Amateur photography in Europe, 1909-1914

Mustang

A
Mustang

  • 0
  • 0
  • 28
32nd Avenue

A
32nd Avenue

  • 0
  • 0
  • 39
Saab

A
Saab

  • 0
  • 0
  • 56
Chevy Van

A
Chevy Van

  • 1
  • 0
  • 57

Recent Classifieds

Forum statistics

Threads
182,066
Messages
2,519,668
Members
95,487
Latest member
coralluxurycleaning
Recent bookmarks
0

Telectroscope

Member
Joined
Jan 23, 2023
Messages
19
Location
London
Shooter
4x5 Format
I am interesting in amateur photography in Europe, 1909-1914. If a person bought a Kodak camera in USA, they would expose the 100 shots, then return the camera to the Kodak company in New York. The film would be developed, prints made, a new roll of film loaded into the camera, and everything returned to the customer.

But what did people in Europe do? Was there a Kodak factory in France? Was there a Kodak factory in England? How long would this whole process, from posting the camera to Kodak to return of the prints, take? What were the costs? When was the change from returning the whole camera to removing the roll of film and having that developed? Does anyone have any information on any of this?

Thanks,
Paul
 

Ian Grant

Subscriber
Joined
Aug 2, 2004
Messages
22,359
Location
West Midland
Shooter
Multi Format
Kodak were late in Europe. They tried to buy Ilford but were turned down, and the UK market was far more advanced, so we had an entirely different history.

By 1909 the UK had many plate/film/paper manufacturers and far more camera manufacturers than the US. Companies tended to be regional before WW1
Boots sold cameras (wood & brass etc) and offered processing, as did other chemists shops.

I have everything for a darkroom and camera setup for the 1909-14preiod, cameras from 110 (5x4 roll film 1898), then pre WWI quarter plate to 12"x10" cameras, enlargers, safe-lights, timers. Oh and some SLRs

My grandparents married in 1910, the quality of photographs of my grandmother before she married are amazing, as are the wedding photos. I have them.

Ian
 
Last edited:

Alan Johnson

Subscriber
Joined
Nov 16, 2004
Messages
2,707
The soldier's camera was officially banned on the front for security reasons after a few months but some continued to be used.
 
OP
OP

Telectroscope

Member
Joined
Jan 23, 2023
Messages
19
Location
London
Shooter
4x5 Format
Kodak were late in Europe. They tried to buy Ilford but were turned down, and the UK market was far more advanced, so we had an entirely different history.
Just on this detail first. That's very useful, thanks. So, Kodak USA and maybe Ilford in the UK. Here comes the big question then. Kodak or Ilford in Paris 1909-2014. Do you know??
 

MattKing

Moderator
Moderator
Joined
Apr 24, 2005
Messages
41,648
Location
Delta, BC, Canada
Shooter
Multi Format
Eastman Kodak absorbed part of Pathe in 1927 and became Kodak Pathe.
Before that, Pathe?
 

cowanw

Member
Joined
Aug 29, 2006
Messages
2,013
Location
Hamilton, On
Shooter
Large Format
Kodak opened in Britain in 1892. In Berlin in 1896. By 1900, distribution outlets had been established in France, Italy, and other European countries. A Japanese outlet was under consideration, and construction of a factory in Canada was under way with the organization of Canadian Kodak Co., Limited.
 
Last edited:

Ian Grant

Subscriber
Joined
Aug 2, 2004
Messages
22,359
Location
West Midland
Shooter
Multi Format
Eastman Kodak began trading in the UK in 1891, becoming Kodak Ltd in 1898, Ilford were founded in 1881.

Just on this detail first. That's very useful, thanks. So, Kodak USA and maybe Ilford in the UK. Here comes the big question then. Kodak or Ilford in Paris 1909-2014. Do you know??

Probably neither, the French had their own photographic companies who were at the cutting edge, the Lumière Brothers pioneered early colour and cine photography.

