Swiss Photography

Figure 1.-- This Swiss school photograph was printed like a snapshot in 1942. This may reflect shortages during World War II. Notice the serrated edges. We believe this was common in the 1940s-50s, but we do not yet hve a definitive time line.

We have virtually no information at this time on Swiss photography at this time. Altough the Daguerreotype was developed in neigboring France, Swiss Dags do not seem very common. The earliest Swiss photography we have found or CDV studio portraits (1860s) Cabinet cards seem less common than CDVs throughout the late-19th century. Amateur photography ws possible in the late-19th century, but taking photographs was complicated. This significantly reduced the number of people interested in buying cameras and taking family snapshots. The Kodak Brownie changed this (1900). Suddenly interested amateurs could easily take snapshots at at a very modest cost. The Brownie was a instant success not only in America, but other countries as well. Presumably Swiss companies quickly came up with competitors or perhaps more likely French and German compsnies. We have little information on this. Hopefully our Swiss readers will be able to provide us some historical information on the development of amateur photography in their country. We do begin to see Swiss snapshots at about the saje time a in America, but not in the same quantities. The size, margin, edging, and other characteristics of the snapshots can help date the images. The Swiss Foundation for Photography (Fotostiftung Schweiz) has highlighted photobooks that have influenced photography in Switzerland since the late-1920s.


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Created: 4:32 AM 6/1/2006
Last updated: 4:40 AM 3/17/2009