The White Goods Index


New film freezer
New film freezer

Back in the 1990’s I recall reading an article about something called the white goods index. It was intended to measure how much better we are all as a result of white goods becoming cheaper in relation to how much we are all earning.

On Saturday I took delivery of a new freezer. Our old chest freezer had broken a few weeks back and the lid no longer closed. The replacement we bought was duly delivered and filled with all manner of food. Whilst loading the new freezer my wife suggested I buy a second smaller freezer in which to store my photography film. My initial reaction was to think this was an extravagant waste but then I stopped and thought about it. A quick search on the Internet and I found a new freezer for about the same price as three boxes of Kodak Provia in 120 format.

Today I loaded the new freezer with all my film from the fridge, and our new main chest freezer. Seeing all this film in once place made me realise just how much I had. The value is many more times the cost of the freezer and there are a few more benefits. My wife is now happy that she can put food in the freezer box in the fridge. She can store and access food in the chest freezer more easily. I might start using film faster than I have been buying it. Perhaps this last point is pushing things a little too far though.

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8 thoughts on “The White Goods Index

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  1. Amusing story. Reminds me how I bought wine for cellaring and forgot that it was supposed to be consumed! Most of it spoiled (due to poor temperature control) before we got around to drinking it. Having your supply of film visible may help avoid an analogous outcome.

  2. What a clever idea and suggestion! I haven’t done conventional film work for quite a while, and there are times when I miss it, especially the olfactory pleasures of the stop bath and fixer, and watching a print magically appear under the dark light. I haven’t been able to bring myself to sell the cameras, though. I have two Pentax PZ-1s that I absolutely loved (worth about US$5 each now) and two YashicaMat TLRs that I may yet bring out of the mothballs. It’s inspiring to learn of someone still well into film. Under what circumstances do you prefer it to digital media?

    1. Film is great fun but to be honest, it’s digital all the way for commercial work. I shoot film for fun. It slows you down and makes you think me, especially if you try shooting medium format. I find it relaxing, an enjoyable change and it helps remind me of good shooting practice. You really should press those YashikaMat’s into service.

  3. Robin
    Don’t forget to give the mrs. a big thank you for freezer suggestion.
    Why are you so involved with film these days, do you have equality with digital? I didn’t realize that all the relative equipment required was still available in the 21st century. Maybe you write on the comparisons of one against the other.

    1. She also got a freezer. What could be fairer?
      The only reason I shoot film is that I enjoy it. It slows me down and makes me think about each shot. I don’t spend all my time shooting loads of identical images as is the danger with digital (especially when you find yourself in the zone). I find that after I have been shooting film and return to digital I am more considered about each shot.

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