Kodak Marketed Cameras To Women Back in the 1900’s


It has been almost five years since we originally wrote about the feminine Kodak cameras of the 1920’s and 1930’s. Well, besides selling feminine orientated cameras, Kodak at the time also heavily marketed to them as well, in the Ladies Home Journal of all places, Harpers Bazzaar, and many other magazines at the time that appealed to women.


Kodak started doing this as far back as the early 1900’s and from their advertisements – women seemed to always be the focus of the ads. Whether it be a woman on the go or a woman of leisure. It was modern women ( in those days) who had a Kodak camera in their hands regardless of the model. We unearthed a slew of interesting advertisements and imagery from the George Eastman House. The collection is vast and so interesting for those who need a quick historical lesson on how marketing to women was done in the past. Even the descriptions of the more colorful cameras had the words ‘feminine’ in the ads depicting the newest camera models.

We also headed back to the site that first entered us back into this Kodak time-warp and noticed they have since updated with new finds like the Kodak Petite. Below is an ad that actually ran in the Ladies Home Journal in 1929.

“Gay as seventeen…feminine as Eve…smart as an Easter hat…is this exquisite Eastman creation.  Paris inspired, it reflects the mode of Spring. Aptly named, Kodak Petite is a lovely little camera no larger than your hand…..

Kodak’s Petite, with neatly patterned cases to match, come in five alluring colors- a sparkling green, a warm gray, a delicate lavender, a robin’s egg blue, and a rich old rose.
Picture size is 1 3/8 X 2 1/2”.  Price, with case to match, $7.50.”

Now that’s how you write an advertisement!
brownieThere was also the Beau Brownie, whose line lasted from 1930 to 1933. Available in two models, they were designed by Walter Dorwin Teague, who created the modern geometric pattern you see on the cameras. The Beau Brownies came in five colors old rose, blue, black/purple, brown/tan and green. The camera originally cost $5.

It just shows, that even back in the day, there was an appeal for cameras with designs and multiple colors and the necessity to market them to women. Somehow Kodak knew this appeal and marketing strategy back in the 1900’s, yet so many companies are only starting to catch on in the 2000’s…

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