18th Century Photography: American Inventors' Contributions - Essay Sample

Paper Type:  Essay
Pages:  7
Wordcount:  1852 Words
Date:  2023-01-23


The USA has a vast history of technological innovations and development. Major world developments today are as a result of dedicated works of the American researchers. Photography industry is one of the fields that has benefited from the contributions of American inventors. Today, it is a common culture around the world to take snapshot anywhere and at any time due to technological advancements in photography. However, the idea of the camera dates back in the 18th century when people like George Eastman contributed to significant development in photography. He invented the Kodak camera that was popular in the 20th century. Kodak was the largest photography company for a long period, and it faced minimum competition before it was overtaken by other companies that invested in the technology (Suddath, 2019). In this paper, it is essential to analyze George Eastman's history of technology in America and his contributions to global technological development. In the first section, it involves t a summary of the history of technology by Eastman. The other sections involve discussions based on specific technological contributions that Eastman made in the photography industry that proves he deserved to be included the world history of technology.

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Summary of the Eastman's Contribution to the Photography Industry

The History of American Photography Industry dates back in the late 1870s. By then the photosensitivity of the photographic materials perishable and therefore their preparation for the materials was decentralized. The photographers were forced to prepare the photosensitive materials during the photo session. George Eastman established a research institution in Rochester, New York known as Eastman Kodak Industrial Research Laboratory in the late 19th century. Eastman entered the Photography industry with the aim of being the biggest manufacturer of dry plates and obtaining the largest share market. He obtained patenting rights for new machinery and technology he innovated. However, the patenting did not reduce competition but instead, he decided to hire a new camera maker, William. H. Walker who created a new system that replaced the dry plates known as roll film photography. By 1884, the company was able to manufacture a roll film holder that replaced the plate holder, introduced a paper roll film and developed new machinery that enhanced continuous production. However, the roll film system did not perform well in the market since the users complained that it produced poor images (Pursell, 1980).

Eastman continued to invest heavily towards the development of the roll film system but later realized that the system failed to accomplish his main goal which was to enable more people to operate the camera. The model was still not used to the general public. Eastman invented a new camera that was known as Kodak Camera. The camera was sold to their customers with multiples of exposure roll film. The role of films would enable an amateur to return the loaded to the company development and stripping of the film, production of prints and reloading of new films. The company created a revolutionary of amateur photography and the company was able to achieve a competitive edge. Additionally, the firm was able to enhance specialization and creation of an advanced research unit. The company was able to market its products in overseas countries. However, the complex patenting rights in most countries limited discouraged them to acquire patent rights. The Firm was forced to make continuous improvement in its products to ensure that they remained competitive in the market (Pursell, 1980).

Eastman Founded an Industrial research laboratory at Eastman Kodak for research and development in 1912. He got the idea of initiating a research laboratory from the Bayer Chemical Company. Even before he had constructed the laboratory, the firm has already made various progress in the industry such developing rolled celluloid film, cinematographic film, continuous film production techniques such as coating and dying and acetate films and improved the amateur cameras. However, after the established of the research unit, Eastman appointed Mees as the director of the company. Eastman and his team, they contributed to a new understanding of photochemistry and photometric. Additionally, the company initiated the small scale production of fine organic chemicals and increased the sensitivity of its emulsions after discovering the catalytic effects of the Sulfur compound in halide emulsions that increased the sensitivity of the existing emulsions in the company (Pursell, 1980).

The Contribution of Kodak in the History of Technology in America

Development of Celluloid Roll

George Eastman is popularly known because of his recognized company Eastman -Kodak Company. He played a major role in the development of photographic films. Kodak had been the largest photographic entity during the beginning and the middle of the 20th century. The progress of the company was as a result of developing and realizing countless innovative products and technologies in the photography industry. The Photography industry not popular in the world until 1888 when George Eastern decided to join the photography industry d improvised the existing photograph. The older photography tools were heavy, huge and costly. Additionally, the photographs contained enormous errors as a result of the wet plate tool used in the camera. Moreover, the camera required a photographer to carry a tent for spreading the photographic emulsions on glass plates before its exposure. The plates would later be developed before they would dry up. Eastman developed an urge to create a camera that would be less cumbersome and easier to use.

