George Eastman-the Man Who Brought Photography to the Masses
Topics: Photographic film, Photography / Pages: 11 (2634 words) / Published: Nov 16th, 2005


This paper is on a man who had very humble beginnings and through his ingenuity and curiosity was able to enhance the culture we live in, even today through his inventions in photography. For without his invention of the roll film, photography might be a much more difficult process than we are used to in this day and age. Mr. George Eastman was born on July 12, 1854, in Waterville, NY. His father, George Washington Eastman, ran a business school where he taught bookkeeping and penmanship, but had to work a second job selling fruit trees and roses, which forced him to split his time between Waterville and Rochester, New York. The young George Eastman was thus raised mostly by his mother, Maria Kilbourn Eastman, from an early age, and entirely by her after his father died in 1862. In 1870, his older sister Katie, who suffered from polio, died as well, leaving the Eastman household permanently scarred by misfortune. At the age of 15, his family had moved to Rochester and George took a job as an office boy after quitting school, to help support his family. In 1875 he started working at the Rochester Savings Bank as a Junior Bookkeeper. He was able to save money and then ventured into a career in real estate. In 1877 there was a boom in land speculation underway in Hispaniola and George had planned a trip to go there and partake in it. A friend of his convinced him that he should document the trip with a camera, so he went out and purchased his first photographic equipment. The trip ended up not taking place, but George had fallen in love with photography and wanted to learn as much about this fascinating profession as possible, so he sought out two amateur photographers in Rochester a Mr. George Monroe and a Mr. George Selden. He became their willing pupil. After getting a subscription to the "British Journal of Photography" he was inspired to make improvements in dry plate photography (which back then was far inferior to wet

References: Coe, Brian. Cameras: From Daguerreotypes to Instant Pictures, Crown Publishers 1978 Eder, Josf Maria. History of Photography. Dover Publications, 1945 Newhall, Beaumont, The History of Photography from 1839 to the Present, Secker and Warburg, 1986 Sharf, Aaron, Pioneers of Photography. Harry Abrams Beaton, Cecil, and Buckland, Gay. The Magic Image: The genius of Photography from 1839 to the Present Day, London: Pavilion Books, 1989 Gernsheim, Helmut, The Concise History of Photography: Thames & Hudson, 1986, 11/11/2005, 11/11/2005

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