There aren’t a lot of slide films available on the market today, but 35mm slide films were the norm back in the days, and slide projectors were mainstays in most homes. Among them, as today’s featured retro commercial shows, is the Kodak 300 Slide Projector – a portable projector that could be carried like a briefcase. It reminds us of an era before computer slide shows, online photo galleries, albums on social media, and how flipping through photos was a form of entertainment for family and friends.
As suggested by the commercial, shared by Vintage Fanatic on YouTube, browsing through everyday photos and vacation snaps was a typical entertainment and bonding activity many decades past. Slide films and slide projectors were widely used during the 1950s, with families and friends gathering to view slideshows. Today, we just flip through photos on our digital devices and social media accounts without the need for projectors. Convenient, yes. Personal? Maybe not in the same way as the 1950s.
As for the projector in the commercial, the Kodak 300 Projector was introduced in 1957 as an ultra-portable option for viewing slides. “…so lightweight you can carry it like a portable radio…so compact, you can store it on a bookshelf,” goes the ad that came out in the January 1958 issue of Popular Mechanics. At the time, it was the only projector that had the completely new Kodak Readymatic Slide Changer, which could take up to 36 slides per loading. A self-storing magazine type slide changer was also available. Watch a demo of this projector below:
We bet vintage collectors and film photographers who love hunting and collecting slides from flea markets would like to get their hands on a slide projector like this. If that sounds like you, check out this eBay listing of a dark green Kodak 300 Slide Projector Model 1 in good condition (but untested), or this dark blue Kodak 300 Slide Projector unit with a missing latch on one side of the cover, which was tested and found to be in working condition.
Screenshot image from the video