When Was The First Camera Invented? Curious Invention Facts Revealed! | Kidadl


When Was The First Camera Invented? Curious Invention Facts Revealed!

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A camera is an instrument that helps to capture visual images.

The invention of the camera and photography were not simultaneous. In fact, the first camera was invented long before the invention of photography.

With the evolution of technology, the whole world has changed a lot. Nowadays, almost every mobile phone has an inbuilt camera. It is very interesting to know about the history of the first camera, who invented the first camera and when was the camera invented. Pictures are no longer black and white, as they used to be in the old world. Photography, in fact, is now a career choice for many people and there are many famous photographers around the world, who have managed to capture some really unique moments through their photographs. Therefore, it is often said that photography is an art. Cameras help to seize those special places and moments that might not last for a long time, and can slowly diminish into oblivion. However, with the help of images, they continue to live forever in people's minds.

If you enjoyed this article, why not also read about where are rubies found and what are sprinkles made of here on Kidadl.

What is the oldest photograph?

With the rapid development of modern-day technology, cameras too have evolved a lot. They no longer capture black and white pictures and are in fact able to process much more clear and colorful images. A camera helps to capture moments through images, which otherwise, may have gone away after a period of time. However, with the help of those images, a person can relive that moment on and on forever. Such is the power of technology.

The first landscape photograph was captured by Joseph Nicéphore Niépce (French inventor) in the year 1826. The photo was titled 'View from the Window at Le Gras'. It was the image of a pewter plate, with the blurry shapes of buildings and treelines. It was black and white in color and is considered to be the oldest picture in history. For many years, scientists used to believe substances like silver chloride gets darkened when exposed to heat and air. It wasn't until Johann Henrich Schulze proved that the chemical process did not occur because of heat and air, and instead happened due to light. This chemical process further led to the invention of the photograph and was in fact used by Thomas Wedgwood, who used ceramic pots covered with this silver chloride and placed leaves and insect wings on them. However, the images were not permanent. The history of the invention of the first camera dates further back than the history of photographs. The invention of the first camera is in fact credited to a concept called camera obscura.

Camera obscura is a Latin term, which describes a phenomenon where light is being projected through a small hole in a dark room. As an outcome, an inverted image of the outside scenery gets projected on the wall of that dark room, through a small hole. The invention of this concept of camera obscura goes back to 470-391 BC and is credited to a Chinese philosopher named Mozi. Ibn al Haytham was the first scholar to analyze and understand the concept of camera obscura. Unlike a pinhole camera, camera obscura makes extensive use of the lens. A pinhole camera, on the other hand, does not have a lens and has a tiny aperture.

Who was the first person to smile in a photo?

Smiling, whenever a photograph is taken, is almost like a ritual in this digital world. However, the concept was not so popular in earlier times. There are many theories for people's reluctance to smile in front of the camera. One such theory is that the exposure time for the early day cameras was so long, it was impossible for a person to hold a particular expression.

The first photograph featuring a smiling person was captured in 1853. The image was of an 18-year-old boy, named Willy, who was smiling at something to his right side, and the moment was captured by Mary Dillwyn, who was among the first female Welsh photographers, to seize rare and informal moments.

Over the years in history, with the development of cameras, capturing such moments became much more convenient. It was in 1900, when Kodak, came with the feature of 'Snapshot'. With Kodak cameras, people could then capture images in a much more hassle-free manner. The introduction of the Brownie camera by Kodak, in fact, changed the photography world in a way never seen before, as cameras became more affordable for the public to use. The Eastman Kodak Company was founded by George Eastman and the first commercially successful box camera invented in 1888, contained a roll of negative material, instead of glass plates. Prior to this, a prototype of the box camera was first invented by Joseph Nicéphore Niépce (who also clicked the first photograph) and in 1870, it was introduced to the people. The first Kodak camera invented had quite a complicated mechanism. It consisted of a rotating barrel shutter, which was controlled with the help of a button, located on the side of the camera. As of now, Kodak film is manufactured in a factory, located in Rochester, New York.

The old Soviet medium format scaling camera

What is the name of the costliest photograph ever sold?

With the invention of the first camera in history, using the concept of camera obscura, the craze for photography grew more and more over the years. The box photographic camera of Kodak further took forward the digital world.

The most expensive image as of now is credited to Peter Lik. The title of the image is 'Phantom'. It is a monochrome picture of Antelope Canyon, in Arizona, where a ray of light can be seen entering a cavernous place. The photo was sold at an unbelievable price of $6.5 million. There are various other pictures that have been sold at such high prices for many years. They all tell different stories, and in such a beautiful manner, that one cannot help but marvel at such beauty and preciseness.

Johann Zahn is thought to be the one who invented the first portable camera in 1685 and the first photo was taken by Joseph Nicéphore Niépce (French inventor). Therefore, both of them are given the credit to have invented the first camera. Johann Zahn also invented the first design for the reflex camera, which was executed by Thomas Sutton. Thomas Sutton is given the credit for inventing the first single-lens reflex camera. Photographic film was in fact introduced by George Eastman. Initially, the paper film was used, however, in 1889, Eastman turned to celluloid and has been since used extensively in photographic film. The world's oldest camera was invented in 1838 by Louis Jacques Daguerre. 1839, marked the year when the first series of photographs were presented by Hippolyte Bayard in a public exhibition.

Why do we say cheese for photos?

Saying 'cheese' when someone takes your photo, has become a ritual in modern-day times. But have you ever wondered why we do so? When pronouncing this particular word, it exposes our teeth and therefore resembles a smile.

Saying this word, in front of the camera lens, dates back to the year 940, when Joseph E. Davies used this particular word, during the shooting of 'Mission to Moscow'. When asked about why he said such a word, he revealed that he learned it from a renowned politician, whose name, however, he did not disclose. Since then, this word has been used vigorously in front of cameras to get the perfect smiling picture. Cameras have changed the photography society in a way never seen before. With the introduction of the film camera, motion could be captured easily, and that is how the film industry was established at the end of the 19th century. The film camera could record a swift sequence of images on a film and the first film camera invented was in 1845. The first-ever video was recorded by a French inventor, named Louis Le Prince and it was called the Roundhay Garden Scene. It was a two-second-long video and was recorded in the Whitely family house of Roundhay. The video featured a group of four people dancing in a circle. These four individuals in the video were in fact the relatives of Louis Le Prince.

Here at Kidadl, we have carefully created lots of interesting family-friendly facts for everyone to enjoy! If you liked our suggestions for when was the first camera invented? curious invention facts revealed! then why not take a look at why do we vote? American voting history facts everyone should know!, or have you ever thought? why do painters wear white? fun facts for all!. 

Main image credit: Steven Salgado / Shutterstock.com

Article image credit: Ja Het / Shutterstock.com

Rajnandini is an art lover and enthusiastically likes to spread her knowledge. With a Master of Arts in English, she has worked as a private tutor and, in the past few years, has moved into content writing for companies such as Writer's Zone. Trilingual Rajnandini has also published work in a supplement for 'The Telegraph', and had her poetry shortlisted in Poems4Peace, an international project. Outside work, her interests include music, movies, travel, philanthropy, writing her blog, and reading. She is fond of classic British literature.

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