Carousel

“Well, technology is a glittering lure. But there’s the rare occasion when the public can be engaged on a level beyond flash, if they have a sentimental bond with the product. My first job, I was in-house at a fur company, with this old pro copywriter. Greek, named Teddy. And Teddy told me the most important idea in advertising is “new”. Creates an itch. You simply put your product in there as a kind of… calamine lotion. But he also talked about a deeper bond with the product: nostalgia. It’s delicate… but potent. Teddy told me that in Greek, “nostalgia” literally means, “the pain from an old wound”. It’s a twinge in your heart, far more powerful than memory alone. This device isn’t a spaceship. It’s a time machine. It goes backwards, forwards. It takes us to a place where we ache to go again. It’s not called the Wheel. It’s called a Carousel. It lets us travel the way a child travels. Around and around, and back home again… to a place where we know we are loved.” -Don Draper, pitching the name of the Carousel slide projector to Kodak executives, Season 1 of Mad Men

Extachrome Slide from August, 1970, marked "Tower, Britain".

Extachrome Slide from Aug. 1970, marked “Tower, Britain”.

I bought a Kodak Carousel Transvue 80 Slide Tray at a Savers thrift shop for $1.99 this past weekend. Not because I have a slide projector, although someday, I may pick one up, but because when I opened the box, inside I saw this tantalizing Kodak Extachrome slide, shot in the UK in August, 1970. Who is the guard? Who are the tourists? Who was the photographer? What camera/lens combo did he/she use? What is the “tower”?

I blogged before on found film, but this is my first found slide. The colors are crisp, vibrant, the image sharp. Particularly for an almost 44-year-old image.

Who took this transparency, and what is the story behind it?

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