and $150.  The quality is passable but different slides gave me different results, some were disappointing. But, since I am not planning on keeping the movie images, I will just have to be satisfied with the family pictures, which also transfer good and bad.

"Well, I guess it's time to write another blog post."
Behind every blogger, there is a woman, dissatisfied with how he is spending his time. My apologies to my childhood friend, Tracy Squires, who has no idea this picture still exists, nor has she given permission for its use...have to ask her one of these days.

1 comment:

  1. I plan on suing you as soon as possible,
    You bastard,
    miss you,
    luv tracey


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