Archive for the 'Technology' Category

April 15, 1840 – One of the first cameras sold in the U.S.

Posted by on Apr 15 2013 | Photography, Technology

BemisReceipt

Receipt of one of the first cameras to be sold in the U.S.

Samuel A. Bemis (1793–1881), a Boston dentist and amateur daguerreotypist, bought one of the first cameras ever sold in the United States on April 15, 1840. Fortunately, he and his heirs saved not only the camera but also its receipt. While it is likely too late to return the camera, the receipt is useful as evidence of what is probably the earliest documented sale of an American daguerrean outfit.

Thanks to the dentist’s pack rat ways, we know that on April 15, 1840, he paid $76 to François Gouraud, Giroux’s agent in the U.S., for a “daguerreotype apparatus,” twelve whole plates at $2 each, and a freight charge of $1.

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Full-plate daguerreotype camera (owned by S. A. Bemis)

The apparatus, which Gouraud advertised as consisting of sixty-two items, included the camera, lens, plate holder, iodine box for sensitizing plates, mercury box for developing plates, holding box for unused plates, and a large wooden trunk to house the entire system. Quite large, the camera weighs about thirteen pounds and can produce full-plate images, 6½ x 8½ inches in size.

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Full-plate daguerreotype camera outfit

Bemis made his first daguerreotype on April 19, 1840, from the window of his Boston office, and during the next several years went on to expose more than three hundred images, most of them in his beloved White Mountains of New Hampshire. The George Eastman House collection also contains a second Bemis camera and nineteen of his images.

First Bemis Daguerreotype

First  S.A. Bemis Daguerreotype

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Bemis’ Inventory in 1936 discussing the camera purchase in 1840.

 

 

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Eastman House and Google Art Project

Posted by on Apr 03 2013 | Exhibitions, Photography, Technology

update

Eastman House is now on the Google Art Project!

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The initial group of 50 photographs on Google Art Project spans the 1840s through the late 20th century and a wide variety of photographic processes from the 174 years of the medium’s existence are represented. The variety of subjects featured include Frida Kahlo, Martin Luther King Jr., the first train wreck ever photographed, the Lincoln conspirators, the Egyptian pyramids and Sphinx in the 1850s, and a portrait of photo pioneer Daguerre.

The list of the masters include William Henry Fox Talbot, Hill & Adamson, Southworth & Hawes, Timothy O’Sullivan, Mathew Brady, Julia Margaret Cameron, Eadweard Muybridge, William Henry Jackson, Edward S. Curtis, Gertrude Kasebier, Eugene Atget, Alfred Stieglitz, Lewis W. Hine, Dorothea Lange, Nickolas Muray, and Benedict J. Fernandez. We will continually add works to the project throughout the year.

Our partnership with Google is an exciting endeavor and truly opens the door to the contents within our photography vault, with a reach unlike ever before. The online exhibition experience allows for high resolution and high level research with otherwise unseen objects.

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More info here and here via mashable

We have also worked with Google to be a part of its Google Maps Street View project. Later this year, 360-degree views of the museum’s gardens, grounds, historic house, and vaults will be available.

 

If you haven’t yet had a chance to watch our latest video about the museum, here it is:

 

 

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Welcome Back Everybody

Posted by on Mar 20 2013 | Motion Pictures, Technology

 

March 2, 2013 Grand Reopening Night – Shared memories of the Dryden Theatre’s past, and excitement for all that is in store.

 

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Meetup at Eastman House

Posted by on Mar 19 2013 | House & Gardens, Photography, Technology

instameetup roc eastman house

If you’re an instagrammer in Rochester we’re hosting the next meetup this weekend. Our curator of photographs, Jessica Johnston will give the group a gallery tour of our current exhibit Silver and Water. RSVP to @rocinstagram and come hang out!

 

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50th Anniversary of the Instamatic (1963)

Posted by on Mar 12 2013 | Photography, Technology

 

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March 2013 marks the 50th anniversary of the Kodak Instamatic family of cameras. These cameras, featuring the instant-loading 126 (Kodapack) film cartridge, were by far the most successful of the time. Instamatics, like the Brownies they replaced, were the entrée cameras for a new generation of photographers.

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Some of the accolades associated with this iconic 1960s-era camera are:

• The Instamatic provided the amateur photographer an inexpensive, well-made, and easy-to-use camera

• The Instamatic was the most successful Eastman Kodak Company camera since the introduction of the Brownie camera of 1900

• More than 50 million Instamatic cameras were sold worldwide between 1963 and 1970, with 7.5 million sold within the first two years of production

• It was introduced at a time when camera innovation was dominated by German and Japanese companies, proving American engineering could still produce competitive products

• The Instamatic 100 was designed by Frank A. Zagara, who won a Certificate of Design Merit from the Industrial Designers Institute

• The cartridge-loading system was a bombshell success, copied by numerous camera and film manufacturers around the world

• The 126 cartridge was designed by Kodak engineer Hubert Nerwin, with patent number 3,138,081 granted June 23, 1964

• The name Instamatic name became synonymous with snapshot photography, similar to the Kodak name during George Eastman’s time

 

instamatic
We’ve currently got one on display in the entrance gallery –  if you’re in town stop in and check it out.

 

 

 

 

 

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