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Kindle Electronic Reading Device

This is a Electronic reading device. It was manufactured by It is dated 2007 and we acquired it in 2009. Its medium is plastic, acrylic. It is a part of the Product Design and Decorative Arts department.

The Amazon Kindle is a milestone product. Its physical and technological design is initiating fundamental changes in book publishing, book design, and reading habits.
The Amazon Kindle is a hardware and software platform for reading electronic books. In development by Amazon since 2004, the first-generation Kindle debuted in November 2007. Unlike previous e-readers, which required that the device connect to a computer to download book files, the Kindle utilizes a wireless internet connection to purchase and instantly download content from Amazon’s virtual book store. The Kindle can hold approximately 200 non-illustrated books in its memory and hundreds more on a memory card. The Kindle can also be used to subscribe to magazines and newspapers via Amazon, accessing them with the keyboard located just below the screen. Once subscribed, the virtual publications are downloaded and updated automatically.
The white housing features a large screen and was designed with a quality that Amazon founder and CEO, Jeff Bezos, describes as “an aura of bookishness”: it “has the dimensions of a paperback, with a tapering of its width that emulates the bulge toward a book's binding. It weighs but 10.3 ounces, and unlike a laptop computer it does not run hot or make intrusive beeps.”[1] The small keyboard, part of the all-in-one unit, is easily accessible—and its small, closely spaced keys are suitable for thumb-typing.
The Kindle uses e-ink technology to maximize readability and reduce eye strain. E-ink was developed at the MIT Media Lab around 2004. A little “like an Etch A Sketch, it forms letters by rearranging chemicals under the surface of the screen.”[2] The result shares more qualities with a printed page than a pixelated font viewed on a computer screen. The Kindle also allows the user to change the font size, eliminating the need for separate large print editions. This first-generation Kindle is proposed for acquisition together with a Kindle 2.
[1] Steven Levy, “Amazon: Reinventing the Book,” Newsweek, November 17, 2007,
[2] Ibid.

This object was donated by It is credited Gift of

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Its dimensions are

H x W x D: 20.3 × 13.5 × 1.8 cm (8 in. × 5 5/16 in. × 11/16 in.)

Cite this object as

Kindle Electronic Reading Device; Manufactured by (United States); USA; plastic, acrylic; H x W x D: 20.3 × 13.5 × 1.8 cm (8 in. × 5 5/16 in. × 11/16 in.); Gift of; 2009-53-1

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<ref name=CH>{{cite web |url= |title=Kindle Electronic Reading Device |author=Cooper Hewitt, Smithsonian Design Museum |accessdate=30 March 2023 |publisher=Smithsonian Institution}}</ref>