National Geographic : 1954 Sep
437 National Geographic Photographer David S. Boyer Budding Amateurs Receive Initiation into the Secrets of High-speed Photography Curator Beaumont Newhall and his Eastman House colleagues bring a missionary zeal to their work with young people, the photographers of tomorrow. They devote many hours to instruction of children, and each year they train students from the University of Rochester, who work at the museum for college credits. Here Newhall explains a motion picture projected on a miniature screen at his back. The film, taken at ultrahigh speed, records the seemingly lazy flight of a housefly. only a year when Eastman brought forth an improved No. 2 model. But, far more signifi cant, 1889 saw him introduce the world's first commercially successful transparent, flexible film on rolls. It made possible the photo graphic industry's phenomenal growth. First Motion Picture Film Henry M. Reichenbach, an Eastman chem ist, patented the formula. After countless experiments he hit upon the idea of treating nitrocellulose with fusel oil, amyl acetate, and camphor. The result was a clear and grainless negative base. Cut into long strips, it was just the film Thomas Edison needed to make his motion picture machine successful (page 432). Daylight-loading film was introduced in 1891. Soon spool rolls could be bought and developed almost anywhere. Other Eastman innovations followed fast: 1895, the Pocket Kodak; 1900, the $1 Brownie camera; 1903, noncurling film; 1908, safety (noninflamma ble) film, later much improved by the com pany. Each 20th-century year has brought new photographic advances, not only from East man Kodak but from its many astute and resourceful competitors. Today there is scarcely any field of human endeavor in which photography does not play a role. Industry, science, government, entertainment, the armed services, medicine, education-all employ the camera. Estimates of the num ber of cameras in the United States alone range as high as 60 million. As for the amateurs, half the Nation's families take still pictures each year, while about 2 million screen their own home movies.