The Greeley History Museum’s newest exhibit features local artifacts that guide visitors on a journey from 19th-century box cameras to today’s smartphones.
“Viewfinder: Through the Lens of Time” runs through Jan. 7, 2024, at the Greeley History Museum, 714 8th St.
The Evolution of Cameras
The exhibit starts with the most basic component of photography: recording light. It takes visitors from the earliest recorded history of cameras 2,400 years ago to the breakthrough experiments of the 19th century. The museum’s earliest artifact is from 1885 – a No. 2 Bulls-Eye Kodak box camera.
Many of the exhibit’s artifacts contain details about their former owners. A former Weld County judge donated a Kodak Trimprint camera. A Kodak Petite Single-Lens was a 1920s graduation present. One item of interest is the Epplen’s Drug Store sign. From 1917 to 1922, this downtown Greeley store sold Kodak cameras and photography supplies. A local resident recovered the sign from under his roof shingles. It had apparently been used to patch a hole, according to museum records.
The exhibit offers an interactive element for visitors. They can browse a large collection of photos from notable Weld County and Greeley photographers. These images range from the late 1800s to the early 2000s.