110 and 126 film cartridges were launched by Kodak in answer to consumer complaints about the complications involved with loading and unloading roll film cameras. With the cartridge film you don't have to attach the film leader to a take-up spool and cannot go wrong. The cartridge simply drops into the camera, you close the camera's back door, wind on and shoot. Even if you open the camera with a half exposed film inside, the precious exposed film is well protected inside the cartridge. And at the end of the film, you don't have to rewind.
The 110 cartridge contains 16mm wide film, with one perforation at each frame which engaged with a pin beside the film gate to control the film advance. Like 126, 110 film is pre-exposed with a border and frame number between the frames. The film is paper-backed; the paper being printed with frame numbers, visible through a small window in the cartridge's rear; a larger window in the film chamber door shows this frame number window plus a label on back of the cartridge giving film details.
The small dimensions allowed designers to create small pocketable camera that had an aspect very different from the traditional 35mm cameras, even if they had a marked resemblance with the older sub miniature 16mm cameras. The pocketability and ease of loading made 110 popular very quickly. The design of the cartridges had a very basic system of notches in a tab on the end to indicate film speed, but few cameras took advantage of this, and many film cartridges did not even have the required notches.
However, most 110 cameras have been cheaply made, with mediocre lenses and only rudimentary exposure control. The small negative size of 110 film makes it difficult to enlarge successfully. For these reasons, the 110 format is associated with prints that are often rather grainy and unsharp. This has led to the misconception that the cartridge itself is incapable of holding film flat enough for making high-quality negatives.