1913 Kodak Film Tank Advertisement

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

Tuesday, August 26, 1913:  Ruthie and I commenced on this pictures this afternoon. We made a negative. This evening we went to a party up at Bryson’s. There were so many there and lots that I didn’t know.

1913 Kodak Film Tank Advertisement

THE KODAK GIRL AT HOME

Every step in film development becomes simple, easy, understandable with a

KODAK FILM TANK

No dark-room, no tediously acquired skill—and better results than were possible by the old methods. It’s an important link the the Kodak system of “Photography with the bother left out.”

The Experience is in the Tank.

In our little booklet, “Tank Development,”  free at your dealer or in the mail.

EASTMAN KODAK CO., 365 State Street, Rochester, N.Y.

Source: Farm Journal (August, 1913)

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

Wow, Grandma and her sister Ruth apparently developed their own pictures. Grandma brought a camera earlier in the summer and took her first pictures on August 13:

Today we had our S.S. picnic up at the creek. Not all that were invited came, but still I guess we had a good time. I initiated by camera by taking two pictures.

In this era of digital photography—when it’s easy to take and then view hundreds (or thousands) of photos it’s hard to image how much knowledge and skill was required to get a few pictures back then.

Blanche and Margaret Bryson were friends of Grandma and Ruth. The Bryson’s lived on a farm north of McEwensville. And, I think that Grandma visited Margaret the previous Sunday—on August 24.   I wonder if Grandma helped plan the party.

What does “many” mean? How many people were at the party—15? . . .25? . . . 50?

Who was at the party? Any “interesting” guys?

DSC07868Recent photo of the home where the Bryson family lived a hundred years ago. In my imagination, I picture young men and women playing croquet in the yard, and drinking lemonade on the porch (and maybe flirting just a little bit).

17 Responses

  1. The caption of your last picture has me chuckling. I have images of balls of yarn being batted around by croquet mallets. :-)

  2. Wow, that’s great that they made their own photos and I bet the photos they took were carefully posed too.

  3. Ahh to get your hands on those photos now… wouldn’t that be something?

  4. Amazing to think of developing your own pictures!

    • It is amazing! When I read these posts, I was surprised that she didn’t just mail the film off to a film developing company–but I guess that was a later era. :)

  5. A few days ago I was talking to a young man about how novels have changed because of film/moves–people now are bored by the careful introspection and long contemplative descriptions of 100 years ago and want action, action, action. So writers have to give that to them, or their books won’t sell. (I don’t necessarily see this as good). But the young man said, “Well, yeah, because back then people had NOTHING to do, so they didn’t care if it took longer to read a book.”

    It made me sad. Of course they had plenty to do. They did so much rewarding, meaningful and difficult things, much of which people today have forgotten how to do. I don’t regret technology and medical advances; but I do hope that more people will develop a more accurate historical understanding, to comprehend the kinds of things you’re bringing out here. People have always had fulfilling, interesting, rewarding lives, if they wanted that kind of life…

    • I agree that people did many wonderful rewarding and meaningful activities a hundred years ago.

      I tend to think that back then that people were willing to work a little harder to understand introspective passages and long descriptions–and that they were rewarded for their efforts by the deeper understanding that they gained of the book (and themselves).

      • Here-here! Well said.

        I’ve been struggling to put that into words. I’ve been calling the present tendency superficiality, but that isn’t exactly right. I think the old virtue of fortitude (does anyone even know what that means anymore?) is just not valued any more. It’s as if breadth in experiences (see more, do more, faster) is more important than depth (explore the heights and depths of a place, a person, an idea).

        Thanks for that insight.

  6. That’s impressive! Hope we get to know how the photos turn out.

  7. […] got a camera earlier in the summer— and she was now developing her first roll of film. The previous day she and her sister Ruth made some negatives, and now she was printing them. . . .though it sounds […]

  8. Wow! Helena and Ruthie were “Kodak Girls at Home”! I enjoyed the exchange between you and Traci Lee Karner in today’s comments, too.

  9. […] began developing the pictures on August 26 when she and her sister Ruth made a negative. On the 27th she printed three of them, and made […]

  10. […] 1913 Kodak Film Tank Advertisement […]

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