Before the Cheap Digital Camera, There Was the Kodak FunSaver

Despite teetering on the verge of bankruptcy, Kodak will forever be legend. Slides! Kodachrome! Advantix! In the 2000s, they morphed into a maker of easy-to-use digital cameras and pocket camcorders. But looking back, there's one product more indelible than the others: the FunSaver.

A disposable camera? Admittedly, the FunSaver was no technological achievement. It was probably the furthest thing from such a distinction. But it took the concept of disposable cameras mainstream. I used them. You used them. Unless you're currently going through puberty, we've likely all used one at some point.

Save for hobbyist photographers who probably scoffed loudly at the thought of disposable cameras, these things were great. If you lost it, you were only out six bucks and a single roll of photos. Even better was the UNDERWATER disposable camera. It was like I was holding the future in my 10-year-old hands.

Of course, for those of us who are scatterbrained dolts, we got these photos developed just as infrequently the rolls of film in our normal cameras. Except instead of a compact cylinder, we had had these blocky white/yellow/red/black boxes littered about the house.

The digital camera rendered the FunSaver obsolete once they landed in the sub-$200 price range. In fact, nearly all non-SLR cameras went the way of the dodo after the year 2000.

I think my mother still has an entire bag of undeveloped FunSavers. I want to take them in and have them developed.