Invention of the Roll Film Camera: You Press The Button, We Do The Rest

Posted by Invention Geek - 03/09/09 at 02:09 pm

camerapatentOn September 4, 1888, George Eastman received patent #388,850 for a roll film camera. The camera called the”Kodak” was the beginning of snapshot photography.  The ease of using this camera and its relatively inexpensive price of $25 dollars appealed to the middle class.

The orginal Kodak camera was small and light enough to be held by hand. This very simple camera leather covered box had no view finder, a wide angle lens allowing for good depth of field, a single shutter speed of 1/25th of a second, a shutter release and a tripod mount placed on the top of the camera.  Taking a picture with this camera was a simple process which required only three steps: turning the key to wind on the film; pulling the string to set the shutter; and pressing the button to take the photograph. The Kodak camera really was the first point and shoot.

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“You press the button, we do the rest” was the first marketing slogan of Kodak. That was exactly how the first Kodak camera worked. The camera was preloaded with enough film for 100 shoots. When all the film was exposed , the entire camera was sent back to the Kodak Company on Rochester, NY. For $10, the film was developed. 2.5 inch circular prints were made to compensate for the poor image quality in the corners. Then the camera was reloaded with film and the prints were sent back to the customer.

Over 5,000 of these revolutionary cameras were sold changing the way people viewed photography.

5 Responses to “Invention of the Roll Film Camera: You Press The Button, We Do The Rest”

  1. ReadWriteWeb DeathWatch: Point-and-Shoot Cameras | eWebmaster says:
    October 1st, 2012 at 8:48 am

    [...] the button, we do the rest.” In 1888, with that tagline, George Eastman released the portable Kodak camera, and consumers have been snapping pictures with point-and-shoot devices ever since. In 1900, he [...]

  2. ReadWriteWeb DeathWatch: Point-and-Shoot Cameras | Android Apps Consulting says:
    October 1st, 2012 at 9:18 am

    [...] the button, we do the rest.” In 1888, with that tagline, George Eastman released the portable Kodak camera, and consumers have been snapping pictures with point-and-shoot devices ever since. In 1900, he [...]

  3. ReadWriteWeb DeathWatch: Point-and-Shoot Cameras says:
    October 1st, 2012 at 10:13 am

    [...] the button, we do the rest.” In 1888, with that tagline, George Eastman released the portable Kodak camera, and consumers have been snapping pictures with point-and-shoot devices ever since. In 1900, he [...]

  4. ReadWriteWeb DeathWatch: Point-and-Shoot Cameras | TechDiem.com says:
    October 1st, 2012 at 1:14 pm

    [...] the button, we do the rest.” In 1888, with that tagline, George Eastman released the portable Kodak camera, and consumers have been snapping pictures with point-and-shoot devices ever since. In 1900, he [...]

  5. ReadWriteWeb DeathWatch: Point-and-Shoot Cameras | Kent Web Design says:
    February 10th, 2013 at 11:22 pm

    [...] the button, we do the rest.” In 1888, with that tagline, George Eastman released the portable Kodak camera, and consumers have been snapping pictures with point-and-shoot devices ever since. In 1900, he [...]

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