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A Communion of ShadowsReligion and Photography in Nineteenth-Century America$
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Rachel McBride Lindsey

Print publication date: 2017

Print ISBN-13: 9781469633725

Published to North Carolina Scholarship Online: May 2018

DOI: 10.5149/northcarolina/9781469633725.001.0001

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How Mr. Eastman Changed the Face of American Religion

How Mr. Eastman Changed the Face of American Religion

(p.238) Epilogue How Mr. Eastman Changed the Face of American Religion
A Communion of Shadows

Rachel McBride Lindsey

University of North Carolina Press

In 1900, Kodak released “The Brownie” camera, which opened picture-taking to a wide array of people from various socioeconomic statuses, ethnicities, and regions. Lindsey notes that with this change, photographs shifted from individual acts of beholding to objects that contained narrative cues. The introduction of ambiguity also arose: photographs didn’t just authorize identity, but confuse it. Finally, the Brownie changed American religion by extending the communion of shadows into previously uncaptured and more daily religious activities: missionaries could capture and document their experiences abroad; families recorded baptisms and holidays; and individuals captured the saints and ghosts they encountered in their daily lives.

Keywords:   Kodak, The Brownie, snapshot, documentary photography, vernacular photography, study of religion

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