Accident at Montparnasse, Paris, 1895.
© NMeM / Kodak Collection / Science & Society
A dramatic snapshot photograph of a derailed steam locomotive at Montparnasse Station, Paris, taken by an unknown photographer. The train from Granville has gone through the buffers and crashed through the station wall into the street below. 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.