1913 Kodak Camera Ad

18-year-old Helena Muffly wrote exactly 100 years ago today: 

Wednesday, June 25, 1913: Went up to McEwensville this afternoon to transact some very important business, or rather so it seemed to me.

Now what could it be? Nothing less than that I sent off for a camera. I’ve wanted one for a long time, but thought I could hardly afford it. I was reminded that I really wanted it only by finding a camera catalog up in the garret yesterday. And as I had earned almost five dollars during the last two weeks, I carried the project through.

Source: Ladies Home Journal (May, 1913)
Source: Ladies Home Journal (May, 1913)

If it isn’t an Eastman, it isn’t a Kodak.

It’s springtime. Every field and park and woodland—every walk and ride, every joyous outing, invites your KODAK.

Eastman Kodak Co.,

Rochester, N.Y., The Kodak City.

Catalogue free at your dealers or by mail.

Her middle-aged granddaughter’s comments 100 years later:

A camera sounds like a lot of fun. What a great thing for Grandma to spend her money on!

Grandma made quite a bit picking strawberries—and, of course, she had money that she received earlier in the spring as graduation presents.

37 thoughts on “1913 Kodak Camera Ad

  1. I remember baby-sitting the summer before my senior year of high school and using some of that money to buy my first camera.
    (I thought for sure Grandma was going to “leave us hanging” about what important business transaction she had!)

    1. My husband also talks about how he used some of the first money he earned to buy a camera.

      Grandma did provide more detail than usual. :) She must have been really excited.

  2. So sad that this great company has filed for bankruptcy due to the collapse of the film business due to the rise of digital photography. Corporate myth has it that Kodak actually invented a digital camera in the 1970’s but hid the invention in a top-secret vault, knowing that it would mean the death knell of their cash cow, camera film.

    1. It is sad how Kodak (and the city of Rochester) have had a really rough time in recent years. Myth or not, it’s too bad that Kodak wasn’t able to stay at the cutting edge and benefit from technological changes.

  3. it’s a wonderful and exciting feeling knowing that you are going to get yourself a present soon. i am going to get a camera lens later in the day (it’s 5.30am now) and i’m awake because i’m too excited. i’m sure that’s how your grandma must have felt! :D

    1. It’s fun to see how you and Grandma had similar feelings of excitement and anticipation.

      I’m looking forward to some super-amazing pictures on your blog. (I’ve always thought that your blog has some of the best food photography out there.You and your friends have an artistic eye, and are really good with a camera.)

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