Picture Number:1990-5036_6005_page Credit:National Museum of Photography, Film & Television/Science & Society Picture Library
A page from a Kodak circular snapshot album showing four photographs of people on the balcony of 11 Montague Place, London, taken by an unknown photographer in 1888.
The origins of popular photography can be traced back to 1888 when George Eastman (1854-1932) patented the first Kodak camera. A small box camera it was sold ready-loaded with a roll of negative stripping paper providing 100 circular pictures 2.5 inches (64mm) in diameter. In 1889 Eastman introduced the No 2 Kodak camera which took slightly larger circular photographs, 3.5 inches in diameter.
Originally a shooting term, the word 'snapshot' was first linked with photography in the late 1850s, when it was used to describe a photograph taken with a brief exposure. Over time, snapshot came to mean any amateur photograph taken with a simple camera.
Snapshots are informal, personal records of everyday life and experiences.