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Folding Camera by Kodak c.1920

$52

ABOUT

This is an original Kodak folding camera from the 1920s by the Eastman Kodak Co. of Rochester, New York, USA. All the functions seem to be in order and there is no mold on the lens, however the camera is untested.

  • CREATOR Eastman Kodak Co.
  • DATE OF MANUFACTURE c.1920
  • MATERIALS AND TECHNIQUES Metal.
  • CONDITION Excellent. Wear consistent with age and use.
  • DIMENSIONS H 4 in. W 7 in. D 5.5 in.

HISTORY

In 1879 George Eastman, amateur photographer and employee of a bank in Rochester, had invented an emulsion-coating machine for mass production of dry plates and got a patent on it in England. In 1881 he and Rochester's local buggy whip manufacturer Henry A. Strong founded the "Eastman Dry Plate Company".

In 1885 the American Film was introduced, a paper roll film which needed a special development process, made usable with the new Eastman-Walker rollfilm holder. This was used later in the first two Kodak cameras. However Eastman knew that he needed a transparent film for the future, and hired the chemist  Henry H. Reichenbach as research scientist. The transparent roll film would be delivered in 1889.

Eastman's goal in life was to simplify and to popularize photography. The first step towards that goal was the "Kodak" camera he introduced in 1888 which had a built-in 100-exposure paper roll film costing $25, a huge amount. The box camera had to be sent back to the factory once all the exposures had been used. The customers got their cameras back with new film roll loaded into it, and the image prints. In 1890 a Kodak folding camera with built-in 48 exposure film roll followed. After years of advertising the brand Kodak the company was renamed "Eastman Kodak Co." In 1900 Eastman had reached his goal, offering the Brownie rollfilm camera which cost only $1 including a 6 exposure film. Further film rolls cost just 15 cents. The Brownie camera series was continued until 1970.

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