Kodak 'Six-20 Brownie C' roll film box camera, c 1948.
© Science Museum / Science & Society Picture Library
George Eastman marketed the original Brownie to be an inexpensive camera for the mass market. The camera, which was designed by Frank Brownell, was literally a cardboard box with a wooden end, yet it took perfectly good photographs. As well as being cheap, the camera was extremely simple to use, even for children. The Brownie made photography accessible to the masses in a manner similar to how the introduction of the Model T Ford popularised motoring. Eastman named the camera after characters popularised by the Canadian children's author, Palmer Cox. This camera, which was produced in a range of colours, was the first to be designed and built at the new Kodak camera factory at Harrow, Middlesex. Prior to this, all Kodak cameras were imported from the United States and Canada.