Snapshot Albums, 1900-1969

In 1888, entrepreneur George Eastman launched the Kodak camera, which took advantage of faster exposure times and Eastman's lightweight Kodak film (which replaced glass-plate negatives). The Kodak camera was preloaded with enough film for 100 exposures, and marketed with the slogan “You press the button, we do the rest.”  In 1900, the Eastman Kodak Company launched the Brownie camera, which sold for $1. With these developments, the camera was gradually transformed from a specialized tool to a commonplace accessory. The Eastman Kodak Company promoted this shift with advertisements that encouraged women and childrenand not just the men who previously dominated the world of photographyto “Take a Kodak With You.” Armed with cameras and freed from the requirement to develop and print their own pictures, larger swathes of the population now created and curated representations of their own experiences and identities. Some of the resulting photographs diverge from the formulas that dominated nineteenth-century photography, while others maintain established photographic conventions.

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