Tag Archives: photography

175 Years of Photography


2014 marks the 175th anniversary of the first permanent photographic image. August 19, 2014 is World Photo Day.

I am not an expert or a professional photographer, but I have a great interest in photographs and take a fair amount of them.

Here at Boatwright Library in the department of Discovery, Technology and Publishing we digitize a number of photographs and other images for preservation, access, as well as online exhibits.

Here is a nice table put together by the Library of Congress of the different types of photographs through time starting in 1839 with Daguerreotypes. The introduction of the Kodak box camera, the Brownie introduced in February 1900, brought photography to the masses and revolutionized photography as much as the digital camera has for our generation the past decade and a half.

Early photographs were on copper, tin, and later glass. There has been positive film as well as negative film. Negative films were made from acetate, nitrate, and later polyester. And don’t forget the instant Polaroid cameras. The camera and the photographic process continues to evolve.

Today of course, there is a camera on almost every phone and every event in one’s life can be captured and sent to family and friends by pressing buttons which sends an image through the air. It’s amazing.

The Brownie started our love affair with photographs and it continues today. And don’t forget to subscribe to our blog!

For more information:

The PBS series “American Photography: A Century of Images” is a good place to start.

The George Eastman House International Museum of Photography and Film with it’s over 170 videos uploaded to YouTube has tons of information on photography as well as film restorations they have been involved with.

The photographs of Abraham Lincoln are from the US National Archives flickr site.