Antique and vintage cameras are valued by collectors for many reasons, from the historical significance of 19th century wood cameras to the fine optics of classic vintage Leicas. Kodak and Polaroid are two other big names in camera collecting, as is Bolex in movie cameras.

The principles of the camera obscura - a simple light projection box - have been understood for thousands of years, but it wasn't until the late 18th century that Thomas Wedgwood discovered he could make simple prints using silver nitrate exposed to the sun. Over the next 100 years, a series of technical advances brought cameras into everyday life.

Nicephore Niepce and Louis Daguerre formed a partnership in 1829, and figured out a new chemical bath for prints, which shortened the exposure process to eight hours. Daguerre continued this research until he perfected the Daguerreotype, a print made on silver that was used up until the mid 1850s. Daguerreotypes and other formats (e.g. cyanotypes, ambrotypes, tintypes) were made with wood cameras, which were essentially camera obscuras with lenses, allowing for clearer image refraction.

It wasn't until George Eastman's 1885 invention of film that cameras got smaller - with his Kodak film loaded in, you would send the whole camera back to the factory to have it developed. Oskar Barnack began experimenting with 35 mm film in 1914 and built some prototypes of what eventually become the Leica I, the first practical 35 mm camera, released in 1925.

More improvements came when Kodak introduced the Retina I, the first camera to use a modern 135 film cartridge. Photography soon became affordable to all, even before the 1947 introduction of Polaroid's instant camera.

Development of movie cameras kept pace, building atop the basic slide projection technology (magic lantern) which had been in use since the 1500s. The first movie cameras were developed around 1888, and Thomas Edison produced the first copyrighted film in 1894. In 1895, the Lumiere brothers of France first showed off their 'Cinematographe,' a handheld combination projector and camera, in the first commercial public film screening.

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Recent News: Cameras

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Create an electronic card in Outlook for all your business email communications
PCWorld, May 27th

In the second card design (with the antique camera), the layout is set to Image Left, the Image Area is 25 percent, and the Image Align is set to Top Left. In the third card design (the film strip), the Layout is set to Image Right, the Image Area is...Read more

Minnetrista offers June programs for all ages
Muncie Star Press, May 26th

MUNCIE – During June, visitors to Minnetrista can enjoy a elegant teatime, get a head-start on summer gardening, learn about how to can what they grow or relax to front-porch banjo music at a free concert. • Farmers Market at Minnetrista, 8 a.m.-noon ...Read more

Did You Know
The Philadelphia Tribune, May 26th

37 percent of the images in the U.S. were captured using camera phones, today, that number is expected to be 50 percent. The largest collection of cameras in the world is held by Dilish Parekh of Mumbai. He has a collection of 4,425 antique cameras...Read more

Tribeca Citizen, May 25th

It's a good thing today is a holiday, because you're going to lose hours exploring a new site site that makes the New York Public Library's historical photos of the city incredibly easy to browse. Above: Hudson Street, looking north from Reade, in 1870...Read more

Watch Weird Al portray Jesus Christ in The Moving Picture Co. 1914 silent film
Entertainment Weekly (blog), May 22nd

Unfortunately for the actress, just about everything goes wrong at the movie studio depicted in the short film, which, according to its official website, used a mixture of modern and antique camera equipment to capture the look and feel of a classic...Read more

Recognize these people? Vintage camera from Bangor area reveals ...
Bangor Daily News, May 9th

Gary Flanagan, who lives in New Brunswick but frequently visits Bangor, purchased an antique Brownie Hawkeye camera and developed the film. Now he's trying to identify the people in the photos. Gary Flanagan, who lives in New Brunswick but frequently ...Read more

Interstate 81 attractions: See parade floats, vintage cameras and Woodrow Wilson
Washington Post, April 23rd

If you're heading from D.C. to the mountains along the Shenandoah Valley, chances are you'll be on or near Interstate 81, home of some classic roadside attractions. (Lots of caverns, in particular.) We stopped at one on our way to Staunton, Va., a...Read more

This Gigantic Collection of 600 Vintage Cameras is for Sale on eBay: It's ...
PetaPixel (blog), March 1st

Want to start your own camera museum? There's a new listing on eBay that can put you on the fast track to doing so. It's for a gigantic collection of roughly 600 vintage cameras from between 1880 and 1980. The description claims the lot could be turned...Read more