Eastman realized that a researcher known as William Walker had enough skills to work out on different parts of a camera. Through their collaboration, they formulated a method to produce gelatin- based paper film, and a tool for coating dry plates. The plates were coated with the emulsion and retained sensitivity even after drying up. The firm patented his idea of dry plates and the machine that produced large quantities for the plates. The innovation enabled the photographers to process the photographs at their own convenient time, unlike the previous plates that required them to process the pictures immediately after capturing them. Additionally, the rolling film enabled photographers to take pictures in a short time by rolling the film from one spool to another (Olivier, 2007).

Development of Celluloid Roll Film

Many researchers attempted to develop flexible and transparent pictures to no avail. For years they looked for materials that were rolling, hard, and would substitute the glass. The absence of the materials would benefit the photography industry to produce motion film. Moreover, motion pictures came into existence as a result of the works of Eastman. He invented a transparent film made of gelatin, an invention that boosted the photography industry to greater heights. The layer of gelatin prevented the film from twisting and curling of the photographic paper when being processed. Additionally, it made the film easier to use. Thomas and Eastern used the transparent film to create the first motion pictures. Eastman Company extended its market for the new transparent films to Britain. However, Eastman engaged in a dispute over the celluloid with another inventor and he ended up losing $ 5 million dollars from the case. Today's Photographic for the motion pictures is as a result of the Initial developments of the Eastman film works (Zorn, 2014).

Development of the Kodak Camera

Eastman dreamed to see that everyone around the world would afford a camera to capture events. He introduced the Kodak Camera in February 1900. The camera was lowly priced, hand-held camera and it was named Brownie. The camera was simple for everyone to use. Eastman produced and sold the Brownie at a cheaper price to facilitate higher sales of roll films which he had invented and make photography accessible to people around the world. He came up with the name Kodak since his favorite letter was "K". His idea for the trademark was based on three principles which include; the name had to be short, could not be mispronounced and it could not resemble any other object (Olivier, 2007). The brownie ushered a new culture of photography in America and in other parts of the world. Multiples of people became members of Brownie Camera Club and participated in the Kodak Camera contest and as a result, there emerged professional photographers. The debut of the Kodak camera in the 20th century resulted enabled thousands of people to purchase the camera including the amateurs and the middle-income class people. In 1900 the camera as costing only $ 1 and therefore many people could afford. During that same year, Eastman Company sold more than 150, 000 Eastman's invention became more reliable to the professional photographers. The camera was easy to use since an individual only needed to pop the cartridge of the film, close the opening, hold the camera at the weight height and aim at the object using the viewfinder and turn the switch. The entity advertised to its potential buyers that the camera was simple to use to appoint that it could be operated by school children (Olivier, 2007).

Before the introduction of the Kodak cameras, the middle-class people could not afford them since they were expensive. The affordability of the Brownie camera created a democratizing effect in the history of American culture. Women, children and working classes were able to take pictures at any given time they wished. Eastman encouraged the purchase of his product through mass advertising using the pop culture that had emerged among the children He marketed his products in magazines and newspapers. He made his product popular among the children by addressing them as brownie boys and girls. Additionally, the Eastman Company launched fictional books that elaborated the fairy origins of the camera and included the winning entries for children across the USA and as a result, the company was able to assert the snapshot culture. Eastman believed that if children were introduced into photography there, interest would continue even during the old ages. Moreover, cameras enabled artists such as photojournalists and fashion photographers a medium that they could utilize to express themselves (Hoover, 2019).

The Invention of Kodachrome Photography

Colored Chrome photography was not in existence until Eastman Kodak Company introduced Kodachrome form in 1935. People who wished to process colored images had to deal with long development procedures. However, the images resulted in less satisfactory images since they were dull and tilted that was far from the true reality of the object. The Kodachrome process involved three emulsion coats on a single film base with each having its own sensitive color. The method was developed by the workers of Eastman research laboratory. The idea of creating colored images cropped up as a result of poor color quality of images of a movie the workers had viewed on a movie in 1916. The technicians spend years on the technique until 1935 when they incorporated their idea into the Kodak and utilized it in 16-mm movie film. Kodachrome reached its peak into the market in the 1960s and 1970s when the Americans urge to capture images during family vacations and birthday parties increasingly became popular. The Kodak Company improved the version of Kodachrome into Kodachrome II that was faster and more versatile. The organization introduced the new version into the market in 1965. Kodak Company continued to expand across the borders as more due to increased demand for its products into the market....

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18th Century Photography: American Inventors' Contributions - Essay Sample. (2023, Jan 23). Retrieved from https://midtermguru.com/essays/18th-century-photography-american-inventors-contributions-essay-sample

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