Hello and welcome back! Last week I shared some of the research that I did for my senior thesis. This week I thought I would continue that and share some of the early photography I found.
Early Photography Equipment
The first modern photoflash or flashbulb was
invented by Paul Vierkotter. He used magnesium-coated wire in an evacuated glass globe. The magnesium-coated wire was soon replaced by aluminum foil in oxygen. In 1930 the first commercially available photoflash bulb was patented by Johannes Ostermeier. These bulbs were named the Vacublitz, General Electric made a flashbulb called the Sashalite. Frederick Wratten founded on of the first photographic supply businesses Wratten and Wainwright in 1878. They manufactured and sold collodion glass plates and gelatin dry plates. In 1878, Wratten invented the “noodling process” of silver-bromide gelatin emulsions before washing. Wratten with the assistance of Dr. C.E. Kenneth Mees invented and produced the first panchromatic plates in 1906. Wratten is best known for these photographic filters that he invented and are still named after him. Wratten’s company was purchased by Eastman Kodak in 1912.
35mm, Polaroids, Disposable, and Digital
The world’s first 35mm camera was developed by Oskar Barnack, who had the idea of reducing the format of film negatives and then enlarging the photographs after they had been exposed. Polaroid photography was invented by Edwin Herbert Land. The first Polaroid camera was sold to the public in November 1948. Fuji introduced the disposable camera in 1986. (30 Most Important Cameras of all Time)
According to the Popular Magazine website in an article titled, The 30 most important digital camera of all time, the image to the left is one of the earliest digital cameras which is the 1975 Kodak digital camera prototype.
The Kodak engineer Steven Sasson and his team spent a year cobbling together a 8-pouund device and it took the first digital black and white image in December 1975.
The image to the right is an advertisement done for Kodak in 1900. The Kodak Brownie Camera was a long running popular series of simple and inexpensive cameras. The Brownie popularized low-cost photography and introduced the concept of snapshot. It was intended to be a camera that anyone could afford and use, hence the slogan, “You push the button, we do the rest.”
Ansel Adams carried a Kodak Brownie camera. When brownie cameras were first marketed, they came on all possible sizes and took all types of roll films that were available at the
time. Later they were standardized to take either 116 or 120 roll film. (Understanding and Using a Brownie Box Camera) Could you imagine, carrying a box-type camera with film that could only get 12 exposures per roll, through Yellowstone to take photographs?
It’s crazy to think about where the equipment we use today started. I hope you are learning a lot from the last couple of weeks. Next week will be an interesting post so stay tuned! If you have any questions or comments, please leave me a comment below, email or private message me on Facebook!