Taking A Selfie May Have Never Been A Thing If Not For One Waterville Man
When it comes to photography, one man born in Central New York played an extremely vital role.
That man would be George Eastman. The way photographs were taken prior to Eastman was incredibly tedious, expensive, and very complicated. Being born in 1854, he was at an impressionable age right at the dawn of photography and found a way to revolutionize that booming industry of the time.
Eastman was born in Waterville and lived there for the first 6 years of his life. His father was a well-respected man who actually had started a school for business in Rochester. When his father began to fall ill with a brain disorder, the family packed up and headed west. Luckily, that move became a very wise one for a young George Eastman, although at the age of 6 he wouldn't have had a choice in the matter.
Rochester was "Boom Town" of the latter 19th century, and is where Eastman invented a very integral part of photography, roll film. In 1888 he gathered a patent and by the mid-1890s, Eastman founded what is known today as Kodak. The company still actually bears his name, Eastman Kodak Inc. This led him to become highly wealthy, and one of the richer people in New York State. He was said to have donated over $100 million dollars in his lifetime. In today's dollars, that would be an equivalent of over $13 billion dollars.
Selfies may have never become the popular thing they are in the 21st century, if not for one George Eastman. Prior to Eastman, it would take much more than an entire paycheck to actually take photography. Upon his invention, it became much cheaper and accessible to the common man instead of the elite. If not for an affordable and revolutionary way to take pictures, photography may have never expanded to the height it is at today.
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