From my collection: an original Kodak "snapshot" taken with either the original Kodak camera (1888-1889) or the No. 1 Kodak (1889-1895). Both cameras used the same format.... 2.5 inch round albumen print mounted on 4.25 x 5.25 inch card. The "Kodak" and it's transparent roll film revolutionized photography for the masses. The round format made it unnecessary to hold the camera level as it was handheld and also masked the fact that the lens was not sharp to the edge.
The camera sold for $25 (expensive for the time) and was factory loaded with enough film for 100 images. After taking the photos the customer sent the camera back to Rochester, N.Y. where the film was developed, prints made and a fresh roll of film inserted. The customer paid $10, which prepaid the processing for the new roll of film.
Original stereoview card of George Washington's tomb, Mount Vernon, Va. c.1866 albumen print by the renowned photographer Alexander Gardner. I picked this up on Ebay for $6..! A contemporary of photographer Mathew Brady, Gardner was famous for his photographs of the Civil War, portraits of President Abraham Lincoln, Gen. Robert E. Lee, Gen.U.S. Grant, Gen. George Custer (among many others), the execution photos of the Lincoln conspirators, images of the American West and Native Americans. He is considered to be one of the most important photographers in American history. This stereoview is one of a series, "The Home of Washington Illustrated", he did for the Mount Vernon Preservation Association as listed on the back of the card.
Kodak 3A Folding Pocket camera with special lens and shutter option. More details on my Kodak page.
From the autobiography of photographer Arnold Genthe, who made the most famous photographs of the 1906 San Francisco earthquake and fire...."I found that my hand cameras had been so damaged by the falling plaster as to be rendered useless. I went to Montgomery Street to the shop of George Kahn, my dealer, and asked him to lend me a camera. "Take anything you want. This place is going to burn up anyway." I selected the best small camera, a 3A Kodak Special. I stuffed my pockets with films and started out."
The 3A used 122 roll film that produced postcard size negatives 3.25x5.5 in. (Genthe's Negatives)
This is my 1909 Kodak 3A Folding Pocket Model B-4 camera with special option Bausch & Lomb Zeiss Tessar series IIb lens and Compound shutter. This camera is most likely the same type that Genthe used for his earthquake photos. I have researched the early Kodak catalogs and the B&L Zeiss Tessar lens was a special option in 1906 with Volute shutter (the Compound shutter was introduced in 1909). The 3A camera was produced from 1903-1915. In 1910 Kodak introduced the name "3A Special" with the Zeiss lens and Compound shutter but before that time it was a 3A with "special" options. My particular camera has labels from the Earl V. Lewis camera shop in Los Angeles on the top and inside the film compartment. Earl V. Lewis was a well known enlarger and printer in the early 20th century. The shop was in business from 1906-1986.
On the left Chinatown, San Francisco, Ca. c.1900 by photographer Arnold Genthe, looking towards 751-753 Clay St. from Brenham Place (now called Walter U Lum Place).and on the right the same view in 2012. Chinatown was devastated by the great earthquake and fire in 1906 and rebuilt. Note the platform shoes worn by these young girls to mimic the gait of women with bound feet.
Photographer Arnold Genthe shown at left holding camera in Chinatown, San Francisco, Ca. c.1900. Genthe documented old Chinatown before it's destruction in the 1906 quake and fire. He used a handheld "detective" plate camera to record candid images of his subjects without their knowledge
Chinatown, San Francisco, Ca., corner of Jackson St. and Dupont Ave (now Grant Ave), c.1900 (left) by photographer Arnold Genthe and the same corner (right) in 2012. Chinatown was devastated by the great earthquake and fire of 1906 and rebuilt.
"Clff House and Seal Rocks, San Francisco, Cal. U.S.A." Original 1901 stereoview card. The elaborate Cliff House and Seal Rocks as seen from Sutro Gardens, San Francisco, 1901. Built in 1896 by Adolf Sutro, the Cliff House was a seven story Victorian Chateau (called by some "the Gingerbread Palace") below his estate on the bluffs of Sutro Heights overlooking the Pacific Ocean. The Cliff House survived the 1906 earthquake with little damage but burned to the ground in 1907. Original prints (Keystone View Company).
Picked up two original stereoview cards of the 1906 quake from Ebay. One by the H.C. White Co. showing the view up Market Street from the top of the Ferry Bldg. The other one is from the Keystone View Co. showing refugees camping at Fort Mason.These are original photographic prints mounted on cardboard. Stereoview photographs are taken by a camera with two lenses, which takes two separate photos about 2.5" apart, which is approximately the distance between our eyes. The photos appear identical , but in fact are both slightly different. When viewed with a stereoviewer, the two views assimilate into one, and the brain percieves the image in 3D. Stereographs were very popular at the turn of the century. 3 1/2" x 7" sepia silver gelatin.
Great Ebay find. Cabinet card (4.5" x 7") from the JB Monaco studio in San Francisco. Monaco was the dean of North Beach photographers at the turn of the century and is famous for his photos of the 1906 earthquake and fire. He moved his original studio on Market Street to North Beach in 1902. The original building was destroyed in the earthquake and fire in 1906 and was rebuilt and finished in 1908 (it's still standing today). He stayed at this address, 205 Montgomery Ave, until 1923 when he moved to another building across the street. The photo of the building below shows the location c.1908. In 1909 the name of Montgomery Ave was changed to Columbus Ave, so this portrait was taken between 1902 and 1909.
© Joseph Greco