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The Price Of The Original Kodak Camera Might Surprise You – SlashGear

As the National Museum of American History notes, the first Kodak shipped for $25, complete with a blank roll of film. According to In 2013 dollars (that works in 2023 dollars as well), that corresponds to more than $780 in modern dollars as of this writing. Per Shutterbug, that’s actually a shade cheaper than an entry-level professional camera today, but of course, a true top-of-the-line camera in today’s market costs quite a bit more.

Kodak’s first customers were buying something beyond a simple high-quality consumer item, too. They were investing in the future of their medium. Eastman may have made his name in the dry-plate business, but he never stopped innovating. Per Britannica, George Eastman is credited with the invention of flexible roll film, which would define consumer photography until the rise of digital imaging over a century later.

Eastman treated the Kodak camera as a showcase for the flexible roll. The first Kodak may have been clunky by modern standards, but for 19th-century photographers accustomed to wet plates, tripods, and developing pictures themselves, a single portable box with a replaceable roll they could simply send off to be developed seemed almost impossibly compact and convenient. The Eastman Kodak Company’s tagline, “You press the button, we do the rest” was literally true – and would become the design brief for virtually every consumer camera that followed.

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