The Fotron III camera by Triad

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The Fotron III camera by Triad

Post by Niner » Mon Jun 07, 2021 12:55 pm

Fotron made by Triad in the 60's was sold door to door. There were three versions that were made in succession over ten years and they were all pretty much the same except for the later ones having only two zone focus buttons instead of three. Asside from plenty of buttons to push, to make photography simple for the simple, they did a few novel things, like a cartridge proprietary 828 film cartridge that sold for $3 each and only usable in the Triad camera from 1962 to 1971. It had a built in flash, which was cutting edge in 1962, and a film automatic transport, and rechargeable built in battery which was novel. The only big problem, besides the rip off of having to buy your film from the seller and pay a relatively high cost of developing and printing, by them as well, was that the camera cost $520 in 1970 having started out at a retail price of about $140 in 1962. The big reason why the increase in price is that they weren't sold over the counter in stores. They were sold door to door like a vacuum cleaner. That probably drove the price as these cameras were "sold", not selected by a buyer on their own. A door to door salesman wasn't knocking on doors for chump change....and his boss wanted a profit too. The biggest target were unsophisticated house wives who bought them on the time payment plan. Multiple class action suites were brought against the company for being a scam selling these things to the public at prices that weren't justifiable in common sense ways. They eventually had to fold their tent and go away.

I couldn't resist the curiosity factor. I made an offer of $10 plus shipping for one that arrived today. There's a film cartridge in the camera and it came with an extra that appears to be "fresh". It can be charged up....maybe. I have the charging card too. However, this thing might be better left unused for collector value of the imaginary sort as of today.

One thing about the camera is that it isn't any compact camera and weights in at 2.5 pounds. No way to attach a tripod either.....maybe a vice grip.
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