Kodak camera design paved way for amateur photography

Kodak Brownie Camera
Kodak Brownie Camera

The renowned Brownie camera, introduced by Kodak at the turn of the century, was straightforward to use. It was one of the first pieces of technology that didn’t require any prior knowledge to use. Kodak’s actual earnings came from the film sold with the camera, which cost merely one dollar. As a result, the corporation is credited with the birth of amateur photography. Three decades later, Kodak revisited the winning formula: the Baby Brownie, developed by Walter Dorwin Teague and meant to improve film sales. The mechanism, which was fastened to the top of the casing and could be drawn out like a drawer when the film was loaded, was encased in a tiny black plastic casing. The front of the camera had vertical ribs, which were a distinguishing feature.

At the same time, Kodak acquired Nagel, a German camera company. It rapidly found a ready market for its Retina 35mm camera, which combined a high level of precision with a low price. Kenneth Grange’s Instamatic 100 was considerably more popular in the early 1960s. Its seamless design is still considered a symbol of industrial design. The benefits accrued to Kodak, which sold more than 70 million cameras as a result. In the age of digital photography, the company’s original slogan, “You push the button, we do the rest,” has resurfaced.

Sources

Polster, B. (2006). The A-Z of modern design. Merrell.

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