Roll Film Brings Photography to Mainstream

October 14, 2011 | posted in: Tech Chronicles | by

George Eastman, Inventor of Roll Film and Founder of Kodak. Image courtesy of

Technology that Shapes Our Lives

October 14, 1884

George Eastman receives a patent for the first roll film, helping to bring photography to the mainstream and was the basis for the invention of motion picture film in 1888.

Roll film is spool-wound photographic film protected from white light exposure by a paper backing, as opposed to film which is protected from exposure and wound forward in a cartridge. The opaque backing paper allows roll film to be loaded in daylight.

The use of roll film in snapshot cameras was largely superseded by 135 and 126 cartridges, and is now virtually extinct thanks to digital cameras.

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