Once upon a time, film was the only way to go when one wanted to delve into photography. Equipment from cameras down to the films and chemicals used to develop them were widely available, so much so that there even used to be coin-operated vending machines that dispensed roll films!
But first, here’s a quick history lesson on roll film. It was in 1889 when George Eastman himself, the founder of Eastman Kodak Company, introduced the first commercially available roll film that he and his research chemist had developed. In 1912, the same company created the 127 film for its Vest Pocket cameras; 20 years later, it introduced the 620 film. But by the time the mid-‘90s rolled around, Kodak had already discontinued both film formats.
120 film, on the other hand, was introduced also by Kodak in 1901 for its Brownie No. 2 camera, much earlier than the 127 and 620. It’s the only surviving and widely available medium format film today.
The Pinterest page on which we found the photo doesn’t offer any clue on where the machine was originally located or the period when it was in use. There isn’t anything to go by when it comes to Kodak roll film vending machines, or film vending machines, in general, so we could only guess when it was from. Perhaps sometime during the mid-20th century? Let us know your guess!
In any case, it wasn’t only Kodak that had vending machines for roll film. A quick Google search would show you that brands including Agfa and Ansco had them as well.
Wouldn’t it be nice if we still had these babies on street corners today?
Photo from Pinterest.