Before WWII in countries like Britain, Germany, France and the US most photographic materials and apparatus were made and sold in their home markets. Carl Zeiss lenses were made under licence by Ross in the UK, B&L in the UK, Kraus in France, etc.

Kodak's European sales and later manufacturing came under Kodak Ltd in the UK, as did the Australian & New Zealand branches. Ilford would have been exporting to British Empire countries, it's unlikely they would have sold much in the rest of Europe where competitors were strong.

A quick glance at a 1911 BJP Almanac which runs to over 1300 pages shows the amazing diversity of equipment and materials available. You'd need to see a French equivalent to see what was available there.

Ian
 

Kino

Subscriber
Joined
Jan 20, 2006
Messages
5,682
Location
not here
Shooter
Multi Format
OK, this book is written from the US viewpoint, but it cannot help avoiding talking about how the US interacted with Europe as film markets developed and might give you some insights.

Images and Enterprise: Technology and the American Photographic Industry, 1839-1925 (Johns Hopkins Studies in the History of Technology) by Reese V. Jenkins

Be aware used copies are often inexpensive on sites like World Books and ABE Books.
 
OP
OP

Telectroscope

Member
Joined
Jan 23, 2023
Messages
19
Location
London
Shooter
4x5 Format
Kodak were late in Europe. They tried to buy Ilford but were turned down, and the UK market was far more advanced, so we had an entirely different history.

By 1909 the UK had many plate/film/paper manufacturers and far more camera manufacturers than the US. Companies tended to be regional before WW1
Boots sold cameras (wood & brass etc) and offered processing, as did other chemists shops.

I have everything for a darkroom and camera setup for the 1909-14preiod, cameras from 110 (5x4 roll film 1898), then pre WWI quarter plate to 12"x10" cameras, enlargers, safe-lights, timers. Oh and some SLRs

My grandparents married in 1910, the quality of photographs of my grandmother before she married are amazing, as are the wedding photos. I have them.

Ian
Wow! Am I right to think there were two markets 1909-1914. Photographers who, like you, had all the darkroom kit and chemicals and could develop and make prints and the other much larger market: "amateurs" who would either need to send the camera back to the factory or take the exposed film to a chemists?
 
OP
OP

Telectroscope

Member
Joined
Jan 23, 2023
Messages
19
Location
London
Shooter
4x5 Format
Eastman Kodak began trading in the UK in 1891, becoming Kodak Ltd in 1898, Ilford were founded in 1881.



Probably neither, the French had their own photographic companies who were at the cutting edge, the Lumière Brothers pioneered early colour and cine photography.

Before WWII in countries like Britain, Germany, France and the US most photographic materials and apparatus were made and sold in their home markets. Carl Zeiss lenses were made under licence by Ross in the UK, B&L in the UK, Kraus in France, etc.

Kodak's European sales and later manufacturing came under Kodak Ltd in the UK, as did the Australian & New Zealand branches. Ilford would have been exporting to British Empire countries, it's unlikely they would have sold much in the rest of Europe where competitors were strong.

A quick glance at a 1911 BJP Almanac which runs to over 1300 pages shows the amazing diversity of equipment and materials available. You'd need to see a French equivalent to see what was available there.

Ian

How would I take a glance at a 1911 BJP Almanac? It might give me an idea of processing times (days, weeks) and even costs.
 
OP
OP

Telectroscope

Member
Joined
Jan 23, 2023
Messages
19
Location
London
Shooter
4x5 Format
Images and Enterprise: Technology and the American Photographic Industry, 1839-1925
Yes! Less than £10 in USA and six times that in Europe. I will wait patiently until a cheap copy comes on to the market. Seems like the book I need. Thank you.
 

Dan Fromm

Member
Joined
Mar 23, 2005
Messages
6,317
Shooter
Multi Format
How would I take a glance at a 1911 BJP Almanac? It might give me an idea of processing times (days, weeks) and even costs.

Buy a copy. I haven't gone shopping, but I'd try used book dealers and ebay. Also check with (surprise) the BJP. British Journal of Photography.

