Photographic Equipment & Processes

The History Of Photography

Photographic Equipment

Newer Processes

History of the Camera


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Once the Collodion process was introduced to the general public, photograph found popular support. Fascination with photography grew and with it various inventions related to the field.

History Of Photographic Film

  • The history of photographic films dates back to 1889. Cellulose nitrate was used for this. 
  • Nitrate film encouraged the production of rolls of film. This led to the development of the first ever 35mm wide film. 35mm film was manufactured for cameras using this very technology in 1920s.
  • The twin lens reflex camera was developed in 1929 using medium format roll film. The film measured 6cm wide and was backed with paper. The paper backing made it easy to handle in daylight.
  • Triacetate film was used till the 1970s since it was more stable and fireproof. 
  • Polyester polymers were introduced in the 1960s for gelatin base films.

History Of The Flashbulb

Before flashbulbs were invented photographers used flashlight powder. Miethe and Gaedicke used lycopodium powder in 1887 in Germany as flashlight powder. The Austrian inventor Vierkotter is credited with creating the modern flashbulb, as we know it today. A magnesium-coated wire was used in an evacuated glass sphere. Later the magnesium-coated wire was discarded for aluminum foil in oxygen.

Ostermeier had the honor of selling the first-ever patented commercial flashbulb in 1930 – the Vacublitz. General electric followed with the more famous Sashalite. 

History Of Polaroid Photos

Edwin Land is credited with the invention of instant photography. He developed a single step method by which consumers could click their photographs and develop and print them too. The Polaroid camera did everything and was first made available to the public in November, 1948. The Automatic 100 Land Polaroid Camera was launched in 1960 and the Polaroid Swinger in 1965. The Swinger cost less than $20 and sparked a revolution in modern photography.

The Polaroid Corporation was also involved in a lawsuit with the Kodak Corporation in 1976. Kodak was accused of infringing on Polaroid’s instant photography patents. The courts ruled in favor of Polaroid and Kodak was out of the instant photography market in 1985!

More Facts

  • Disposable cameras were introduced in 1986 by Fuji. They became a huge hit with tourists. Though these were called disposable cameras they were in actuality recyclable cameras.
  • Wratten is credited with the invention of many photographic plates and filters. His achievements include the noodling process in 1878, the first panchromatic plates in 1906 and the extremely popular Wratten filters.

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