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World History 1888

About the history of the world in 1888, Eastman invents the Kodak camera, the first beauty contest is held, the first inflatable bicycle tire is invented.

TWO CENTURIES OF WORLD HISTORY: 1778-1978

1888

* George Eastman, 34, of Rochester, N.Y., introduced the first simple, inexpensive camera, the Kodak. With the slogan "You push the button; we do the rest," Eastman took photography out of the professional studio and placed it in the hands of the masses. For $25 the would-be photographer received a rectangular box camera with focus and shutter speed factory-set and already loaded with film. The early models contained no viewfinder. After snapping all the exposures, the consumer shipped the whole camera off to the Kodak laboratory, where for $10 the pictures were developed and returned with the camera, again preloaded.

Feb. John Dunlop, 48, a Scottish veterinarian living in Belfast, invented the pneumatic bicycle tire in order to give his 10-year-old son a smoother ride to school. At first ridiculed as "pudding tires," the inflated wheels soon replaced hard rubber tires in cycle shops all over Europe.

Sept. 19 The first beauty contest, the Concours de Beaute, was held at Spa, Belgium. Walking away with the 5,000 franc first prize was charming Bertha Soucaret, 18, a Creole from Guadeloupe.

Oct. 30 Lobengula, king of the Matabele in what is now Rhodesia, granted the mineral rights to his people's land to British financier Cecil Rhodes, who promptly founded the British South Africa Company to exploit the territory.

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