James Garner and Mariette Hartley for the Polaroid Time Zero Instant Camera


Last week I got to play with a Polaroid camera for the first time in over a decade. I love my digital camera, I like the freedom it offers, but using that Polaroid is still one of the most extremely gratifying experiences.

In this ad featuring James Garner and Mariette Hartley you can see that their was a real race towards the instant gratification of immediate printed photos. A minute is too much to wait? How about 30 seconds? Still too much? How about 10 seconds? Still not fast enough? How about Zero? That is what Polaroid was promising. While I am sure this camera probably never lived up to the boast of Zero Instant, it was probably the best you were going to get in 1981.

These two would appear in a whole series of Polaroid ads and had such wonderful chemistry that many people believed that they were married in real life. They were not and Mariette famously wore a shirt claiming that she was most certainly not “Rockford’s Wife”.


The Retroist

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