This object is currently on display in room 105 as part of Bob Greenberg Selects. There are 8 other images of this object. See our image rights statement.


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SX-70 Camera And Case, 1972

This is a Camera and case. It was designed by James M. Conner and Henry Dreyfuss and project headed by Edwin Land and manufactured by Polaroid Corporation. It is dated 1972 and we acquired it in 1999. Its medium is polysulfone plastic with a layer of copper-nickel-chromium alloy, applied leather. It is a part of the Product Design and Decorative Arts department.

The SX-70 was the first camera to achieve one-step photography. Introduced in 1972 by Edwin H. Land, co-founder of the Polaroid Corporation, this single-lens reflex camera revolutionized instant photography long before smartphones and Instagram, today’s global photo sharing app. Polaroid manufactured cameras as early as 1947, but the SX-70 embodied major innovations in both form and function. Unlike previous cameras, this camera required the photographer to merely point, focus, and click—then wait three minutes for the snapshot to develop. The first to employ an instant film pack that included a built-in battery, the SX-70 ejected pictures automatically, without the chemical residues of previous models. Sleek and compact when folded flat, the camera is encased in a stylish brushed-chrome and leather shell, enhancing its appeal as a desirable accessory. It achieved a cult following upon its release, used by photographers including Ansel Adams, Walker Evans, and Andy Warhol.

This object was featured in our Object of the Day series in a post titled Communicate: Instant Photography Before the Internet .

This object was purchased from Carole Krohn and donated by Neil Sellin. It is credited Museum purchase through gift of Neil Sellin.

Our curators have highlighted 2 objects that are related to this one.

Its dimensions are

H x W x D (a: open): 12.5 x 10.5 x 17.7 cm (4 15/16 x 4 1/8 x 6 15/16 in.) (a: closed): 4.4 cm (1 3/4 in.)

Cite this object as

SX-70 Camera And Case, 1972; Designed by Henry Dreyfuss and James M. Conner; USA; polysulfone plastic with a layer of copper-nickel-chromium alloy, applied leather; H x W x D (a: open): 12.5 x 10.5 x 17.7 cm (4 15/16 x 4 1/8 x 6 15/16 in.) (a: closed): 4.4 cm (1 3/4 in.); Museum purchase through gift of Neil Sellin; 1999-2-2-a,b

In addition to Bob Greenberg Selects, this object was previously on display as part of the exhibition Tools: Extending Our Reach.

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If you would like to cite this object in a Wikipedia article please use the following template:

<ref name=CH>{{cite web |url= |title=SX-70 Camera And Case, 1972 |author=Cooper Hewitt, Smithsonian Design Museum |accessdate=17 August 2018 |publisher=Smithsonian Institution}}</ref>

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