Historically Katy
Snapshots in Time

| January 1, 2018

These early Katy residents were out “Kodaking”, taking pictures as a social event.

These early Katy residents were out “Kodaking”, taking pictures as a social event.

Many photographs were taken over the holidays. There was a time when this meant buying film, taking lots and lots of pictures, delivering the film to someone who could process it, then returning (sometimes at least a week later) to collect an envelope full of photographs.

It was fun. You never knew what you’d get until you opened that envelope. Sometimes you would find only one or two pictures you thought were great, but you always found a collection of moments that would forever be saved because they were there in your hand. They often ended up in boxes, filed away with negatives and sometimes not seen again for many years. Many of us have a box of old photographs. Some have taken time to build elaborate albums but most of us won’t ever do anything with them.

The first famous Kodak BROWNIE camera was introduced in 1900. It sold for only $1 and film was only 15 cents. Almost anyone could no own a camera and take pictures. It was common for groups to go “Kodaking,” which was a social event that involved gathering friends and family to take photographs at various locations.

These vintage photographs allow us a glimpse of history. We see not only the people in them but also homes and landmarks that are long-gone. If we’re lucky, the photographer wrote a few important identifying details on the back. Today, digital photography allows just about everyone an opportunity to take and immediately edit and share photographs. They’re shared online, kept on our computers and hopefully saved to find again someday in the future.

We have great resources to improve our pictures. We can “fix” them to make people look better, remove things we don’t want to see and even insert things we wish were there. What we’re losing is a box of printed photographs that might be found by a future generation looking for a glimpse of the past.

Old photographs are a valuable resource when researching history. Every image, not just the “best”ones, holds important information. Genealogists in particular are grateful for every shred of documentation. The evolution of photography has helped reduce the toxic chemicals that were flushed down the sink in old darkrooms. It has allowed anyone who can afford a digital camera and some software to call themselves a professional. But we’re losing an important resource. Progress often has casualties.

sponsored-by-Artisan-Center-by-Carol-Adams

Early Katy photographs are an important resource when researching our history

Early Katy photographs are an important resource when researching our history

 

Carol Adams is the author of
HISTORIC KATY: An Illustrated History

Snapshots in Time


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Category: Katy Texas History

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