George Eastman House’s historic collection of camera technology named historic landmark

World’s largest collection of photographic and cinematic technology represents significant scientific achievements, from daguerreotypes
to digital … from movie sets to space program 

ROCHESTER, N.Y. – George Eastman House’s Technology Collection has been recognized as an Historic Mechanical Engineering Landmark by the American Society of Mechanical Engineers (ASME) for its historic significance as the world’s leading collection of photographic and cinematographic technology.The vast collection includes a daguerreotype camera signed by Daguerre, an original 1888 Kodak, Ansel Adams’s first cameras, a Technicolor camera that filmed MGM classics, the NASA Lunar Orbiter, the Speed Graphic camera that captured the flag-raising at Iwo Jima, and many technical marvels that made photography possible for amateurs and professionals.


“The collection at George Eastman House promotes the legacy of a great inventor while telling the story of an industry that has brought fun, leisure, and entertainment to many,” said Madiha El-Mehelmy Kotb, past president of ASME. “This landmark designation pays tribute to the mechanical engineering ingenuity that has been incorporated in these devices.”


Eastman House’s Technology Collection is the 258th engineering marvel to be honored by ASME. An official designation ceremony was held at the Eastman House’s Dryden Theatre on Monday, June 15. Other recipients of this landmark designation include the Disneyland Monorail System, the Apollo Space Command Module and the Apollo Space Suit, the Model T, the Refrigeration Research Museum, the Howard Hughes Flying Boat, and the Radio City Music Hall Hydraulically Actuated Stage.


ASME has designated landmarks, sites, and collections of historic importance to mechanical engineering since 1971 through its History and Heritage Landmarks Program. Landmark status indicates that the artifact, site, or collection represents a significant step forward in the evolution of mechanical engineering and is the best known example of its kind.


“Our technology collection at George Eastman House is the world’s largest collections of photographic and cinematographic equipment – containing 19th- and 20th-century objects of photographic technology, many of which are unique, representing distinguished historical ownership and significant scientific achievement,” said Dr. Bruce Barnes, the Ron and Donna Fielding Director at George Eastman House. “We are honored that our collection has been selected as a Historic Mechanical Engineering Landmark, and are proud to become a member of such a prestigious group of institutions in the field.”


The Cameras and Artifacts of the Technology Collection

Consisting of more than 16,000 artifacts from the earliest days of photography to today’s integrated, handheld digital devices, the collection contains all of the equipment necessary for photographic image making, as well as printed documentation related to the business, manufacturing, and marketing of the photographic and motion picture industries.


From devices that predate the formal announcement of photography in 1839 to the modern instruments used by both amateurs and professionals, the collection offers an unparalleled opportunity to examine and learn about photographic technology. The collection includes cameras and equipment used by renowned photographers such as Ansel Adams, Eadweard Muybridge, Arnold Newman, Alfred Stieglitz, and Edward Weston.


The collection features the Eastman Kodak Company Patent collection, including an original model Brownie, which marked the true start of mass photography in 1900; the Super Kodak Six-20, the first automatic exposure camera; and the earliest-known digital single-lens reflex camera (SLR). Other rare artifacts include the O-Series Leica, which marked the beginning of hand-held 35mm photography; an Edison Kinetoscope; and a Cinématographe camera made by the Lumière brothers in France, which was the first machine to commercialize motion pictures.


About George Eastman House

Founded in 1947 as an independent nonprofit institution, George Eastman House is the world’s oldest photography museum and one of the leading international film archives. The museum holds unparalleled collections-encompassing several million objects-in the fields of photography, cinema, photographic technology, and photographically illustrated books, and it is a leader in film preservation and photograph conservation. Eastman House is located in Rochester, New York, on the National Historic Landmark estate of entrepreneur and philanthropist George Eastman, the innovator behind popular photography and motion picture film. For more information visit


About ASME

ASME helps the global engineering community develop solutions to real-world challenges. Founded in 1880 as the American Society of Mechanical Engineers, ASME is a not-for-profit professional organization that enables collaboration, knowledge sharing, and skill development across all engineering disciplines, while promoting the vital role of the engineer in society. ASME codes and standards, publications, conferences, continuing education, and professional development programs provide a foundation for advancing technical knowledge

and a safer world. For more information visit
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Posted by at July 1, 2015
Filed in category: Events, Imaging Insider, Newsstream, Press Releases,

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