Advertisement for a Kodak 'Brownie' camera, c 1900.
4 0 c m
actual image size: 22cm x 32cm

Advertisement for a Kodak 'Brownie' camera, c 1900.

© NMeM / Kodak Collection / Science & Society


George Eastman marketed the original Brownie to be an inexpensive camera for the mas market; when first introduced in 1900, the price of the camera was just $1 (5 shillings in UK). As well as being cheap, the camera was extremely simple to use, even for children. The Brownie made photography accesible to the mases in a manner similar to how the introduction of the Model T Ford popularised motoring. Designed by Frank Brownell, the camera was literally a cardboard box with a wooden end, yet it took perfectly good photographs. Eastman named the camera after characters popularised by the Canadian children's author, Palmer Cox, illustrations of which feature on the box.

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