Our Photographs from Original or No. 1 Kodaks

In any box of old photographs our eyes go at once to the distinctive round shape of the Kodak Original, No. 1, and No. 2 images. In the 1880s and 90s the Kodak cameras revolutionized the relationship of photography and society. There had been amateur photographers from the earliest days of the medium but they had to be a hardy, dedicated breed because photography was hard work. With the advent of the easy, affordable Kodak cameras anyone could make photographs. So pervasive was the early Kodak that the word kodak became a verb. Kodaking meant taking photographs. Eastman had to protect their trademarked name by advertising "If it isn't an Eastman it isn't a Kodak."

The prints of the Original Kodak and the No. 1 and No. 2 were masked to a round image. It was advertised that this avoided the necessity of holding the camera level. A more important consideration to Eastman must have been the fact that the lens used did not form an image that was sharp to the edge. The photographs were mounted on buff or dark brown cards.

On this page we show some of our 2 1/2" (early ads state they are 2 5/8") prints made by either an Original or No. 1 Kodak. Another page shows the larger 3 1/2" prints from the No. 2 Kodak.

There are several styles of backs on the Kodak #1 mounts. Many of them has an overall floral pattern with an Eastman Kodak Co. logo in the center.

The back of the photograph on the left provides more information than most. The dog sunning himself in a back yard is Jack and he was photographed on October 26, 1890 in San Francisco by Mary L. Taylor.

Many of the photographs we have collected show children. They appear to have been the most popular subjects although we most likely have collected more of them because they are so appealing. Below is a young girl with her doll in a carriage in from of a solid two story house.   Below a girl stands behind a small two-wheeled cart, dog or goat powered perhaps.
With the advent of the Kodaks people could record the daily "news" of their life for themselves. The print below shows a three story industrial building after a winter fire. A close examination shows broken windows and a pile of debris next to the ladder. Ice from the fire hoses coats the walls. Under magnification the small sign next to the building reads "Keene Steam Dye House" which appears to be a cloth dying business. The lettering on the wall starts "IMPERVIOUS...." but the ice obscures the rest of the name. The name is certainly ironic considering the fate of the building.   We have several interiors. They tend to be low in contrast because of the low light level. In the print below a woman sits in the foreground in a rattan chair. She is a little out of focus or moved during the exposure. There is a date on the back of 1897. The room is filled with furniture, objects, and pictures. Actually we should not find fault with the Victorian decorating style since we have more pictures on the wall than shown here.

The Kodak Collection page
- The Original Kodak *New 3/2008
- No. 1 Kodak Camera page
- Kodak #1 Photographs page <You are here
- Kodak #2 Photographs page

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Contact us at studio@brightbytes.com

**NOTE** All items on the Collection of Collections web site are in our private collection and are NOT for sale. From time to time duplicate items from our collection will be offered for sale in the Do You Remember This? shop on the GoAntiques cyber mall. Visit the Do You Remember This? inventory page for photographica and toaster related collectibles.

Please feel free to write us if you want to chat or share information about areas we collect but we will NOT give appraisals.

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Updated on 3/2008