A History of Kodak

1878 – George Eastman was one of the first to demonstrate the great convenience of gelatin dry plates over the cumbersome and messy wet plate photography prevalent in his day. Dry plates could be exposed and developed at the photographer’s convenience; wet plates had to be coated, exposed at once, and developed while still wet.


1879 – Eastman invented an emulsion-coating machine which enabled him to mass-produce photographic dry plates.

1880 – Eastman began commercial production of dry plates in a rented loft of a building in Rochester, N.Y.

1881 – In January, Eastman and Henry A. Strong (a family friend and buggy-whip manufacturer) formed a partnership known as the Eastman Dry Plate Company.
In September, Eastman quit his job as a bank clerk to devote his full time to the business.

1883 – The Eastman Dry Plate Company completed transfer of operations to a four-story building at what is now 343 State Street, Rochester, NY, the company’s worldwide headquarters.

1884 – The business was changed from a partnership to a $200,000 corporation with 14 shareowners when the Eastman Dry Plate and Film Company was formed.
EASTMAN Negative Paper was introduced.
Eastman and William H. Walker, an associate, invented a roll holder for negative papers.

1885 – EASTMAN American Film was introduced – the first transparent photographic “film” as we know it today.
The company opened a wholesale office in London, England.

1886 – George Eastman became one of the first American industrialists to employ a full-time research scientist to aid in the commercialization of a flexible, transparent film base.

1888 – The name “Kodak” was born and the KODAK camera was placed on the market, with the slogan, “You press the button – we do the rest.” This was the birth of snapshot photography, as millions of amateur picture-takers know it today.

1889 – The first commercial transparent roll film, perfected by Eastman and his research chemist, was put on the market. The availability of this flexible film made possible the development of Thomas Edison’s motion picture camera in 1891.
A new corporation – The Eastman Company – was formed, taking over the assets of the Eastman Dry Plate and Film Company.

1891 – The company marketed its first daylight-loading camera, which meant that the photographer could now reload the camera without using a darkroom.
The manufacture of photographic film and paper was transferred to four newly-constructed buildings at Kodak Park, in Rochester. Also, the company’s first manufacturing plant outside the U.S. was opened in Harrow, England.

1892 – The company became Eastman Kodak Company of New York.

1893 – A six-story Camera Works was built on State Street, in Rochester, to manufacture the growing line of box and folding roll-film cameras.

1895 – The Pocket KODAK Camera was announced. It used roll film and incorporated a small window through which positioning numbers for exposures could be read.

1896 – One year after the discovery of x-rays, Eastman entered into an agreement to supply plates and paper for the new process.
Kodak also marketed the first film especially coated for motion picture use.

1897 – Kodak established a wholly-owned subsidiary in France, expanding a branch office which had been opened in 1891.

1898 – Kodak marketed the Folding Pocket KODAK Camera, now considered the ancestor of all modern roll-film cameras. It produced a 2 1/4-inch by 3 1/4-inch negative, which remained the standard size for decades.
The company’s suggestion system began. It provided cash payments to employees for suggestions that improved the company’s operations.

1899 – The company developed the continuous wheel process for manufacturing transparent film base, which had previously been coated on long tables.
Eastman awarded Kodak employees a bonus from his personal funds for their “extra good work.”
Kodak Canada Limited was organized as a distribution center in Toronto.

1900 – The first of the famous BROWNIE Cameras was introduced. It sold for $1 and used film that sold for 15 cents a roll. For the first time, the hobby of photography was within the financial reach of virtually everyone.

1901 – Eastman Kodak Company of New Jersey, the present parent company, was formed. George Eastman became president of the New Jersey holding company. Henry A. Strong, Eastman’s original partner, remained at the head of the New York company until his death in 1919.

1902 – The KODAK Developing Machine simplified the processing of roll film and made it possible to develop film without a darkroom.
The KODAK Developing Machine made it possible for amateurs to process their own film without a darkroom.

1903 – KODAK Non-Curling Film was introduced, which remained the standard for amateur photography for nearly 30 years.

1907 – Kodak’s worldwide employment passed the 5,000 mark.

1908 – Kodak produced the world’s first commercially practical safety film using cellulose acetate base instead of the highly flammable cellulose nitrate base.
A manufacturing plant was opened in Australia.

1911 – The company’s Blair Camera factory in Rochester was renamed the Hawk-Eye Works, and a department for the design of optics was established there in 1912.
Eastman created a benefit, accident, and pension fund for employees.
The company’s first safety committee was organized to study accident prevention.

