Kraft Velveeta Dinner Instamatic Camera

Cameras promoting products, causes, exhibitions, celebrities, and organizations have been available since dry plates and roll film made mass snapshot photography possible. Some examples include 1920s official Boy Scout and Girl Guide cameras, 1939 Worlds fair cameras, and cameras featuring movie stars such as Hopalong Cassidy and Roy Rodgers. In addition camera manufacturers have often produced special promotional cameras featuring commemorative logos or gold plating that have sold at a premium to collectors.
Cameras bearing advertising slogans like the Velveeta Shells & Cheese dinner promotional camera shown here have appeared in thousands of different varieties. The camera shown here uses 110 film that was introduced by Kodak in 1972. Many simple point and shoot promotional cameras appeared in the 1970s using 110 film. The promotional camera lives on today in the form of 35mm one time use cameras with advertising printed on the outer cover.
From its invention in 1839, the camera has evolved to fit many needs, from aerial to underwater photography and everything in between. Cameras allow both amateur and professional photographers to capture the world around us. The Smithsonian’s historic camera collection includes rare and unique examples of equipment, and popular models, related to the history of the science, technology, and art of photography.
Currently not on view
Object Name
camera, instamatic
date made
ca 1970s
Physical Description
plastic (overall material)
paper (overall material)
glass (overall material)
overall: 3.2 cm x 11.3 cm x 6 cm; 1 1/4 in x 4 7/16 in x 2 3/8 in
ID Number
accession number
catalog number
Artifact Walls exhibit
See more items in
Culture and the Arts: Photographic History
Artifact Walls exhibit
Data Source
National Museum of American History, Kenneth E. Behring Center
Credit Line
Gift of Debbie Schaefer-Jacobs

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