This article is semi-protected until January 23, 2020. The use of a lens in the opening of a wall or closed window shutter of a darkened room to project images used as a drawing aid has been traced back the history of photography from 1839 to the present pdf circa 1550.
Since the late 17th century portable camera obscura devices in tents and boxes were used as a drawing aid. Before the invention of photographic processes there was no way to preserve the images produced by these cameras apart from manually tracing them. By Niépce’s time portable box camerae obscurae suitable for photography were readily available. 1685, though it would be almost 150 years before such an application was possible. No means of removing the remaining unaffected silver chloride was known to Niépce, so the photograph was not permanent, eventually becoming entirely darkened by the overall exposure to light necessary for viewing it. The bitumen slowly hardened in the brightest areas of the image.
The unhardened bitumen was then dissolved away. As commercialized, both processes used very simple cameras consisting of two nested boxes. The rear box had a removable ground glass screen and could slide in and out to adjust the focus. After focusing, the ground glass was replaced with a light-tight holder containing the sensitized plate or paper and the lens was capped. Then the photographer opened the front cover of the holder, uncapped the lens, and counted off as many minutes as the lighting conditions seemed to require before replacing the cap and closing the holder.
1871 by Richard Leach Maddox that the wet plate process could be rivaled in quality and speed. The 1878 discovery that heat-ripening a gelatin emulsion greatly increased its sensitivity finally made so-called “instantaneous” snapshot exposures practical. For the first time, a tripod or other support was no longer an absolute necessity. With daylight and a fast plate or film, a small camera could be hand-held while taking the picture. The ranks of amateur photographers swelled and informal “candid” portraits became popular. The very first shutters were separate accessories, though built-in shutters were common by the end of the 19th century.
The Kodak came pre-loaded with enough film for 100 exposures and needed to be sent back to the factory for processing and reloading when the roll was finished. By the end of the 19th century Eastman had expanded his lineup to several models including both box and folding cameras. The Brownie was extremely popular and various models remained on sale until the 1960s. Despite the advances in low-cost photography made possible by Eastman, plate cameras still offered higher-quality prints and remained popular well into the 20th century.