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Kodak circular snapshot
National Science and Media Museum
Kodak Collection, Inventory no: 1990-5036/6004/9
A Kodak circular snapshot photograph of a beach photographer with his portable darkroom. For many years beach photographers were a common sight at the seaside. They took cheap, often technically poor, 'while-you-wait' portraits as souvenirs.
The origins of popular photography can be traced back to 1888 when George Eastman (1854 - 1932) patented the first Kodak camera. A small box camera it was sold ready-loaded with a roll of negative stripping paper providing 100 circular pictures 2.5 inches (64mm) in diameter. In 1889 Eastman introduced the No 2 Kodak camera which took slightly larger circular photographs, 3.5 inches in diameter.
Originally a shooting term, the word 'snapshot' was first linked with photography in the late 1850s, when it was used to describe a photograph taken with a brief exposure. Over time, snapshot came to mean any amateur photograph taken with a simple camera. Snapshots are informal, personal records of everyday life and experiences.