I don't think they had "serious" cameras in the terms you are thinking... A Kodak folder WAS serious back then, some of them. The Autographic Folder I have for 120 and 116 is super fancy with lots of "features" like B and T and I that's 3 options! I think the instant (I) was the fanciest of the features and an f stop range from f/7.5 to f/45!!! Wow!
The fancier of the two also has 1/25 and 1/100 as a shutter speed option. This was a later model.
How we view cameras today is different than people would from back then. Owning a Kodak when they first came out was like buying a professional model Canon or Nikon for ($3,000) today's money. A lot to spend I think. It was certainly a luxury item. People weren't so entitled to have EVERYTHING as we are today because it wasn't a consumer economy until the 1950's.
Mamiya: 7 II, RZ67 Pro II / Canon: 1V, AE-1, 5DmkII / Kodak: No 1 Pocket Autographic, No 1A Pocket Autographic | Sent w/ iPhone using Tapatalk