The creation of...


Please note - this writeup will only cover the actual creation of the Kodak Company - the Kodak web page covers everything that happens beyond that - including all that in this writeup is
1) pointless
2) tedious
3) probably illegal

1854 - George Eastman was born in Waterville, southwest of Utica in New York state.

1878 - Eastman planned a vacation, and was suggested to make a record of the trip. Eastman bought a full photographic outfit, of the old wet plate type. This type of equipment is very heavy, large, and difficult to use. According to the story, Eastman got so absorbed in photography, that he never actually took the trip.

1880 - Eastman's work paid off. He had up to now patented a dry plate formula and a machine for preparing the plates in large quantities. During this year, he decided to set up a company. The company, based in Rochester, made dry plates for sale.

1883 - The work continued. Because glass plates were heavy and difficult to handle, Eastman tried to find a lighter and easier way to to do this. Eventually, devising a system where paper with photographic emulsion could take over the place of the glass plates. Because the paper's fibres were giving some problems (grain), Eastman started looking for systems that wouldn't have that characteristic. He came up with moving the entire process to a thin, but tough, cellulose-based film. Eastman then announced the invention of selling film in rolls. This new system used a roll holder that could be used on most plate cameras on the market.

1885 ...However, the idea of changing to film didn't really appeal to photographers, who continued to use the glass plates. Eastman then decided he would have to focus on consumers instead.

1888 - Under the slogan: "you push the button, we do the rest", the Kodak camera was introduced. The camera was pre-loaded with film that was enough for 100 exposures. When the pictures were taken, the whole camera was returned to Rochester (hey - this is like the disposable cameras of today - A true visionary :)

It was also in this year that the "Kodak" name was registered as a trademark. Many people have speculated in where the name came from. However (as mentioned in one of the earlier writeups), the name was invented out of thin air; "I devised the name myself. The letter "K" had been a favorite with me - it seems a strong, incisive sort of letter. It became a question of trying out a great number of combinations of letters that made words starting and ending with 'K.' The word 'Kodak' is the result."

1889 - The Eastman Photographic Materials Company was established in London to start the distribution of Kodak products outside the USA.

1900 - The company had distribution outlets in Germany, France, Japan, Italy and Canada. The famous Brownie camera was introduced

1901 - Eastman Kodak Company was formed - in other words, the "Kodak" as we know it today.

For more information, and a complete timeline, go visit . This is a lovely webpage where you find loads and loads of fun and fantastic information about Kodak and their products.

The intension of this writeup is to tell you some of the things that Kodak doesn't tell you, or to give you a bit of a different angle :)