Beach entertainer, c 1920.
© NMeM / Kodak Collection / Science & Society
A snapshot photograph of a ventriloquist with his dummy entertaining a small crowd of children on the beach. Holidaymakers from the cities thrived on a variety of amusements at the seaside. Sea air and family entertainment provided respite from dirty streets and noisy factories. 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. Over time, snapshot came to mean any amateur photograph taken with a simple camera. The origins of popular photography can be traced back to George Eastman's (1854-1932) introduction of the first Kodak camera in 1888. Snapshots are informal, personal records of everyday life and experiences.