1912 – Dr. C.E. Kenneth Mees, a British scientist, was hired by George Eastman to organize and head a research laboratory in Rochester, one of the first industrial research centers in the U.S.
Kodak employees received their first Wage Dividend, a profit sharing program that continues in the U.S. today.

1913 – The introduction of EASTMAN Portrait Film began a transition to the use of sheet film instead of glass plates for professional photographers.

1914 – A 16-story office building, the company’s present worldwide headquarters, was completed at 343 State Street, in Rochester. Three more stories were added in 1930.

1917 – Kodak developed aerial cameras and trained aerial photographers for the U.S. Signal Corps during World War I. Eastman also offered the U.S. Navy supplies of cellulose acetate for coating airplane wings and producing unbreakable lenses for gas masks.

1920 – Tennessee Eastman Company was organized to manufacture wood alcohol for film base.

1921 – The Eastman Savings and Loan Association was established to help employees save and to finance home purchases. It remained part of the company until it became a self-standing credit union in 1994.

1923 – Kodak made amateur motion pictures practical with the introduction of 16 mm reversal film on cellulose acetate (safety) base, the first 16 mm CINE-KODAK Motion Picture Camera, and the KODASCOPE Projector. The immediate popularity of 16 mm movies resulted in a network of Kodak processing laboratories throughout the world.

1925 – Eastman became chairman of Kodak’s board of directors. William G. Stuber, whom Eastman had hired in 1894 to direct emulsion-making, was elected president.

1927 – Kodak employment throughout the world passed the 20,000 mark.

1928 – Motion pictures in color became a reality for amateur cinematographers with the introduction of 16 mm KODACOLOR Film.
The first microfilm system, designed to simplify bank records, was introduced by Recordak Corporation, a newly-formed subsidiary of Kodak.
Retirement annuity, life insurance, and disability benefit programs were established for Kodak men and women.

1929 – The company introduced its first motion picture film designed especially for making the then new sound motion pictures.

1930 – Kodak purchased a gelatin manufacturing plant in Peabody, Massachusetts, and formed Eastman Gelatin Corporation.
1931 – Tennessee Eastman began marketing its first cellulose acetate yarn in the textile field.
Kodak introduced KODALITH Film and Plates, which replaced the collodion wet plates used in the graphic arts industry.
KODAK VERICHROME Film was introduced offering greater latitude and finer grain than the KODAK NC (Non-Curling) Film that had been the standard since 1903.
Kodak bought the Nagel Camera Company in Stuttgart, Germany. This became Kodak A.G., which for decades served as an equipment manufacturing site for Kodak. Another German factory in Koepenick was lost in the division of Germany after World War II.

1932 – The first 8 mm amateur motion-picture film, cameras, and projectors were introduced.
Tennessee Eastman began production of its first plastic – EASTMAN TENITE Acetate.
George Eastman died, leaving his entire residual estate to the University of Rochester. In 1949, his Rochester home was opened as an independent public museum – The International Museum of Photography at George Eastman House.

1933 – Kodak and Western Electric jointly commercialized high-speed industrial photography with a high-speed camera, synchronized with an electric timer.

1934 – Kodak A.G. (Germany) introduced the first of its 35 mm precision KODAK RETINA Cameras.
Kodak and General Mills, Inc. began a joint research program on molecular distillation, based on earlier Kodak research. By 1938, Distillation Products, Incorporated was manufacturing vitamin concentrates and, in 1948, Kodak bought General Mills’ interest in the company.
William G. Stuber became chairman of the board of directors and Frank Lovejoy succeeded him as president.

1935 – KODACHROME Film was introduced and became the first commercially successful amateur color film. It was initially offered in 16 mm format for motion pictures; 35 mm slides and 8 mm home movies followed in 1936.

1936 – Kodak introduced a new home movie camera – the 16 mm Magazine CINE-KODAK Camera – that used film in magazines instead of rolls. A year later, Kodak introduced its first 16 mm sound-on-film projector, the Sound KODASCOPE Special Projector.

1938 – The first camera with built-in photoelectric exposure control was developed – the Super KODAK Six-20 Camera.1937 – Kodak introduced its first slide projector, the KODASLIDE Projector. A top-load model, it took one slide at a time.

1939 – Kodak added a READY-MOUNT Service for 35 mm KODACHROME Film. This made it possible to project slides as soon as they were received from a Kodak processing laboratory.
The company began a program of annual fellowship grants to colleges and universities throughout the nation.

1941 – Kodak marketed the versatile KODAK EKTRA Camera, with a shutter-speed range from 1/1000 to 1 second.
Airgraph, or “V-Mail,” was developed by Kodak as a system for microfilming letters to conserve shipping space during World War II.
Frank Lovejoy was elected chairman of the board and Thomas J. Hargrave, previously head of the company’s legal department, became president.

