32250 1 l


  • Jan 1, 1000

    Alhazen invents first pinhole camera

    Alhazen invents first pinhole camera
    Alhazen, a great authority on optics in the Middle Ages who lived around 1000AD, invented the first pinhole camera, (also called the Camera Obscura} and was able to explain why the images were upside down.
  • Period: Jan 1, 1000 to


  • Camera Obscura

    Camera Obscura
    Johannes Kepler was the first person to coin the phrase Camera Obscura in 1604, and in 1609, Kepler further suggested the use of a lens to improve the image projected by a Camera Obscura.
  • Joseph Niepce makes first photographic image with camera obscura

    Joseph Niepce makes first photographic image with camera obscura
    On a summer day in 1827, Joseph Nicephore Niepce made the first photographic image with a camera obscura. Prior to Niepce people just used the camera obscura for viewing or drawing purposes not for making photographs.
  • First Practical Process of Photography

    First Practical Process of Photography
    Louis Daguerre was the inventor of the first practical process of photography. In 1829, he formed a partnership with Joseph Nicephore Niepce to improve the process Niepce had developed.
    In 1839 after several years of experimentation and Niepce's death, Daguerre developed a more convenient and effective method of photography, naming it after himself - the daguerreotype.
  • The First Negative

    The First Negative
    The inventor of the first negative from which multiple postive prints were made was Henry Fox Talbot. From the paper negative, Talbot made contact prints, reversing the light and shadows to create a detailed picture. In 1841, he perfected this paper-negative process and called it a calotype, Greek for beautiful picture.
  • Wet Plate Negatives

    Wet Plate Negatives
    In 1851, Frederick Scoff Archer, an English sculptor, invented the wet plate negative. Using a viscous solution of collodion, he coated glass with light-sensitive silver salts. Because it was glass and not paper, this wet plate created a more stable and detailed negative.
  • Tinytypes

    Tintypes, patented in 1856 by Hamilton Smith, were another medium that heralded the birth of photography. A thin sheet of iron was used to provide a base for light-sensitive material, yielding a positive image.
  • Filters

    English inventor and manufacturer, Frederick Wratten founded one of the first photographic supply businesses, Wratten and Wainwright in 1878. Wratten and Wainwright manufactured and sold collodion glass plates and gelatin dry plates. Wratten is best known for the photographic filters that he invented and are still named after him - Wratten Filters. Eastman Kodak purchased his company in 1912.
  • Dry Plate Negatives & Hand Held Cameras

    Dry Plate Negatives & Hand Held Cameras
    In 1879, the dry plate was invented, a glass negative plate with a dried gelatin emulsion. Dry plates could be stored for a period of time. Photographers no longer needed portable darkrooms and could now hire technicians to develop their photographs. Dry processes absorbed light quickly so rapidly that the hand-held camera was now possible.
  • Kodak Cameras

    Kodak Cameras
    George Eastman, a dry plate manufacturer from Rochester, New York, invented the Kodak camera. For $22.00, an amateur could purchase a camera with enough film for 100 shots. After use, it was sent back to the company, which then processed the film. Eastman's first simple camera in 1888 was a wooden, light-tight box with a simple lens and shutter that was factory-filled with film. The photographer pushed a button to produce a negative. Once the film was used up, the photographer mailed the camera.
  • Flexible Roll Film

    Flexible Roll Film
    In 1889, George Eastman invented film with a base that was flexible, unbreakable, and could be rolled. Emulsions coated on a cellulose nitrate film base, such as Eastman's, made the mass-produced box camera a reality.
  • Twin-Lens-Reflex Camera

    Twin-Lens-Reflex Camera
    The development of the 35-mm roll film in the 1920's used for cameras, led to the development of the twin-lens-reflex camera in 1929.
  • Photoflash Bulbs

    Photoflash Bulbs
    The first commercially available photoflash bulb was patented by German, Johannes Ostermeier. These flashbulbs were named the Vacublitz. General Electric made a flashbulb called the Sashalite.
  • Color Photographs

    Color Photographs
    In the early 1940s, commercially viable color films were brought to the market. These films used the modern technology of dye-coupled colors in which a chemical process connects the three dye layers together to create an apparent color image.
  • Polaroids

    Polaroid photography was invented by Edwin Herbert Land. Land was the American inventor and physicist whose one-step process for developing and printing photos created instant photography. The first Polaroid camera was sold to the public in November, 1948.
  • Digital Camera

    Digital Camera
    Canon demonstrated first digital electronic still camera.
  • Disposable Camera

    Disposable Camera
    Fuji introduced the disposable camera in 1986. We call them disposables but the people who make these cameras want you to know that they're committed to recycling the parts, a message they've attempted to convey by calling their products "single-use cameras."