Through The Camera Lens: A Retrospective on 50 Years of Innovation

As we approach the 50 year anniversary of Presentation Media, the parent company of Tandem Exhibits, we’d like to take a moment to reflect on the world around us and how much it has changed since Presentation Media opened its doors back in 1969.

Come, take a trip with us back down memory lane!

The 1960s

The 1960s were a tumultuous time, indeed. The world saw so much heartache, including the Vietnam War and the assassinations of JFK and Martin Luther King, Jr. There were many triumphs as well, like Shirley Chisholm becoming the first African American woman elected to Congress in 1968.

Many advancements in technology and photography occurred during this fascinating time period, which made capturing these important events on film easier than ever before. At the start of the decade, an extreme depth underwater camera was developed for the U.S. Navy, while Polaroid introduced the instant color film in 1963. And, the moon landing, in 1968, made Earthrise, one of the most important photographs ever taken, possible.

Apollo 8 crew member Bill Anders [Public domain]

The 1970s

The 70s were considered a golden age for music, television, and movies. They were the decade responsible for Led Zeppelin’s glory days and allowed for groundbreaking shows, like M*A*S*H and The Mary Tyler Moore Show to grace our television sets. The 70s were also a disgraceful time for politics with the Watergate scandal.

The 1970s also brought us some great advancements in technology, and more specifically photography, with two new cameras. In 1973, Polaroid made one-step photography possible with the SX-70, and Konica created the first point-and-shoot autofocus camera in 1978.

The 1980s

With the crumbling of the Berlin Wall, birth of cable TV and music videos, and a long list of blockbuster movies, the 1980s were quite an exciting time.

There were several important advancements in photography during this decade as well. In 1980, while 83,000,000 people were tuning into Dallas to find out who shot J.R., Sony was busy taking photography to a whole new level with the first consumer camcorder. In 1986, Kodak invented the world’s first megapixel sensor, and Fujifilm allowed the average person to become a photographer with the invention of the modern disposable camera.  

Juggling on the Berlin Wall on 16. November 1989.

The 1990s

The 90s brought us the end of the Cold War, the beginning of Operation Desert Storm, the birth of Harry Potter, and the death of Princess Diana.

One of the biggest innovations in technology occurred during the decade also known as the Last Hurrah of the 20th Century. The world of photography forever changed when we said goodbye to film and hello to digital photography. The Kodak DC40 and the Apple QuickTake 100 were both released in 1995, making them the first digital cameras on the market. 1997 also marked the first time a photo was publicly shared using a cell phone when technology genius, Philippe Kahn jerry-rigged a mobile phone with a digital camera to post pictures of his daughter’s birth. The world’s first mobile phone, that included a built-in camera, was invented shortly after in 1999.

2000 – 2010

The beginning of the 21st Century was a fascinating time for the world, and we saw a lot of firsts. In 2001, golfing prodigy, Tiger Woods, won every competition he possibly could, becoming the first golfer to hold all four major golf titles. In 2007, for the first time ever, the U.S. had a female Speaker of the House of Representatives, Nancy Pelosi. And, in 2009, Barack Obama became the first African-American U.S. president. The early 2000s also brought us a lot of tragedies. The attacks on September 11, 2001, shook the entire country to its core. We grieved again as a nation when the Space Shuttle Columbia exploded in 2003, killing all seven astronauts on board.  

The world of photography changed a lot during this time, too, as the rise in digital imaging technology led to the discontinuation of some very popular products, including Polaroid’s instant film products in 2008 and Kodak’s Kodachrome film in 2009. 2009 also brought us the world’s first digital 3D camera, compliments of FujiFilm. We also can’t forget the launching of the iPhone in 2007.     

2010 – Present

Some major advancements in science and technology have truly rocked our world during the past few years. NASA’s shuttle space program came to an end in 2011 after 135 successful missions. In 2013, scientists at Cornell University used a 3D printer and cell cultures to grow a living ear. And, Google released a prototype of a self-driving car in 2014.

Photography has evolved in major ways, too. The photography-based social media platform Instagram launched in 2010. In 2013, a panoramic photo of London consisting of 320 gigapixels became the biggest photograph in the world until it was beat by a 365 gigapixel picture of Mount Blanc in 2015. In 2014, the PillCam made colonoscopies much less invasive. We saw the clearest photos of Pluto ever taken in 2015. The Canon 5d Mark IV, which featured a 30.1 megapixels full frame digital single lens-reflex with the ability to shoot video in 4k was released in 2016.

Photos from a day at the London 3D Printshow 2014. Photo by: Creative-Tools.com 3D Printshow 2014 London

The Next 50 Years

How both the world of technology and the world around us have evolved throughout the years! The last 50 years have truly been a blast for us, and we can’t wait to see what the next 50 years have in store.

If you would like to work with a company that has more than 50 years of experience, get in touch with us! We would love to discuss your project and see how we can help.

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tan·dem (tan’dem)

adv.– a relationship between two persons or things involving cooperative action, mutual dependence, etc. (work in tandem)

Presentation Media, Graphics & Signage Division
1916 West 144th St.
Gardena, CA 90249

Tandem Exhibits by Presentation Media
1846 W Sequoia Ave
Orange, CA 92868
(714) 978-7272

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