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Take a trip back in time with our collection and discover some vintage Christmas advertisements for Kodak cameras.

Without wishing to cheapen Christmas, we all know that shopping is a big part of it, selecting the right gift for your loved ones, and of course companies and manufacturers know it too.

Within the National Science and Media Museum’s collection is an archive of original Kodak Christmas advertisements encouraging people to buy their cameras and projectors to record the festivities.

As you might imagine, the ads focus heavily on Christmas as a family time and encourage parents to use Kodak gifts to record and rewatch Christmases to build up their own image memory bank and to create new traditions such as ‘watching Cine-Kodak movies on Christmas Eve/Christmas Night’.

Whether that tradition ever caught on or not is debatable, but it is certain that throughout the 20th century Kodak were extremely successful and many people would have received Kodak cameras in their stockings.

Here’s a selection of ads spanning the 1920s to the 1960s, some aimed at women instructing them to buy cameras for their husbands, some outlining the fun Kodak projectors can bring to a Christmas party and one which is inspired by Robert Burns’ To a Louse (On Seeing One on a Lady’s Bonnet, at Church) with what can only be described as a rather stereotypical image of a Scottish man…

Happy Christmas!

Print advertisement for Kodak cameras 'Kodak for Xmas Gifts', c.1925
Print advertisement for Kodak cameras ‘Kodak for Xmas Gifts’, c.1925. Science Museum Group Collection
Print advertisement for Cine-Kodak cameras and projectors ‘More than ever an American Tradition... Cine-Kodak movies on Christmas Eve’, 1947
Print advertisement for Cine-Kodak cameras and projectors ‘More than ever an American Tradition… Cine-Kodak movies on Christmas Eve’, 1947. Science Museum Group Collection
Print advertisement for Cine-Kodak Movie cameras ‘Give a Cine-Kodak Movie Camera’, c.1948
Print advertisement for Cine-Kodak Movie cameras ‘Give a Cine-Kodak Movie Camera’, c.1948. Science Museum Group Collection
Print advertisement for Kodascope projectors ‘Get a Kodascope now for your Christmas Parties’, 1938
Print advertisement for Kodascope projectors ‘Get a Kodascope now for your Christmas Parties’, 1938. Science Museum Group Collection
Print advertisement for Kodak Instamatic camera ‘Kodak gifts say “Open me first” and save your Christmas in pictures’, 1961
Print advertisement for Kodak Instamatic camera ‘Kodak gifts say “Open me first” and save your Christmas in pictures’, 1961. Science Museum Group Collection
Print advertisement for Kodak Instamatic 100 camera ‘Give Dad a Kodak Instamatic camera... and keep your Christmas in Pictures’, c. 1963
Print advertisement for Kodak Instamatic 100 camera ‘Give Dad a Kodak Instamatic camera… and keep your Christmas in Pictures’, c. 1963. Science Museum Group Collection
Print advertisement for Kodak cameras with the tagline ‘The gift to give is a Kodak’, 1921
Print advertisement for Kodak cameras with the tagline ‘The gift to give is a Kodak’, 1921. Science Museum Group Collection
Print advertisement for Cine-Kodak cameras and projectors ‘An American Tradition – home movies on Christmas night’, 1942
Print advertisement for Cine-Kodak cameras and projectors ‘An American Tradition – home movies on Christmas night’, 1942. Science Museum Group Collection
Print advertisement for Kodak Brownie Movie Camera with text ‘Gift flash from Kodak... a Brownie Movie Camera for only $44.50’, 1951
Print advertisement for Kodak Brownie Movie Camera with text ‘Gift flash from Kodak… a Brownie Movie Camera for only $44.50’, 1951. Science Museum Group Collection

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