Knife grinder, c 1890.
3 9 c m
actual image size: 32cm x 31cm

Knife grinder, c 1890.

© NMeM / Kodak Collection / Science & Society


A Kodak circular snapshot photograph of a knife grinder pushing his handcart down a street, taken by an unknown photographer in about 1890. The grinder's name, Ambrose Harris, is painted on the front of the cart. The origins of popular photography can be traced back to 1888 when George Eastman (1854-1932) patented the first Kodak camera. A small box camera it was sold ready-loaded with a roll of negative stripping paper providing 100 circular pictures 2.5 inches (64mm) in diameter. In 1889 Eastman introduced the No 2 Kodak camera which took slightly larger circular photographs, 3.5 inches in diameter. Originally a shooting term, the word 'snapshot' was first linked with photography in the late 1850s, when it was used to describe a photograph taken with a brief exposure.

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