1942 – KODACOLOR Film for prints, the world’s first true color negative film, was announced.
Kodak’s Rochester plants were awarded the U.S. Army-Navy “E” for high achievement in the production of equipment and films for the war effort.

1945 – Perley S. Wilcox succeeded Frank Lovejoy as chairman of the board of directors. He had previously directed the formation of Tennessee Eastman Company in 1920.

1946 – Kodak marketed KODAK EKTACHROME Transparency Sheet Film, the company’s first color film that photographers could process themselves using newly marketed chemical kits.
Kodak employment worldwide passed the 60,000 mark.

1947 – The world’s first commercial production of synthetic vitamin A began at Distillation Product Industries (DPI); DPI discontinued vitamin A production in 1973.
Kodak introduced the EASTMAN Television Recording Camera, in cooperation with DuMont Laboratories and NBC, for recording images from a television screen.

1948 – Kodak announced a 35 mm tri-acetate safety base film for the motion picture industry to replace the flammable cellulose nitrate base – and received an “Oscar” for it two years later.
Fully automatic processing of snapshots was made possible by the KODAK Continuous Paper Processor. The machine produced 2,400 finished snapshots an hour.

1950 – The company unveiled the first in its long-running series of KODAK COLORAMA Display transparencies – 18 feet high and 60 feet wide – overlooking the main terminal floor of Grand Central Station in New York City. An estimated 650,000 commuters and tourists viewed this popular attraction every business day, and many of the dramatic photographs displayed over the years were the subject of widespread newspaper and magazine coverage. The exhibit was permanently dismantled in early 1989 as part of Grand Central’s restoration.

1953 – The company introduced KODAK Photo Resist, designed for making photolithographic printing plates. The business was sold to Union Carbide Corporation in 1987.
A new subsidiary, Eastman Chemical Products, Inc., was formed to market products made by Tennessee Eastman and Texas Eastman.1951 – The low-priced BROWNIE 8 mm Movie Camera was introduced. The BROWNIE Movie Projector was added in 1952, and the BROWNIE Turret Camera was introduced in 1955.
Recordak Corporation introduced the new BANTAM Microfilmer with the highest reduction ratio ever achieved – 40:1.
The Texas Eastman Company began operations in Longview, Texas, for the production of alcohols and aldehydes for the chemical trade.
Dr. Albert K. Chapman succeeded Thomas J. Hargrave as president of the company when Hargrave became chairman of the board of Eastman Kodak Company.

1956 – KODAK VERICHROME Pan Film was introduced, a black-and-white film that replaced the popular KODAK VERICHROME Film launched in 1931.
Tennessee Eastman introduced VEREL Fiber for use in rugs, draperies and other household furnishings.
Kodak formed the Apparatus and Optical Division, which included the Camera Works and the Hawk-Eye Works in Rochester.1955 – Kodak began selling color films without the cost of processing included, as the result of a consent decree signed in 1954. The long-term result was the creation of a new market for Kodak, providing products and services to independent photofinishers.
The company’s employment throughout the world reach 73,000.

1957 – The KODAK BROWNIE STARMATIC Cameras were introduced. These cameras eventually included seven models, and more than 10 million were sold over the next five years.

1958 – The KODAK CAVALCADE Projector, the company’s first fully automatic slide projector, was introduced.
The KODAK X-OMAT Processor reduced the processing time for x-ray films from one hour to six minutes.
The company’s first single-lens reflex camera, the KODAK RETINA Reflex Camera, was manufactured by Kodak A.G. in Stuttgart, Germany.
KODAK Polyester Textile Fiber, developed by Tennessee Eastman, was made available for use in clothing. A plant for large-scale production of EASTMAN KODEL Fiber was built in 1960.

1959 – KODAK High Speed EKTACHROME Film became the fastest color film on the market.
Fully automatic exposure control was introduced on two Kodak still cameras and four 8 mm movie cameras.
The number of Kodak shareowners passed the 100,000 mark.

1960 – KODAK ESTAR Film Base (a polyester film base) was introduced to give improved dimensional stability to KODALITH Graphic Arts Film.
The RECORDAK RELIANT 500 Microfilmer was introduced and was capable of photographing up to 500 checks or 185 letters in one minute.
Dr. Albert K. Chapman became vice-chairman of the board of directors and William S. Vaughn became president and chief executive officer.
1961 – The company introduced the first in its very successful line of KODAK CAROUSEL Projectors, which featured a round tray holding 80 slides.
KODACHROME II Film was introduced, providing a significant improvement over the long-established KODACHROME Film.

