Sunday, October 14, 2012

Nellie Coutant and her pocket Kodak

Kodak contest winner "Give the Grandparents a Kodak for Christmas"
The Kodak Film patent was issued on this date in 1884. George Eastman's "invention allowed him to mass produce a small hand-held box camera filled with rolls of film with 100 exposures." The Kodak camera would be introduced four years later, in 1888, and daily life snapshots would soon become popular. Read more at the United States Patent and Trademark Office website.

Crawfordsville photographer Nellie Coutant was only nine years old when the Kodak Film patent was issued in 1884. In a 1903 essay for the Bausch and Lomb Lens Souvenir, Coutant wrote, "My first attempts at photography were made merely out of politeness, a friend having presented me with a pocket Kodak...the little pocket Kodak opened my eyes to a new and delightful pastime and my interest grew until I purchased a 5 x 7 hand camera."

Coutant won a Kodak contest with her photograph entitled, "Give the Grandparents a Kodak for Christmas." The photo shows Ambrose Remley (right), Chauncy Coutant (center), and Barnet Hoover (left) inspecting a Kodak camera in front of a house at 701 South Water Street in Crawfordsville.

See more of Coutant's photographs in our image database.

To learn about Nellie Coutant, check out Hidden History of Montgomery County, Indiana.

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

An Autumn Hike

Crawfordsville High School female students stop to pose for a group picture while on an autumn hike, probably around 1917-1918. The girls are not identified, but it is assumed that they are members of the Sunshine Society. Willson included this photo in the section on the Sunshine Society in a term paper entitled "Training High School Pupils to Serve the Community." The complete term paper can be accessed online through our image database. You can also view a larger image of this photograph.