Saturday, December 03, 2005

When photography was new: DIY postcards

In The Devil in the White City, a dramatically told true story of the 1893 Chicago World's Fair and, at its margins, a shadowy psychopath for whom many young women had a fatal attraction, we see the dawn of the American century: the first apperances of the Ferris wheel, the electric chair, Shredded Wheat, Cracker Jacks, Juicy Fruit gum, and the Kodak camera. The psychopath, Dr. H. H. Holmes, ran a hotel that had a "Kodak room" where you could develop your film. That must have been about as cool as free wireless internet.

Over at The Morning News, Harvey Tulcensky and Laetitia Wolff introduce us to Kodak's 1907 innovation, "real photo postcards" (from their book of the same name). In an interview Tulcensky notes the comparison to But I think he's right about the difference: "The difference is that we are so inundated with images today, that there is no more naïveté in the image-making or choosing. The images that surround us are more often than not tired clichés."

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