“Take the Money or Open the Box!”

When I was child and we got our first television, there was a game show called “Take Your Pick”, hosted by Michael Miles. We were already familiar with it as it was a regular feature on Radio Luxembourg, a station that circumvented UK law by beaming its programmes from mainland Europe WITH ADVERTS! (Under UK broadcasting laws, advertising was banned).

When the contestants got into the final round they had choice of prize: they could either take a known amount of money OR open a box with a mystery prize. This prize could be anything from a car to a washing machine to a piece of cold toast.

Half of the studio audience would yell, “TAKE THE MONEY!” whilst the other half were exhorted to scream, “OPEN THE BOX”.

What a dilemma these contestants had: the certainty of reasonable cash sum, or the possibility of winning something worth far more or ……….. nothing at all. Looking at this from a historical perspective we have to remember that in the 1950’s things like cars and (for many) fridges or washing machines were out of reach.

I was reminded of all this when I found this box at then back of a bookshelf this afternoon. I’d forgotten all about it, so it was lovely surprise. It also gave me something different for tabletop photography on this rainy day.

Lizars Challenge Closed ©HelenBushe

Whilst I carefully wiggled hinges and turned levers, my mind had time for a trip down memory lane, hence the allusions to the game show.

In this instance I think it was definitely worth opening the box:

Lizars Challenge Open ©HelenBushe

I’ve taken a few more shots from different angles but they’re for a later post.

Once again this post was inspired by Becky B’s Challenge Square Perspective. It’s a great challenge and quite addictive. It runs throughout the month of July.

Images ©HelenBushe

Fujifilm X-T3 camera, Fuji 80mm Macro lens.

f22 1.4secs ISO400

I’ve googled the camera and found a picture of an advert for it in The Photographic News , dated June 17th 1898!!! (©Redbellows.co.uk)



Anabel @ The Glasgow Gallivanter · 18 July 2020 at 23:13

How fabulous to compare it to the old advert! I well remember Michael Miles and Take your Pick with it’s yes/no interlude. Which reminds me, they remade an episode recently with Alan Carr and I recorded it. Must watch it – I fully expect it to be awful, but I was intrigued.

    Helen Bushe · 19 July 2020 at 19:13

    I used to love the Yes/No game! Simple pleasures of childhood. Thanks for commenting. And of course Lizars was big in Glasgow. I got my first pair of binoculars from them ( was the shop in Hope Street or Renfield Street? I can’t remember)

lisaonthebeach · 18 July 2020 at 22:49

Beautiful photos of a beautiful old camera. Wow! (and love the story )

    Helen Bushe · 19 July 2020 at 19:14

    Thank Lisa. How I wish I could take a picture with the old camera. That would be the next chapter in my l. story“

BeckyB · 18 July 2020 at 20:57

oh wow, this is such a fabulous find. It will have created so many perspectives over the years. Also love your tale of the show

    Helen Bushe · 19 July 2020 at 19:17

    I’ve no idea how the camera came to be displayed on a bookshelf in my parents’ house and never thought to ask them. Yes, I’d love to see pictures it took!

I'm always pleased to read comments.....

%d bloggers like this: