The Kodak was George Eastman's legendary first rollfilm camera bearing the new brand name "Kodak", patented and introduced in 1888. It used Eastman stripping negative film. The Kodak No. 1 of 1889 resembled the Kodak, but featured a more sophisticated shutter. It was available for Eastman stripping negative film or Eastman transparent film.

In use, the shutter was set by pulling a string; the camera was sighted by looking along a V-shape on the top of the camera. The shutter was tripped by pressing a button on the camera's side. After exposure, the key was used to wind the film to the next frame. The film moved past a shaft, rotating it, which caused a pointer visible on the top of the camera to rotate, so the photographer could be sure of advancing the correct amount of film. Once one hundred pictures had been taken, the user sent the whole camera back to Kodak for film processing and reloading - at a cost of $10[1]. A hundred round negatives with a diameter of 65mm came from each roll of Eastman American Film. The round image was a design decision, partly as a way of ensuring that the photographer didn't have to hold the camera exactly level with the horizon, and partly to compensate for the poor image quality at the corners of the image. These first Kodak cameras were designed by George Eastman in collaboration with a cabinetmaker, Frank A. Brownell, who set up the production line at Eastman's factory. They are beautifully built, with box joints and strong leather covering.

  • type: box camera
  • Manufacturer: Kodak
  • Years of production: 1888-1889 (Kodak); 1889-1895 (Kodak No.1)
  • Price: US$25 (quite expensive at that time)
  • Films: paper film rolls - changed by manufacturer, alternate loading with transparent film (only Kodak No. 1)
  • Lens: Bausch & Lomb 57mm f/9 Rapid Rectilinear wide angle lens
  • Shutter: string set; cylindrical (Kodak), rotary sector shutter (Kodak No.1)
  • Weight: 900 g
  • Dimensions: 8.3×9.6×16.5cm


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