This is the story of the original, plastic Hipstamatic 100, as told by the inventor’s brother on Hipstamatic.com
In the summer of 1984 my two little brothers, Bruce and Winston were struck by a drunk driver at 4:13 PM June 21st on HWY 17 between Merrill and Wausau, WI. That day forever changed my life. I am setting up this website as a way to remember my brothers and the passion they had for art, photography, and their ability to make things happen.
Just two years earlier, Bruce and Winston had been attending Art school part time and had come up with what they thought was a million dollar idea for bringing photographic art to the masses cheaply. In the winter of 1982 they had developed a camera that was made entirely of plastic, including the lens. They molded and manufactured the camera under the name Hipstamatic out of their 650 sq ft river front cabin on the waters of the mighty Wisconsin. We all referred to the molding area as the ‘Animal Room’ because the smell reminded us of burning rubber and roadkill.
The Hipstamatic was born out of a love of the Kodak Instamatic and a desire to make it something even children could afford on a small allowance. My brother Bruce once said, “It doesn’t matter if the photos aren’t prefect — as long as people are capturing memories I will be happy.” At the time I didn’t agree, but now in my fifties I finally understand what he was talking about.
It sounds like we would have loved them.
Unfortunately, under 200 Hipstamatic 100s were made, ever–but after the Hipstamatic’s story got a little bit of a web following, an iPhone app, the Hipstamatic 110, was born, intended to simulate pictures taken from the original Hipstamatic 100. Now, the app has been upgraded to the Hipstamatic 150, and includes a variety of absolutely insane lenses, flashes and films, which you can mix-and-match to your heart’s desire. I took a few pictures around the new Spacecraft office as an example of what this can do:
It also features direct Flickr (camera info will say “Hipstamatic 150,” not “iPhone”) and Facebook uploads.