Funicular train at Rigi-First Station, Switzerland, c 1912.
© NMeM / Kodak Collection / Science & Society
A snapshot photograph of a funicular train, taken by an unknown photographer in about 1912. This cog railway, which opened in the 1870s, is one of the oldest in Europe and climbs Mt Rigis in the Swiss Alps. 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.