The Pocket Instamatic was a new smaller version of the compact Instamatic camera, that used a smaller film cartridge - the 110 - and was designed to fit into a pocket. It used a MagiCube flash that clicked into the top of the camera and didn't require batteries, which enabled inside and night photography. The first release included the Pocket Instamatic 100, 200, 300, 400 and 500 models.
Pocket Instamatic cameras were launched in April 1973 in Australia, but dealers had been given an earlier preview with a small number available to sell for Christmas 1972. These cameras had already been released in the USA and Europe in 1972, but demand there was so high that the Australian sales launch was delayed. The European model, which was smaller than the American model, was sold in Australia.
In early 1974, the Pocket Instamatic range went into production at the Coburg factory. Kodak Australasia started making the Pocket Instamatic 100, 200 and 300 models for distribution to the local markets, assembling the cameras from parts imported from Kodak Limited in England. A whole new assembly line had to be designed to produce the Pocket Instamatic at Coburg. Assembly for a Pocket Instamatic 100 was made up of 76 individual operations, and there were even more steps for the other models.
Project engineer Stan Keleher travelled to England to study the complex assembly process before setting up the Australian system. New assembly line tooling was developed and a plastic injection moulding machine valued at over $50,000 was installed. Once the new assembly line was established and was at full production, a team of 25 staff made several hundred Pocket Instamatic cameras a day.
Later, other models were also made at Coburg, such as the Pocket Instamatic 92, which began production in 1977.
Museums Victoria has several Kodak Pocket Instamatic cameras in its Kodak Heritage Collection, as well as various advertising material and television commercials.
Kodak Sales News, Nov 1972.
Australian Kodakery, No. 41, Dec 1972.
Kodak Sales News, Mar 1973.
Australian Kodakery, No. 50, Feb / Mar 1974, p.5.
Australian Kodakery, No. 82, Sep 1977, pps.1, 3.