The First Commercial Camera

      Today I learned about the first commercial camera.

      The first commercial camera was built by the founder of Kodak, George Eastman, in 1888. The camera had 100 exposures and when you used all 100 exposures you would send the camera back to the Kodak company for processing. The printed photos would then be returned to you and your camera would come back to you with 100 more exposures. The camera had one fixed lens and one shutter speed. The camera, pictured on the top of this post, was the size of a microwave, and needed a heavy tripod.

      George Eastman created many advertisements for his camera. Because he wanted to simplify photography and make it available to everyone, not just trained photographers, he wrote a slogan on the advertisements stating, “You press the button, we do the rest.” One of the advertisements is shown on the right. The camera was easy to use, inexpensive, and was light. It became internationally popular almost overnight.

      The price of the camera was $25 and the cost to develop the film was $10, which included returning the entire camera to Kodak.

      You can learn more about the first commercial camera and George Eastman at: