Tag Archives: sepia

Phound Photos Volume 12

I was so stoked when I saw the old 3000 speed film inside the Polaroid 100 with the Zeiss viewfinder, I didn’t thoroughly go through the kit. Inside the cold clip was this old sepia Polaroid print.

Looks like an airport terminal.

Looks like an airport terminal.

On the back is what looks like the letter ‘H’ and the number 815341. It seems to be part of the print and not a catalog number or something added later.

I started looking up what the codes mean. What I found referenced other information on the back of the print. I hadn’t seen anything but shining a flashlight on it, I could see more information. I mangled the scan to get enough contrast but here it is.

Hidden (as in faded to near invisibility) information.

Hidden (as in faded to near invisibility) information.

Upper left, lying on its back is a ‘5’. This was the fifth print in the pack.

“POLACOLOR ® 75 SPEED TYPE 108”. Interesting. This isn’t sepia, it’s color, just really faded.

The blob at the far right goes with the manufacturing code — it should end with a letter. I didn’t chop off the scan, the letter is just badly placed and only half on the print.

According to this document (820K PDF), ‘H’ is the month of manufacture, so, August. The first digit is the year of manufacture, so ‘8’, but 19_what_8? It would seem to be 1968 since the same document says “renamed Type 108 Polacolor 2, 1975”.

Screen grab from the document.  I'm confused

Screen grab from the document. I’m confused

The example shown in the document for Polaroid Land Pack Film is confusing. The example serial number is “H612591 P” and they give August, 1976. It seems that the example should say “Polacolor 2” since it’s after 1975. Unless they mean it was renamed to “Type 108 Polacolor” in 2, 1975 (as in February, 1975)? Or maybe the film name change doesn’t correspond to what’s printed on the back of the print?

OK, I will have to dig more for what decade. This other document (155K PDF) from 1998, shows better what the other numbers mean.

The next 2 digits in H 815341, the “15”, are numbers showing what machine made the film pack. The next 2 digits, “34” are more useful. Using the lookup table on page 7 of the 2nd document, “34” means the ‘A’ shift on the 12th of the month.

So, this print was made on machine 15, during ‘A’ shift, on 12 August, in either 1968 or 1978.

I’ll try dating the 3000 film that was in the camera. Of course, like Midge, the print may have nothing to do with the camera.

Update (still 1 March 2019): The 3000 film wasn’t as old as I thought. It was made 10 May 2001 so it’s no help trying to date the photo. At least I know for later films, the date codes work.

2nd update (still 1 March 2019):
Heritage Auctions had Andy Warhol Polaroids on Polacolor 2 and it does say it.

Polacolor 2 does say "Polacolor 2". H107621

Polacolor 2 does say “Polacolor 2”. H107621

They say “circa 1970s” for the photo but the film Warhol used was made in August of 1981. It can’t be 1971 because the film wasn’t labeled “Polacolor 2” until after 1975.

Finally, I’m happy enough with the evidence to say my print’s film was made 12 August 1968.