Brownie is the name of a long-running popular series of simple and inexpensive cameras made by Eastman Kodak.
The Brownie camera, introduced in February 1900, invented low-cost photography by introducing the concept of the snapshot to the masses. The Brownie, was a very basic cardboard box camera with a simple meniscus lens that took 2 1/4-inch square pictures on 117rollfilm. The Brownie camera was conceived and marketed for sales of Kodak roll films. Because of its’ simple controls and initial price of $1 along with the low price of Kodak roll film and processing, The Brownie camera achieved and surpassed its’ marketing goal.
The camera was named after the brownies in popular Palmer Coxcartoons. Consumers responded, and over 150,000 Brownie cameras were shipped in the first year of production. An improved model, called No. 2 Brownie came in 1901, which produced larger photos and cost $2. It was also very popular.
Brownies were extensively marketed to children, with Kodak using them to popularise photography. They were also taken to war by soldiers. As they were so ubiquitous, many iconic shots were taken on brownies.
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