Until the very late 1880s, photography was essentially the preserve of professionals and the enlightened amateurs and curious few who were not put off by the harmful chemical fumes or the long hours spent in the darkroom. The introduction of Kodak cameras revolutionized photography. Anyone could take pictures without knowing much about technique: "You Press the Button, We Do the Rest," was Kodak’s famous promise. This marked the advent of amateur photography.

George Eastman (1854-1932) built a successful company on the following four principles: mass production at low cost, international distribution, extensive advertising and listening to consumers. The Kodak Company used persuasive sales strategies, for example, encouraging photographers to create an "illustrated history" of their lives. From 1904 to 1911, it even organized contests and travelling exhibits and gave prizes for the best photos taken with its supplies and equipment.
McCord Museum of Canadian History

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