Steam train on the Russian State Railway, c 1920.
© NMeM / Kodak Collection / Science & Society
A snapshot photograph of passengers standing beside a steam train on the Russian State Railway, taken by an unknown photographer in about 1920. This photograph shows locomotive No 620 built at the Baldwin Locomotive Works in Philadelphia, USA, in July 1917. It is a 2-10-0 'decapod', one of a total of 881 delivered to Russia. 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.