Way back, when cameras began, there was the pinhole camera. Guess what? It's back--at least in Korea it is. Check out this video on the 21st century pinhole camera:
There are some interesting books on the history of photography in our 770 section, including this one: The Keepers of Light: A History and Working Guide to Early Photographic Processes by William Crawford [770.9 CRA]. The book is rather old, so look to it for historical information, rather than as a how-to. And, if you look through some of the lists of chemicals early photographers used in their work, you'll realize why many of them ended up poisoned!
To see photographic history preserved online, go to Photomuse. After viewing the timeline, head off to the websites of the two cooperating institutions that put Photomuse together, The George Eastman House and the International Center of Photography (ICP).