Just a couple of weeks ago I was on my way to do my Strolling/Close up Magic for a retirement party. My trip took me on rte. 128. I passed a building being demolished. I remember this building so well. When I was a kid it was one of the largest on that highway. Also the buildings were rather sparse back then. It represented the cutting edge of invention. It had a product that was “The Greatest Thing since Sliced Bread.” The building I knew way back then was owned and operated by the POLAROID Co. Remember them? One of the fastest growing and largest money making firms of the 50s, 60s and 70s. Just imagine, you could take a picture, it would pop out of the box or you opened the back and in 60 seconds you peeled off a fully developed black and white picture. Instant gratification, maybe Polaroid was also the foundation of our impatient society. (But that’s a stretch.) On the first cameras, each film cartridge came along with tube of fixative. Unless you’re an old time photographer you’re probably unaware of what fixative was. It was the same process that was used in the darkroom. If you didn’t put your final product in fixative, the photo would fade away. It was kind of like Magic. An actual picture in your hand in 60 seconds. In reality, the quality was second rate compared to film, but for many that didn’t matter. With film, you took your pictures, brought them to the drug store. They went them out to be developed and printed, and at best you would get them back in a week. It was like waiting for Christmas.
Polaroid kept developing more advanced and better quality cameras and pictures, but they could never stand side by side with a 35 mm picture. Little did that matter…no matter how great your imagination, you couldn’t see the digital age in your rear view mirror. I don’t have to tell you of the digital revolution. Magic strikes again, and it will strike again, I don’t know when or how, but sure as I’m at this keyboard something will surpass the age of digital everything. I suppose I’ll be gone. As long as you live you are constantly experiencing the Magic of change. Just a wave of a “Magical time Wand” greater things lie ahead. Joe Ferranti “Magician for All Occasions.”