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Eastman House showcases technology collection with "500 Cameras: 170 Years of Photographic Innovation"

Author: “The modern camera is a triumph of ideas and imagination, technology, industry”/h2>

Rochester, N.Y., February 1, 2012—George Eastman House International Museum of Photography & Film has released a new book on its camera technology collection titled 500 Cameras: 170 Years of Photographic Innovation (Sterling Innovation, 2011, 472 pp., $26.95). There are few objects or inventions in history that have had as long and diverse history as the camera, according to author Todd Gustavson. Rave reviews thus far are describing the book as ideal for amateur photographs as well as serious camera collectors.

This illustrated guide to photographic invention and innovation showcases groundbreaking cameras from the Eastman house collection. The spotlight is on 500 select cameras that changed our perception of ourselves and of the world, while tracing the technological development of the camera and providing insight into the innovators behind the lens.

Gustavson, curator of technology at George Eastman House, organizes the cameras into categories, from detective to digital, stereo to subminiature. Alongside the 35mm cameras are curiosities like stereoscopic cameras and postcard cameras, plus spy cameras hidden in watches, buttons, and fountain pens.

“The camera has broken barriers of time and space, delving into the limitless prospects of merging the past, present, and future,” Gustavson said. “The modern camera is a triumph of ideas and imagination, technology, and industry, the camera has the ability to instantly capture an entire scene with the press of a button.”

500 Cameras features an introduction by Gustavson and a forward by Dr. Anthony Bannon, the Ron and Donna Fielding Director of George, Eastman House, as well as essays by experts in the field, including Robert Shanebrook, Martin Scott, Mark Osterman, and Steve Sasson. 500 Cameras is a follow-up to the best-selling 2009 Eastman House book Camera, The world’s oldest museum of photography, Eastman House is home to several world-class collections, including the world’s largest collection of camera technology.

What they’re saying about 500 Cameras:

“This book will be appreciated as both an authority and a pleasurable read by cameraphiles, teachers, serious students and people who care to learn more about the rich history that brings great enjoyment to many and are considered indispensible others.”  -       Larry Padgett, photobizguru.com

“The book is certainly for beginners but also for other levels of collectors.  It’s like getting the curator's comments as Todd explains each camera to a group touring parts of the Eastman House.” - Ralph London, camera collector

500 Cameras is a wonderful book for anyone that loves the history of photography, old cameras, or just likes looking at and reading about beautiful mechanical things … this book covers the evolution of cameras and all of the examples are beautifully photographed in color. Some of the cameras from the GEH Collection were formerly owned by famous photographers, are rare examples, or historically significant examples in the evolution and development of photography and technology. I can't think of a better gift for anyone that loves old cameras, and as I state at the top, this is pure camera porn.” - Mark O’Brien, Argus Museum, Ann Arbor, Michigan

“An easy-to-read survey on cameras is a ‘shot in the arm’ that is badly needed to attract new collectors.” - Rob Niederman, camera collector

 “As a Graflex collector, I thoroughly enjoyed Mr. Gustavson's presentation of these cameras. The cameras were crisply photographed, accurately described and presented with insightful comments. Also, the indexes of cameras and subjects are a plus. I assume this high level is given to other cameras; therefore, I would recommend his book for the collector and general reader.” - Ken Metcalf, Graflex.com


About the Author

Todd Gustavson is the curator of technology at George Eastman House, working with the collection for more than 20 years. He is responsible for the preservation and maintenance of the world’s largest collection of photographic and cinematic equipment, containing more than 20,000 artifacts. He has curated or co-curated many exhibitions for the museum, including the critically acclaimed traveling exhibition The Brownie at 100. His previous book, Camera: A History of Photography from Daguerreotype to Digital, was published by Sterling in 2009.

Gustavson has appeared on ABC World News Tonight, PBS’s Antiques Roadshow, and CBS News Sunday Morning, and has been quoted as an expert source in newspapers internationally.


About George Eastman House

 George Eastman House International Museum of Photography and Film is the world’s oldest photography museum, founded in 1947 on the estate of Kodak founder George Eastman, who is heralded as the father of popular photography and motion picture film. The museum has unparalleled collections of 400,000 photographs from 9,000 photographers dating from the beginnings of the medium; 20,000 items of cameras technology; 30,000 motion picture titles and 3.5 million publicity stills and posters; and one of the world’s most comprehensive library of photographic books, manuscripts, and journals. In modern archives adjacent to the National Historic Landmark home, the museum offers world-leading graduate and post-graduate programs in photograph and film preservation. In recent years, The Wall Street Journal has called the Eastman House “the nation’s leading photography museum,” while Forbes described it as “a national treasure ... a first-rate modern museum that no lover of photography will want to miss.” www.eastmanhouse.org