Featured Artifact: Polaroid Polaprinter Slide Copier

Friday, February 16, 2024
by Charlotte Wipp

The Polaroid Polaprinter

The Polaprinter was released in 1981 by Polaroid. The device is used to transfer mounted 35mm slide film to a print, developing up to three photos at a time. This works by loading the slide onto the front slot so that the machine can use flash and shutter technology to expose the image onto a film pack to create an individual photo. The slide copier includes a lamp to view the slides with a control slide to pick the framing, exposure and contrast dials, and a timer (thirty seconds for black and white and 60 seconds for colour). When the red activation button is pushed and the selected time passes, a distinct electrical buzzing sound comes from the machine. 

The Polaroid Polaprinter was donated by Mary Lynn Benninger.

Film Today

Polaroid and other photo companies have released more modern versions of the Polaprinter, where they take photos from our phones instead of 35mm slides. For photographers the saturation, contrast, and sharpness of the images will be noticeably different as modern film is less in demand than the older loved pack film.  

About the author

Charlotte is a Physics and Astronomy student currently in her 2B term at Waterloo. She enjoys tinkering and creating all forms of art in her free time. She works at the Computer Museum as their current Winter 2024 coop student.