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 History of the Camera

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Number of posts : 6
Registration date : 2009-07-24

PostSubject: History of the Camera   Tue Sep 15, 2009 11:01 pm

Cameras are an everyday commodity today and are used widely. They are also much simpler and advanced to use as compared to the first cameras to be made. Below is a brief history of cameras.

The history of the camera is interesting, with the precursor of the camera being the Camera Obscura. The camera obscura was not a handheld camera per se, but was a dark chamber which consisted of an optical device for drawing. The camera obscura used a lens or a pinhole to project the image of the scene on a viewing surface. The first camera obscuras were large enough to house one or more people. The evolution into handheld cameras was much more gradual. However, even the handheld cameras of yore couldn't be compared to the compact sized cameras we see today.

The first photographs were taken using a pewter plate and bitumen. This plate was then exposed to light. Since the bitumen hardened where the light struck, the unhardened areas were dissolved away. This left a visible image.

The first practical photograph method was invented in 1835 by Louis Jacques Daguerre. It was named daguerreotype after him. The process included coating a copper plate with silver and then treated with iodine vapor to make it sensitive to light. The image was then developed by mercury vapor. It was later fixed with a solution of ordinary salt. The process was then perfected by William Fox Talbot in 1840. The calotype produced a negative picture on paper, which had the lights as darks and the darks as lights. The positive would be made on another sheet of sensitized paper which was exposed to light through the negative.

The first American patent for photography was awarded to Alexander Wolcott and his camera in 1840. By 1843, the first advertisement with a photograph was made in Philadelphia. The Panaromic camera was patented in Sutton.

Photography and cameras were brought to the general public by George Eastman somewhere around 1885. He called his first camera the 'Kodak'. It was a simple box camera which had a fixed focus lens and had a single shutter speed. It had enough film for a hundred exposures (photos) and had to be sent back to the factory for processing the camera, as well as reloading it. Cameras became widely available only in the nineteenth century, with Kodak coming out with a series of box cameras as well as folding cameras.

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