From Boxed Brownie to Boxed USB Memory Sticks

Eastman Kodak introduced the first Box Brownie in February 1900 and in doing so they opened up photography to the masses. The Brownie was a pretty basic cardboard box with a simple lens that took pictures on 117 rollfilm. It was simple to use, cheap at $1 per camera and its launch was backed by a marketing campaign that encouraged everyone to pick up a camera and take “snaps”.

During its lifetime hundreds of millions of Box Brownies were sold. Of course of the years it went through a number of design changes and technology “upgrades” but the fundamental box shape remained.

USB Flash Drives - Photography

It would be fair to say that the Box Brownie will have introduced many Professional Photographers during the early 20th Centaury to their profession. It also had a huge impact on our ability to chart social history through the snapshots that were taken with the Brownie.

Whilst the Brownie brought photography to the masses it still relied on roll-film technology that needed processing using chemicals and a fair degree of skill. With roll film there was never any ability to preview your photos, instead you had to wait until your film had been developed and printed before you could see what pictures you had taken.

In the same way that the Box Brownie revolutionised photography in the early 20th Centaury the introduction of digital image technology, digital cameras and mobile phones with integrated cameras has revolutionised photography 100 years later. Today pretty much every mobile phone can take good quality photos and these can be posted onto web sites and social networks sites within seconds and shared around the world.

USB Memory Sticks - Photography

It’s not just the amateur photographer that has switched to digital photographic technology but professional photographers now typically use digital cameras rather than their film based alternatives. One of the benefits for Professional Photographers of this digital revolution is their ability to save and distribute their portfolios electronically. This applies not only to how they save and store their own work but increasingly to how they save and distribute their client “shoots”, portfolios and wedding photos.

For some they will simply email the photos or post them on a web site to be “downloaded”. Others might supply them on a CD or DVD but one of the more recent and innovative trends is to distribute them on a USB flash drive printed up with the logo and details of the photographer. The branded USB flash drives look much more professional than a CD or DVD and help to promote and develop the photographers brand – they in effect become a sales vehicle in their own right and they personify just how much the world of photography has moved on from the early days of the Boxed Brownie.

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