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Kodak and the Lens of Nostalgia

Nancy Martha West

21 ratings by Goodreads
ISBN 10: 0813919592 / ISBN 13: 9780813919591
Published by University of Virginia Press
New Condition: New Soft cover
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Bibliographic Details

Title: Kodak and the Lens of Nostalgia

Publisher: University of Virginia Press

Binding: Paperback / softback

Book Condition: New

About this title


The advertising campaigns launched by Kodak in the early years of snapshot photography stand at the centre of a shift in American domestic life that goes deeper than technological innovations in cameras and film. Before the advent of Kodak advertising in 1888, writes Nancy Martha West, Americans were much more willing to allow sorrow into the space of the domestic photograph, as evidenced by the popularity of postmortem photography in the mid-19th century. Through the taking of snapshots, Kodak taught Americans to see their experiences as objects of nostalgia, to arrange their lives in such a way that painful or unpleasant aspects were systematically erased. West examines a wide assortment of Kodak's most popular inventions and marketing strategies, including the ""Kodak Girl"", the momentous invention of the Brownie camera in 1900, the ""Story Campaign"" during World War I, and even the Vanity Kodak Ensemble, a camera introduced in 1926 that came fully equipped with lipstick. Enhanced with over 50 reproductions of the Kodak ads themselves, this work illustrates the fundamental changes in American culture and the function of memory in the formative years of the 20th century.


Thoroughly researched and genuinely interdisciplinary, this engaging study of the history and evolution of Kodak's advertisements will appeal to anyone interested in snapshot photography, in advertising and more generally in American culture. An enjoyable and informative book!.

--Marianne G. Hirsch, Dartmouth College

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