Week 42 - 2015

The carousel of memory

Kodak Carousel S-AV 2050, 1980-tallet, slide-projector. Preus museum's collection.

The carousel of memory

Some of you recognize the Kodak Carousel. Maybe you remember the whir of the fan and the aroma of warm slides where you're sitting in the dark looking at slides from your vacation or listening to a lecture at school illustrated with slides.


The tray could be loaded with eighty slides. It was important to insert them upside down and backwards if they were to appear correctly on the screen. The slides were preferably mounted in frames with glass so that the sharpness of the images wouldn't be lost when they were shown; heat from the lamp could cause the slides to be bent in the frame. The projector in the picture is a newer model from the 1980s that has autofocus.  


The Kodak Carousel was patented 11 May 1965 by David E. Hansen, a Kodak engineer. The original Kodak Carousel was actually manufactured in Germany as early as 1963.


As advertising man Don Draper said in the TV series "Mad Men" when he pitched his ad for this memory machine in the 1960s: "This device isn't a space ship, it's a time machine. It goes backwards and forwards, it takes us to a place where we ache to go again. This is not called 'the wheel.' It's called a carousel. It lets us travel the way a child travels, around and around, back home again to a place where we know we are loved."


In the picture one also sees the striking yellow box for the tray where the slides were kept. The same yellow color is on the Preus Museum anniversary book that has just been published, the volume presenting a history of photography which among much else contains various projectors, one of which is a Kodak Carousel S-AV 2050.





See Don Draper present "The Carousel":

Mad Men: The Carousel from raychancc on Vimeo.