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Picture This

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Wednesday, September 4th. Simple amateur photography, even selfies, should the idea have occurred, became a possibility for the American public 131 years ago.

On this date in 1888, George Eastman received a patent for the first camera to use dry, flexible, roll film. Eastman’s hand-held camera — the first to use the brand name Kodak — had enough film on a roll to take 100 exposures. When the roll was finished, the camera was returned to the factory for unloading, developing and reloading.

Now, most cameras are digital, but photographic film and related products still have a market presence. Manufacturing such film, plates, paper and processing chemicals is a $5.5 billion a year business

You can find more facts about America’s people, places and economy, from the American Community Survey, at

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Joseph Nathan Kane, Kane’s Famous First Facts, Fifth Edition, H.W. Wilson Co., New York, NY 1997, #5837

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