The French national library has digitized copies of the leading French photographic journals of the time you're interested in. Look in the literature cited section of this http://www.galerie-photo.com/berthiot-anastigmats-en.html article to see where to look in France.

I'm in the US, have no idea what sort of library the British Museum has or whether the UK has a national library but both are worth looking for.
 

Ian Grant

Subscriber
Joined
Aug 2, 2004
Messages
22,359
Location
West Midland
Shooter
Multi Format
How would I take a glance at a 1911 BJP Almanac? It might give me an idea of processing times (days, weeks) and even costs.

Pre 1920s BJP Almanacs are usually very expensive, as they are printed on newsprint paper they can age badly. I was lucky to get 1911 & 1915 copies in remarkably good condition last year. The 1910 copy is available on the Internet Archive in various formats, however it seems in the last weeks the files have changed removing the adverts, leaving just the text.

BJP Almacs are available at libraries like the British Library, Birmingham Reference library, etc.

With all due respect tp @Kino "Images and Enterprise: Technology and the American Photographic Industry, 1839-1925" is not going to reflect the industry in Britain and the rest of Europe

For France/Paris I'd look at the links @Dan Fromm has on his website.

Ian
 

Kino

Subscriber
Joined
Jan 20, 2006
Messages
5,682
Location
not here
Shooter
Multi Format
With all due respect tp @Kino "Images and Enterprise: Technology and the American Photographic Industry, 1839-1925" is not going to reflect the industry in Britain and the rest of Europe

Ian
Ian,

If you read my posting, I indicated that the information would only be tangential to Britain and Europe, BUT you can glean some information on how the interaction between these entities shaped the epoch.

The photographic industries of all countries did not develop (!) in a vacuum; there was interaction and sometimes you can infer some things otherwise unsaid.

The book, through it's documentation of E. Kodak's attempt to leverage patents and monopolize film markets, gives a good chronological history of Kodak's machinations in Britain and some interaction with Pathe and others in France.

Just as you can peruse the Magic Lantern and Cinema publications of that era, you can find gems of information tucked into corners in many places not strictly labeled according to a stubbornly vanilla search definition.



kodak.JPG



1902 advertisement.


Look or don't look: You can lead a horse to water, but you cannot make it drink.
 

Ian Grant

Subscriber
Joined
Aug 2, 2004
Messages
22,359
Location
West Midland
Shooter
Multi Format
I don't disagree about the importance of Kodak, rather that pre-WWI in Europe they were just one of many companies in the major European countries. They grew in Britain pre-WWI by acquiring smaller British companies. It was Mees and Sheppard agreeing to found and head up Kodak Research, and the acquisition of Wratten & Wainwright in 1912 that allowed Kodak to become more dominant, after WW1, around the world.

My point is more that there was far more competition, in 1911 there are over 40 companies making and a few importing papers in the BJPA, some from Germany,Belgium etc. It's similar with plates over 35 companies. When it comes to camera manufacturer it's in the hundreds here in the UK, that's before you look at France and Germany.

Ian
 

Kino

Subscriber
Joined
Jan 20, 2006
Messages
5,682
Location
not here
Shooter
Multi Format
The above book led me to "Memoirs of a Photochemist" by Fritz Wentzel: https://www.photrio.com/forum/threads/memoirs-of-a-photochemist-by-dr-fritz-wentzel.16922/

The man was an avid photographer in roughly the time period being discussed and he speaks on his experiences using the equipment and materials of that time.

And my point is you can find references and leads to the very things you are looking for via the first book, as it has a very extensive bibliography.
 
Photrio.com contains affiliate links to products. We may receive a commission for purchases made through these links.
To read our full affiliate disclosure statement please click Here.

PHOTRIO PARTNERS EQUALLY FUNDING OUR COMMUNITY:



Ilford ADOX Freestyle Photographic Stearman Press Weldon Color Lab Blue Moon Camera & Machine
Top Bottom