Google Analytics

Monday, 24 April 2023

Slide Projector


I always feel a little sad when a once treasured item becomes obsolete, such as this slide projector. Having digitised our colour slides, we realised how much easier and convenient it is to click through them on a computer. 

I switched on the projector for the first time in fifteen years and was reminded how noisy and temperamental it can be. The slide change motor started up and was difficult to stop. I then got out the screen and remembered how awkward it is to put up, and how smelly it is, a mix of plastic and chemicals. Never again do I want to sit in the dark, breathing it in, looking at not-quite-in-focus pictures covered in dust, having to stop all too often to reload the magazines only to find I've put the slides in upside down or the wrong way round. 

I bought the projector in Leeds in 1973 after passing an accountancy exam and getting a pay rise, the first time I had disposable income. Most people had Hanimex Rondettes, but for some reason I went for the Kindermann.

 

With it in the drawer was this, which came with a load of other stuff from an uncle: a nineteen-fifties Minolta slide projector. I've not examined it before. It is very solidly made and the lens folds neatly out of the case. Very clever! It is not an automatic projector; you have to insert one slide at a time. It works, but runs worryingly hot. Not worth much. Probably also for disposal.

36 comments:

  1. Interesting post Tasker. My first husband was an excellent pagoahotographer (he was a painter in watercolour and oils so his 'composition' of a picture was first class. I never took photographs when on holiday - he took them all. They were 'slides' - I still have them but they are faded - places like Registan Square in Samarkand e.g. I so wish had a photograph of him standing there - but he died over thirty years ago. I disposed of both projector and screen when I moved here - but sad to see it go (same goes for cassettes)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I think pictures containing people, friends and relatives have the most interest when years have passed. Usually.

      Delete
  2. Sorry about 'slip up' and the spelling of photographer!!

    ReplyDelete
  3. My grandparents had a slide projector. I can not remember whether it was a Kindermann (would have made sense, it being a German brand), but it has gone more than 20 years ago when my Grandmother was the last person in their house to die, and we had to clear everything out and make it sellable. We kept many personal items (and part of my flat is furnished with their things, ranging from the 1930s to the 60s) but nobody had use for the projector or the slides.
    Thankfully, we still have many photo albums and so are not missing out on much by not having the slides anymore.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. We can't keep everything. Graham (Eagleton Notes) recently pointed out how much stuff we are now accumulating for others to deal with. I do try to photograph things I throw away, but that might just be leaving digital stuff for others to sort.

      Delete
  4. There was something special waiting for the next slide. Now everything seems so instant.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I'm not sure that's any different on a computer. Slides are still one at a time.

      Delete
  5. This post does take me back to the days when my Dad would set up the screen in the living room so we could watch the family slides or movies. We enjoyed it so much! I can remember the whirring sound and we would see the dust particles in the light beaming to the screen. Of course, we all had to stand up when it was finished and dance in that light, making our own shadows on the screen! Gosh, thanks for bringing those memories back to me with your post!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. That must have been fun. I guess one could now have a computer projector, but the dust and noise of the old projectors was part of the experience.

      Delete
  6. Yes, thank goodness for digital! A much better way to store and display images. It's funny how solid some of those old devices were. Even simple things like staplers and desk lamps weighed a ton!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. The Minolta projector is so solid. It brings home what cheap ethemeral rubbish we have to put up with these days.

      Delete
  7. Dear Tasker, while reading your interesting post, the smell of the screen was in my nose, and I heard the noise of the projector again.
    May Dad had one, of course, and he took wonderful photos.
    Later I had a Dia-Projector for my own - and was impressed by a student who only gave us twelve chosen Dias, together with music and a glass of wine - very stylish and elegant - the complete contrary of a colleague of mine who invited me "for a few pics - just say when you have enough!" (and I noticed his wife left the room...) When I uttered after his 6th roll (! many more in these than in a diary-chest) of pics that now it was enough, he said: "Only this one still" and "Only this one, it is so interesting"... then I did understand his wife - but I was so young and hadn't read a book about setting borders (in watching Dias - otherwise I could ! :-)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Do you remember the Monty Python sketch about slide shows: "this is the front of the house, and this is the side of the house, and this is the side of the house again but you can see the front of the house ..." Some people were not good editors.

      Delete
    2. I don't remember that sketch (funny!), but I remember our boss who - at the end of the Seventies! - invited us and showed us black-and-white Dias - and had a little cursor in his hand with which he pointed at details, and treated us, the audience, as if we never had been in a foreign country (a near one :-) , only him, the explorer...

      Delete
    3. It was immediately before the Spanish Inquisition. After lots of boring slides, the next was "And here is the Spanish Inquisition hiding behind the coal shed" - "Oh! I didn't expect the ....

      Delete
  8. Sitting in dark rooms looking at my father's holiday slides or under a breadfruit tree on the island of Rotuma with a projector connected to a generator and the village people "oohing!" and "aahing!" having never seen anything like it before. Memories. But you are right, that technology has been overtaken and is now obsolete.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yes, the first time you saw it, it seemed incredible, almost like a home cinema. It would have been interesting to show the islanders pictures of themselves.

      Delete
  9. Kindermann must have been top-of-the-line back in the early 70s. Good old 'deutsche Qualität'!
    I know what you mean about feeling the sort of pang of loss once a machine or gadget once often used falls out of fashion. And, with that, often one's knowledge of how the darn thing worked. I think of my old film camera(s). Would I remember how to thread the film into the body of the camera? Well, probably...

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I imagine I got the Kindermann because I thought it better than the Haminex. We are losing all kinds of past skills now. Could we use dial phones now without trapping our fingers?

      Delete
  10. My father was the photographer extraordinaire in out family. His film was Kodak 24 asa (is that right?) and the colors were spot on when I digitized them fifty years later. It's all gone now; we fire up the app on our phone.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I'm not a fan of little phone screens. A 15 inch computer screen is much better. Yes, I think it was 24 ASA, but you could get faster films. You can still look at slides and see there they are Kogak, Fuji or Agfa.

      Delete
  11. We never had a slide projector but I do still have the slides from my wedding day.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. You need then one. Want to buy one at a very reasonable price?

      Delete
  12. Haha - Luxury! Didn't know you were born! Slides we had in abundance, but only a little viewer that you held up to your face to see the pictures.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hope you didn't get fur all over the slides, Tigger.

      Delete
  13. Reading this reminded me of the slide projector I made at home. The only thing I had to buy was the lens.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. What an enterprising person! As Tigger says above, I lived a life of luxury.

      Delete
  14. It surprised me that here, there are people who look for things like this.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I know there are collectors of old photographic equipment and so on, but there seems to be lots around it's not easy to find people nearby who would come and collect it.

      Delete
  15. On a similar subject, I recall seeing ads for old movies on reels of cine film in the back of US mags when I was a kid. They only had bits of the movies, being heavily edited and not lasting very long, but this was the age before videos and DVDs. I wonder how many businesses went to the wall when home cine film became redundant - just like slides.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. The old Minolta projector came from my uncle with a box of cine film and I thought at first it was some kind of cine equipment. We had the old films transferred to video take 20 years ago, and subsequently digitised. It took quite a lot of effort to sort and organise it. The firms that did it went our of business.

      Delete

I welcome comments and hope to respond within a day or two, but vision issues are making this increasingly difficult.