This is What Camera Shops Looked Like a Century Ago

Check out this photo showing the inside of a camera shop (and pharmacy) from 1910. It’s the image on a postcard that’s currently being auctioned over on eBay (with a starting bid of $100) by a seller named 2raccoons. Here’s the description:

Up for auction is this extraordinary photograph of a woman in standard Gibson dress standing at a store counter purchasing a Kodak folding camera. The store employee is wearing a jacket and bow-tie which adds charm to the photograph. It is uncertain if the woman is actually buying the Kodak camera, or if the scene here is “staged,” but $25 is about what one would have paid for the Kodak folding camera at that time, which can be seen on the cash register.

$25 for a top-of-the-line camera. Not bad. Add a couple zeros to that price and you’ll get what many DSLRs are selling for these days.

Here’s a crop that provides a closer look at what’s going on:

In the image, we see two shelves with Kodak cameras on display, a Kodak sign in the background, a photo album for sale, a standing postcard rack with photo postcards, and various films and photo supplies on the shelves.

If you’re a serious collector for photo history items, head on over to the eBay auction to place your bid!


  • Fabrice Bacchella

    $1 from 1925 is quit different from $1 from 2012. It might be not as cheap as you think

  • Jeremy Madore

    Based on inflation calculators found on Google, $25 in 1910 is worth $610 in 2012.

  • M. Ellis

    A Lubitel 166+ TLR is $328.99 at B&H. It’s not a Rollei but it doesn’t look like that drugstore’s selling Rollei’s. Not so bad when you think about it. And consider that $610 will get you pretty close to a Sony RX-100 now.

  • nii

    Kodak business was cheap cameras and expensive film. This recipe doesn´t work for digital photography anymore.

  • rtfe

    i think i see ankle

  • Jonas

    $25 in 1902 was anything but cheap!

  • Jason Tan

    Look it’s Andy Hardy behind the counter (not that any o’ you young uns u’d know who Andy Hardy was)

  • herzco

    Of course the woman is not buying the camera! There were almost no women photographers back then. (Not until the 1970’s or 80’s did they start getting some small amount of respect in that regard)

  • Fra Lippi

    Tell that to Imogen Cunningham.

  • herzco

    Name as many women photographers from the time as men. How many other women can you name vs the huge number of male photogs at the time? So you named one (or a few) – She may be the exception that proves the rule.

  • Corey Hodgson

    Gee Willikers! I see it too. What a whore!

  • Eduardo

    I have always wondered why exactly “the exception proves the rule”, although I totally agree about the women photographers and so.

  • Eduardo

    I have always wondered why exactly “the exception proves the rule”, although I totally agree about the women photographers and so.