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America was already in love with photography when George Eastman invented his easy-to-use handheld Kodak camera in 1888, and by the turn of the century, it was the country's most popular hobby. The
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Brownie, designed for children, began selling for just one dollar in 1900, and camera clubs sprouted up from coast to coast. 1900 cameras were still a far cry from today's models, using film that was 20 times slower and explosive magnesium-powder flashes that robbed many photographers of their sight -- and their limbs. The brownish (sepia) tint of photos from this era was caused by image-fixing solutions containing particles of real gold.

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