On blogging, and the Kodak Kodaslide tabletop slide viewer

Today I saw a presentation at coughcoughMicrosoftcough by Scott Rosenberg about his book Say Everything: How blogging began, what it’s becoming, and why it matters. On the topic of ever-evolving media forms (e.g., blogs replacing old media, Twitter replacing blogs, etc.), he indicated that no form of media truly extinguishes another. “The new medium redefines the old,” he said, “and helps us see its essence.”

I’d like to think that this is what blogging does for the typewriter. Did typists of the past ever imagine that someday, tactile sensation would be mostly expunged from the act of forming written thoughts? That new disposable technology would create great amounts of toxic refuse, and require expensive investments on a regular upgrade cycle? That typewriters, machines in regular use for 100 years, would quickly become nothing more than jewelry, movie props, and shorthand symbols for technophobia, due to our ready reception of marketing messages that tell us mechanical equals obsolescence?

And, climbing off my soapox, I turn now to the long-neglected topic of the Kodak Kodaslide tabletop slide viewer (bonus points to anyone who can find solid interweb documentation of this device; I could not). This fully functional early 50’s era electric tabletop slide projector has been sitting on my dining room table for a month (at least), waiting for me to do a post about it. Originally, I filmed a videocast demonstrating it in use, but it turned out that *I* appeared in the video, in all my fast-talking camera-unreadiness, and so only this lone frame (and the one below) of the original film has been salvaged. (I might perhaps re-film the demo, provided I can find a suitable spokesmodel. The husband, perhaps?)

It’s quite a convenient alternative to slide projectors and screens and whatall if you have a stack of slides you’d like to view. However, my own parents are hoarding any slides of relevance to me in an Arkansan hallway closet full of 50 year old clothes and bags of expired personal beauty products (dad, you KNOW you need to clean those closets), and thus, I unfortunately have no use for it myself, despite its delightfully retro-futuristic pod-shaped form and distressed vintage case. It was given to me by a friend of my husband’s, who knew it would be just the thing for a Strikethru post.

Could anyone out there make better use of this item than I can? You KNOW that you need a Kodaslide tabletop viewer. You have my permission to brush aside any family members/second thoughts that argue otherwise, if this device will serve your slide-viewing needs.

It even comes with handy slide drawers and a replacement lightbulb:

12 Comments

  1. I have a box full of ’50s/’60s-era slides that I got from my brother-in-law, who got them from a college’s marketing or design department. However, I really have no space for this viewer, as nifty as it is. I would be happy to send you the box of slides, however, so that you can enjoy it.

    I scanned several, which I could have sworn that I uploaded to Flickr, but now I can’t find them. The only one that survives is this Poladroid rending of a slide advertising wall cork.

    Word verification: gambert: Dilbert’s gambling-addicted brother.

  2. Sigh…isn’t it enough that you try to get me hooked on insane hobbies like block printing? I mean, I expected this kind of thing from mpclemens and Olivander, but now the Luddosphere has a trifecta of bad influences. If Duffy, Monda, and LFP get on board, I’m screwed.

    Lucky for me I don’t have any slides.

    Olivander: Is that…Diane Keaton?

  3. Oh, that’s a cool one for sure. I love the little drawers.

    As I pass up all the old-school projectors in the thrift stores, I can’t help wondering if they could be re-done to use something like an LED cluster of lights (like from a flashlight) to modernize the light source. Those bulbs are surely made of Unobtanium.

    I would also like to mention that slides are just a 2″x2″ square frame, there’s no saying that you can’t put your own artwork in there: something drawn on transparency slide material might do nicely. And slide mounts are not hard to come by if you know where to look. Just sayin’

  4. “And slide mounts are not hard to come by if you know where to look.”

    See what I mean? It’s stuff like that. A bad, bad crowd.

    I totally snorted laughter at “Unobtanium,” though.

  5. Must. Resist. Temptation.

    I happen to have a filmstrip projector, long ago auctioned off by the local school system. This is one of those with the cassette tape that “beeps” to automatically advance the film.

    I also have an Olympus Pen D, half-frame camera. Shoots motion-picture format images on 35mm film. The same frame size that the filmstrip projector takes.

    You can see where this is heading, can’t you?

    I shoot slide film in the Pen D, get it processed but not cut or mounted into frames. Roll up film strip, thread into machine. Put Pink Floyd tape in cassette of “Dark Side of the Moon.” Everytime the right tone is hit, the filmstrip advances, seemingly at random, as if by magic.

    No, I don’t need another film-related toy.

    Must. Resist.

    ~Joe

  6. Joe, tape the ends of that film loop together and you’ve got guaranteed entertainment for your local head-shop crowd.

    A Pen D? *jealous* I have an EE-S2 which is great, but rather plasticky and limited. I love this idea, though. I’ll be there at your gallery opening.

  7. Great fun, but if I can’t write or take pictures with it…

    wait. I know a public school or two down the road with tons of this old stuff in closets…

  8. Here is a backup device for you:

    http://www.tias.com/8354/PictPage/1922557893.html

    (It doesn’t seem to be the identical model, but I could be wrong.)

  9. Personally, I have a light table but this is a really cool toy. I love to look through old slides in the hope of someday finding a masterpiece someone else shot and they never claimed copyright so I can sell it and make a lot of money. I’m just kidding of course but it would be a nice idea …

    You can still get slide film all over the web so try shooting some yourself and play with it a bit.

  10. It reminds me of the CRT Imac. My grandparents on their 50 wedding anniversary busted out all their old slides. It’s crazy how times change so quick. Slides were the facebook of the day. Something to add that special touch to a family party. Sigh, what is this world coming to?

  11. Nup

    Having just completed an epic 2+ year project last year where I scanned 25,000+ slides (that is not hyperbole, but an actual figure) of my dad, grandfather and great grandfather’s photos, I am not sure I am ready to deal with anything related to slides again. But, I do have to say that is a cool looking viewer device and would surely have come in handy had I had it when working on that project.

  12. Anonymous

    I would take that slide viewer off your hands in a hot minute….but alas…..it is now 2013…..I come to this thread quite late.