Our Replica Original Kodak Camera (1888 string set Kodak)


In 1888 The Eastman Company introduced a camera that added a new word to the photographic vocabulary and started a revolution in the way society interacted with photography. The Kodak camera was a small, hand held camera that sold for $25. It was loaded with enough negative material to make 100 exposures. There was no view finder. One pointed the camera at the subject, pulled up a string on the top to set the shutter, and pressed a button on the side of the camera. A key at the top was turned to advance the film to the next exposure. This was repeated 100 times then the camera was wrapped and returned to Rochester for processing, printing, and mounting of all the exposures that were successful. The camera, loaded with a fresh roll of film was returned with the mounted prints. Later the film could be removed and sent back.The first model was called simply "The Kodak" now referred to as the "Original Kodak" and is a holy grail of Kodak collecting. We do not have an real Original Kodak but hope to acquire one in good condition some day.

We have added a replica Original Kodak to our collection. It was made in England in 1988 to celebrate the 100th anniversary of the introduction of the first Kodak and has become a collectors item in its own right. It is not a working camera but is presented as the original was in 1888 tied with a red string and seal. It looks very much like our Kodak No. 1 with a few differences. The most obvious is that the front of the camera is held in by screws. The user was not expected to open the camera but return the entire camera to Eastman for processing and printing. The motto was "You Press the Button, We Do the Rest" and Eastman pitched the camera to the photographic novice.

There had been photographic amateurs from the earliest days of photography but they were expected to learn the technical and mechanical complexities of the medium. With the introduction of the Kodak the casual "snap shot" photographer was born. The Kodak was so successful that the term :"to Kodak" came to mean "to photograph" in popular speech even after the introduction of other bands of amateur cameras. Eastman was so concerned with the loss of the brand indentity that the phrase "If it isn't an Eastman, it isn't a Kodak" was used in the advertising.

Follow the links at the bottom of this page to see our No. 1 Kodak and examples of photographs made with the Original, No. 1, and No. 2 Kodaks.

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

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**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.

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Updated on 3/2008