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"Say Cheese"- The First Affordable Camera


"Say Cheese"- The First Affordable Camera
Reading Level
     edHelper's suggested reading level:   grades 4 to 6
     Flesch-Kincaid grade level:   6.9

Vocabulary
     challenging words:    charitable, photographic, photography, salary, commercial, insurance, education, dignity, equipment, provided, saying, easily, millionaire, general, attention, film
     content words:    American Civil War, Matthew Brady, George Eastman, New York, When George, Rochester Savings Bank, Santa Domingo, Eastman Kodak, Eastman School, Massachusetts Institute


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"Say Cheese"- The First Affordable Camera
By Lisa Smolowitz
  

1     Photography came to the attention of the general public during the American Civil War. Matthew Brady took pictures of battle scenes as well as portraits for family keepsakes. Taking pictures at this time was a very difficult task. A wet plate process was used to take photographs. A tent had to be erected for protection of the plates. A glass plate was coated with a chemical emulsion. Before this emulsion had a chance to dry, it had to be inserted into a box about the size of a microwave oven. A side of the box was opened to expose the coated plate. Whatever was reflected in the glass plate was etched into the plate. The glass plate was removed from the box and developed into a picture. All of the equipment and time needed to make a picture made it hard for the average citizen to enjoy many pictures. That is until George Eastman came on the scene.
 
2     George Eastman was born in Waterville, New York, just about 20 miles southwest of Utica, New York. He came into the world on July 12, 1854. George's father owned his own nursery business selling trees and plants to the locals. When George was five, his father sold his business and started his own commercial college. Soon after his father had moved the family to Rochester, New York, he died leaving his wife and children in financial trouble.
 
3     George attended school until he was fourteen years old. It was then that he took a job as a messenger for an insurance company. He earned a grand total of $3 a week. He worked his way up to office boy earning $5 per week. This was still not enough to help his family. He studied accounting at night. This education helped him find a better job at the Rochester Savings Bank. He now earned three times the salary he had been earning.

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