The history of vernacular photography largely begins in 1888, when George Eastman established Kodak. The company provided inexpensive and easy-to-use options for a medium that had once been cost-prohibitive. This revolutionized amateur photography. People like William S. Teator could afford to take hundreds of photographs over time—much more frugal than expensive daguerreotypes. Additionally, the photographer need not have the skills to develop photographs—Kodak would provide that service (their slogan was “You Press the Button, We Do the Rest”).In her work On Photography, Susan Sontag wrote, “To collect photographs is to collect the world.” Shocks of wheat, apple blossoms, snowfalls, his children Marion and Roscoe—these were Teator’s world. He was a farmer, father, and naturalist. He liked taking photographs, too, but it was also an activity that helped him capture all of the other things he loved about his life. This is a gallery of Teator’s photos that were donated to Historic Red Hook; it serves as a lens to his world.
Images courtesy of Historic Red Hook.
Doss, Erika. "Kodak and the Lens of Nostalgia (Book)." Winterthur Portfolio 35, no. 4 (Winter2000 2000): 301. Academic Search Premier, EBSCOhost (accessed January 15, 2016). Sontag, Susan. On Photography. New York: Picador USA, 2001.