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LC-A Big Book Chapter 67: The Kodak No. 1

The first compact Kodak camera is considered to be the Kodak No. 1 of 1888, which used roll film. At first this film was still based on paper, but with later Kodak models was replaced by the use of a celluloid base. Consisting mainly of a rectangular wooden box, the No. I didn't have a viewfinder and therefore necessarily required "shooting from the hip" a technique well known and promoted by we Lomographers nowadays.

69. A roll of Kodak film from 1893.

It stands to reason that the sly ex-bank clerk George Eastman realized the huge potential of photography on the mass-market and longed to do more than just produce film. “You press the button, we do the rest” was the famous motto of Kodak, and the company’s cameras did just what it promised. The first compact Kodak camera is considered to be the Kodak No. 1 of 1888, which used roll film. At first this film was still based on paper, but with later Kodak models was replaced by the use of a celluloid base. Consisting mainly of a rectangular wooden box, the No. I didn’t have a viewfinder and therefore necessarily required “shooting from the hip” a technique well known and promoted by we Lomographers nowadays. To the traditional way of taking pictures, which consisted of a long process, complicated image composition and the use of a tripod, the concept of snap-shots was added with the help of uncomplicated box cameras Iike the Kodak No.1. However, due to its high price o f 2 5 U S Dollars (in Germany one could have bought a large format camera and a home laboratory for the same price), the camera didn’t prove successful and production stopped after one year. It then took another decade until a similar Kodak camera truly captured the hearts of thousands and took photography to its next step.

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written by ungrumpy

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