PHOTOGRAPHY COMES OF AGE
pictures are one of our most valuable possessions. People have been known to
run into a burning home to save the family photo albums. Photos capture the
memorable events in our lives—a wedding, graduation, or last summer’s
The one thing that triggers those memories better than anything are the
pictures taken during the event. Photographs capture these moments and
freeze them in time.
Before there were photographs, itinerant portrait artists roamed the
countryside to paint portraits of the heads of houses. The price of a head
portrait was reasonable—but if you added an arm or a leg, well it would
“cost you an arm and a leg.” That’s how that common aphorism originated.
The popular hobby of photography came of age around 1900.Before the advent
of the Kodak camera, invented by George Eastman, taking a simple picture was
a difficult task at best. Eastman developed a camera that was light and easy
to use. Kodak’s slogan was: “You press the button, we do the rest".
Still it wasn’t quite that easy. The customer could buy a Kodak camera
complete with leather case and loaded with a one-hundred exposures roll of
film for $25 (a pretty good sum in those days). Developing the film was not
a cinch—customers had to ship the camera with film inside to Rochester where
the factory, for $10, would develop the film and return the pictures along
with a freshly loaded camera back to the sender.
And from that day forward, amateur and professional photography got easier,
faster, and eventually colorful. Saugatuck’s professional photographer back
then was Herman Simonson. This talented Saugatuck photographer would take
your picture on the beach, on Mt. Baldhead, or in front of the new Big
Or just step into his studio and have your picture taken on the moon, or in
a hot-air balloon; and you could have it printed on a photo postcard to send
to the folks back home. And then they would wish they were here.
by Rob Carey