photographs indoors

1930s Kodak Brochure

Toronto. Can you imagine a media so insensitive and cameras so slow that a special technique was needed to show amateurs how they could take photos indoors at night. And worse, the resulting negatives and prints were black and white exposures!

In the mid 1930s Kodak published this free brochure to show amateurs how they could take indoor night time photos with any (Kodak) camera having a ‘time’ (T) shutter setting and at least an f/6.3 lens. All they needed were Mazda photoflood lights, or Mazda flash bulbs, and a Kodak reflector and Kodak “SS” Panchromatic film.

Kodak, like many photographic industry giants, earned their money from film and paper purchases more than from hardware. Cameras and accessories were offered so you would buy more Kodak film, paper, and chemistry. As the daytime amateur market reached capacity, new sources of revenue were investigated. One promising new revenue was from the promotion of indoor night time photographs.

“High speed” film, and flood lights let you hand hold the camera, or with a hand held flash bulb holder and reflector, the camera could be placed on a nearby table, set to ‘T’ on the shutter, and the flash bulb triggered at just the right moment. The camera shutter was clicked to set it open, and then after the flash was triggered, clicked again to close. Easy-peasy in the years before smartphones!

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