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The First Camera Essay

The camera is a great invention. It allows us to do anything from taking pictures of our loved ones and capturing memories to making fine art. But this makes me think, what was the first camera like? Before there where cameras like the ones we use today, photos were taken using the camera obscura. They were dark chambers with a small lens or pinhole (so it was also called a pin-hole camera). The light that came through the pinhole was then projected onto a screen that the artist would trace, making an image. If you do not consider that to be a camera, than the camera invented by Joseph Nicéphore Niépce may be more of your style. The image of this camera is what I think of when I think of an old camera. This camera took photos using a pewter plate coated in bitumen (a black, oily tar- like material).

The plate is exposed to light. Wherever the light stuck the plate, the bitumen hardened and the extra was dissolved. What was left was the photo. But the first patent for photography in America was given to Alexander Wolcott in 1840 for his camera. In 1885, any one was able to own a camera after the “Kodak” was made. It was a simple camera and had to be sent back to the factory to print the photos after taking 100 and reset them. Come 1949, the first disposable camera was made and distributed by Photo-pac. But it could not really be called popular since it could only take 8 pictures before you need to buy another. Jacques-Yves Cousteau invented the first waterproof camera, but it was big, bulky, and probably not meant for the general public. It was mostly used for military purposes. As you can see, there were many ‘firsts’ in the long history of the camera. I learned quite a bit while writing this. I hope that you learned something reading it too.

Bibliography

http://fi.edu/pieces/watson/hist.htm

http://www.shotaddict.com/wordpress/2007/03/06/2918.html

http://photography.lovetoknow.com/First_Camera_Invented

http://www.buzzle.com/articles/history-of-the-camera.html


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