Elevated railway in the Bowery, New York, USA, 1900.
© NMeM / Kodak Collection / Science & Society
A snapshot photograph of the elevated railway in the Bowery, New York, taken by an unknown photographer in 1900. The elevated railway was built in the 1880s to ease congestion at street level. This caused a decline in the general respectability of the area. The railway was eventually demolished in the 1950s. Originally a shooting term, 'snapshot' began to acquire a photographic meaning in the late 1850s. The marketing of the first Kodak camera in 1888 made popular photography available to the masses and the term 'snapshot' became more widespread. Eventually the term 'snapshot' became linked to photographs taken by non-experts with simple cameras. Such 'snapshots' record the more informal and personal aspects of everyday life often overlooked by professional photographers.