Kodakery, for Amateur Picture Makers

So, how did companies get their message across back in the dark ages before the internet and social media?  Very often they spread the word through printed material in the form of catalogs and booklets containing useful information about the product.  The assumption was that if you gave customers a little booklet or some other thing (with the company name printed on it of course) they would be likely to save it and be reminded of the company.

It must have worked because any good flea market or antique mall has several vendors who have boxes of this old advertising material to rummage through.  And I’m the kind of person who will stand there for what seems like hours, sifting through old maps, recipe booklets, housecleaning hint booklets and hardware catalogs just to find one gem that makes my day.

Usually all it takes is a cover photo like this one on Kodakery, a booklet published by Eastman Kodak from 1913 through 1932, to attract my attention.  I’d never seen nor heard of this little publication, but there is a lot of information online, including several sites that have downloads of complete issues.  If interested, google Kodakery and you’ll see what I mean.

This particular issue had an article on how to take (or “make” as the booklet puts it) good vacation photos.

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There were also features on photographing children (with the offer of another booklet on the topic)  and nature studies.  But my favorite was a photo montage titled “About Dogs – And One Cat!  Companionship stories told by companionable Kodaks”

I’ve read that George Eastman realized early on that his products might better be marketed toward women than toward men.  He saw that it was women who were the keepers of scrapbooks and journals, and who would be interested in recording the history of their families.  That is why in so many of the early Kodak ads, it is a woman who is holding the camera, making the picture, recording the history.

Not that the men were neglected, but the copy of the ad does seem to appeal to “female sensibilities.”

KEEP YOUTH! Keep romance.  Keep all these precious, fleeting moments alive forever…

13 Comments

Filed under Collecting, Vintage Photographs

13 responses to “Kodakery, for Amateur Picture Makers

  1. What a fantastic little piece of history! Thanks for sharing xxx

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  2. Oh, what a great treasure and how interesting about Kodak realising about women being the primary target for camera advertising and usage. Something that is probably still true today!

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  3. Kodakery is my word of the day! I think we should name a drink after it!

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  4. These images are just too gorgeous. I will keep an eye out for Kodakery – magazine and cocktail !! Once again, thanks for sharing :-)

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  5. Fantastic, Lizzie! But not a oldster in the bunch.

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  6. Thanks so much for this wonderful post, Lizzie! (Never heard the word “Kodakery” before, but I’ll never forget it now…:)

    My father’s family took pictures in the 1930s with a Brownie camera, and must have gotten inspiration from this booklet–many of them (at a nearby beach) reflect the suggestions in it. Fascinating!

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