Now that we all carry cameraphones in our pockets, it's hard to imagine that the biggest breakthrough in photography
actually happened back in 1914 – when Oskar Barnack invented the Leica
Suddenly, photographers could throw away their heavy tripods and exploding flashguns, and step out of their studios to walk the streets and take photographs with this new mobile camera.
Barnack, a German optical engineer who specialised in microscope research, was also a keen amateur photographer, but his health was poor and he couldn't carry the heavy cameras of the time. He quickly turned his prototype Ur-Leica
into a lasting success. By 1932, there were 90,000 cameras. By 1961, a million cameras were in use.