CAMERA DISPLAY – Lakewood Historical Society Museum is featuring a display of Kodak cameras collected by Don Tempel.
Whether your photographic interests are strictly amateur or bordering on the professional, the exhibition at the Lakewood Historical Society Museum will be of particular interest.
Cameras from 1839 to today are included in the exhibit. They are part of the collection of Lakewood resident Don Tempel.
Tempel has been interested in cameras and photography since the early 1940s when he was given a Kodak Brownie Reflex Camera. That led to a life-long interest in photography and camera collecting. His extensive collection, a part of which can be seen at the museum, spans a period from 1839, the earliest period of cameras manufactured for the public, to some of today‚Äôs high-tech models.
After retiring from the Air Force, Tempel opened his commercial photography business. He currently is teaching photography classes at the Lakewood Senior Center.
Tempel explains that it was in 1888 that George Eastman designed and built the first Kodak camera. It was a landmark in the industry in that its simplicity enabled the ordinary person to take a good photograph. The camera was marketed with the slogan ‚ÄúYou press the button and we do the rest.‚Äù ‚Ä®‚Ä® One of the most innovative features was that it used roll film instead of bulky and fragile glass plates. But, at $25 it was expensive and cumbersome.‚Ä®‚Ä® The photographer would take 100 pictures on the camera which came pre-loaded with the roll of film, ship it to the Eastman Kodak firm in Rochester, New York. At the plant the film was processed, printed and shipped back reloaded with fresh film, for a fee of $10.
In 1900, Frank Brownell, an Eastman Kodak employee, designed the ‚ÄúBROWNIE‚Äù Box camera using roll film that could be loaded and unloaded in daylight. It was easy to handle and operate, and it sold for the popular price of $1.‚Ä®‚Ä® George Eastman quickly recognized that film, more than the camera, would be a substantial, ongoing revenue source for his company. Those Brownie Cameras revolutionized amateur photography and put cameras in the hands of millions of consumers.
The display of cameras is available to the public at the museum located at 6211 Mt. Tac0oma Dr. SW in Lakewood. The museum is open Tuesday through Saturday, 10 am to 4 pm.
The museum also currently features a number of additional exhibits related to Lakewood.