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Dead medium: the Dubroni instant camera
From: bruces@well.com (Bruce Sterling)
Source(s): "Antiques" column by Ralph and Terry Kovel Austin American Statesman May 12, 1996

page G 26


"'Instant' Camera from 1864

When Dr. Edwin H. Land announced the 'instant' camera

in 1947, many people proclaimed that the Polaroid Land

camera was the first instant camera. It was the first

camera to use a paper roll to produce pictures right after

they were taken, but there were earlier inventors who were

able to make other types of 'instant' pictures.

"W.H.F. Talbot suggested a daguerreotype camera in

1839 with extra parts to hold mercury. The mercury was

vaporized to develop the image almsot as soon as the

picture was taken. One camera in 1855 had a built-in

'darkroom' so the photographer could reach inside to

develop the photographic plates.

"The first successful instant camera was patented in

England in 1864 by G. J. Bourdin. It was called the

'Dubroni.' The developing fluids were put into the camera

back with a small tube. The Dubroni was made in at least

five sizes.

"It is very rare. A complete camera with the entire

developing kit would sell at auction for $10,000 to

$15,000."