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Most of the photos on this site were extracted from reference images (high-resolution tiffs, 20 to 200 megabytes in size) from the Library of Congress research archive. (To query the database click here.) Many were digitized by LOC contractors using a Sinar studio back. They are adjusted by your webmaster for contrast and color in Photoshop before being downsized and turned into the jpegs you see here.

 
 
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VINTAGRAPH • WPA • WWII • SYPHILIS ... SIX OUT OF TEN CURED, 1941

The Kodak Girl: 1909

The Kodak Girl: 1909

February 17, 1909. "No. 28 -- The Kodak Girl." View full size.

 

Somebody help me!

Where's this camera everybody keeps talking about? Wow, what a babe. Since time travel is an impossibility, Shorpy is the next best thing!

Maxfield Parrish

Would have loved to use her for a model. The softness of the focus makes this look a bit like a painting, too.

Gramps' Premo Camera

This is Gramps' Premo Camera, made by "Eastman Kodak Co. successor to Rochester Optical Co.", with the original box and operating instructions. The booklet is dated September, 1913. The camera used 3 1/4 x 4 1/4 film.

My grandparents met in 1916 and were married in 1919. I have plenty of snapshots made with this camera, but it hasn't seen any action in about 70 years.

The bellows is toast, but the variable speed shutter and the "diaphragm" or aperture still work well. Not bad for two generations of inactivity, eh?

This camera is fairly close to the one held by our lovely lady; the biggest difference I see is the bulb trip is on one side only on mine.

Oh, those eyes

Where was I? Oh, right there's this:

"The Kodak Girl" - 1902 sheet music, March and Two-Step composed by William T. Cramer dedicated to the Eastman Kodak Company. Illustration shows an early version of the "Kodak Girl," who was an important part of Kodak advertising for over a hundred years.

A variant of the Kodak 4A

That there is a Kodak 4A Folding camera, the uncle of my somewhat newer Kodak 610, which had a fabric bellows and was manufactured in the late 1920s (though the design had been in manufacture from the late teens, and would continue into the mid 1930s).

Film for this camera stopped being manufactured in 1949, from what I've seen. Film for mine could still be bought into the late 1980s (Kodak 616).

Clicking the Kodak

Looks like a cable or bulb release is in place here, and her right hand and fingers are positioned in a way that would be consistent with using one. The cable sort of disappears before it reaches her hand, though.

A Kodak Moment

So where does the Micro SD card go?

One of the reasons I love old photos so much is because we can see what they saw 100 years ago and imagine the technological leaps that will be made in the next 100. This girl would have been blown away by what we see as normal today. Normal things a few years from now, we cannot even guess at because the concepts don't yet exist.

High Tech

If no one else is going to say it I will: That is one sexy camera -- everything is manual and analog.

Hey, sailor!

I believe she has her sailor's suit and hat on so that she can go down to Riverside Park and photograph the fleet.

Kodak Kouture

She is STUNNING. Too bad about the goofy sack she's wearing.

Clothing

Sailor suits were the fashion of the day. She is wearing an exaggerated sailor "flat hat" and a white sailor's jumper.

Looks just like my camera

Even though this was taken about a decade and a half before it was made, that looks just like my Kodak 6-10 camera, which was handed down to me from its original owner (my grandfather) when I turned 13.

It's just this beautiful little gadget; there are even little "cutouts" in the viewfinder to show what the little corners will cover when you put it in your photo albums. She's not holding it even particularly close to how she would need to hold it to take a picture, though, as you need to hold it in the center of your chest so that you can look down into the viewfinder (the window is on top) and push the lever down to activate the shutter. You could still get film for it well into the 1980s.

Darn it

Don't you just hate those days when you can't seem to do anything with your hair and it ends up as "flat as a pancake."

Another early meme

So

What's with the flapjack on her head?

Will she?

I'm gonna ask her to go out on the Tashmoo for a date.

Wow!

Tina Fey was Buster Brown's girlfriend.

 
THE 100-YEAR-OLD PHOTO BLOG
Shorpy.com | History in HD is a vintage photo blog featuring thousands of high-definition images from the 1850s to 1950s. The site is named after Shorpy Higginbotham, a teenage coal miner who lived 100 years ago.

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