1963 – The line of KODAK INSTAMATIC Cameras was introduced, featuring easy-to-use cartridge-loading film, which eventually brought amateur photography to new heights of popularity. More than 50 million INSTAMATIC Cameras were produced by 1970.1962 – The company’s U.S. consolidated sales exceeded $1 billion for the first time and worldwide employment passed the 75,000 mark.
John Glenn became the first American astronaut to orbit the earth, and Kodak film recorded his reactions to traveling through space at 17,400 miles per hour.
Dr. Albert K. Chapman became chairman of the board of directors following the death of Thomas J. Hargrave.

1964 – The Kodak Pavilion at the New York World’s Fair was one of the ten largest buildings at the international exposition. The “Tower of Photography” featured the largest outdoor color prints ever exhibited.

1965 – Kodak developed the super 8 format and launched super 8 movies with new cartridge-loading KODACHROME II Film.
KODAK INSTAMATIC Cameras enabled picture-takers to take four flash pictures without changing flashbulbs.
New automated processing systems reduced the processing time for x-ray films to a mere 90 seconds.

1966 – The KODAK 2620 Color Printer incorporated an electronic memory to produce 2,000 to 3,000 prints an hour.
“The photograph of the century,” a close-up of the crater Copernicus on the moon, was made by Lunar Orbiter II, using a dual-lens camera, film, processor, and readout device supplied by Kodak.
Combined sales of all Kodak units around the world surpassed $4 billion, and Kodak employment throughout the world passed the 100,000 mark.

1967 – Relocation of the Camera Works plant was begun on a 600-acre site in the town of Gates, NY. The site, Elmgrove Plant, was the center of U.S. equipment manufacturing until its sale in 2000. Afterwards, its operations moved to other Kodak locations.
William S. Vaughn became chairman of the board of directors and Dr. Louis K. Eilers succeeded him as president.

1968 – Carolina Eastman Company was dedicated in Columbia, South Carolina, for the manufacture of KODEL Polyester fibers and yarn.

1969 – Construction began on Kodak Colorado Division – a manufacturing unit for films and papers, located in Windsor, Colorado.
A very special stereo camera made by Kodak accompanied astronauts Aldrin and Armstrong when they set foot on the moon.
Kodak received an “Emmy” Award for its development of fast color film processing for television use.
The KODAK EKTAGRAPHIC Slide Projector, Kodak’s first slide projector designed for the professional audio-visual market, was introduced.
The number of shareowners passed the 200,000 mark.

1970 – A new film manufacturing plant in Guadalajara, Mexico was dedicated.
The company’s suggestion system received its one millionth suggestion.
Dr. Louis K. Eilers became chairman of the board and Gerald B. Zornow was named president.
More than 50 million KODAK INSTAMATIC Cameras were produced from 1963 to 1970.

1972 – Kodak reduced the popular INSTAMATIC Camera to pocket size with the introduction of five different KODAK Pocket INSTAMATIC Cameras, using a new KODAK 110 Film Cartridge. The line was so popular that more than 25 million cameras were produced in slightly under three years.
Walter A. Fallon became president and chief executive officer and Gerald B. Zornow was elected chairman of the board.1971 – Kodak introduced KODAK EKTACHROME 160 Movie Film (Type A) and two new super 8 movie cameras which, in combination, made possible “existing light” movies for home use.
The Marketing Education Center (also known as the Riverwood site), opened as a training facility that offered a variety of educational services to professionals who used Kodak products.

1973 – The company unveiled sound home movies with the introduction of two super 8 sound movie cameras and cartridge-loading super 8 film, magnetically striped for sound recording.
Worldwide employment passed the 120,000 mark.

1975 – Kodak invented the world’s first digital camera. The prototype was the size of a toaster and captured black-and-white images at a resolution of 10,000 pixels (.01 megapixels).
Kodak introduced the KODAK EKTAPRINT 100 Copier-Duplicator, which received immediate industry acclaim for its high-quality copies and the user conveniences made possible by an on-board microcomputer.

1976 – The line of KODAK EKTAPRINT Copier-Duplicators was expanded to six different models.
New KODAK ORACLE and KODAK STARVUE microfilm products were introduced, providing high-speed, automated retrieval of the microfilmed images.
New KODAK Instant Cameras, and a print film for self-developing color prints, were announced.

1977 – Arkansas Eastman Company, the newest member of the Eastman Chemicals Division, began commercial production of organic chemicals.
Walter A. Fallon was elected chairman of the board and Colby H. Chandler became president.

1978 – Eastman Chemicals Division introduced EASTMAN KODAPAK Thermoplastic Polyester for use in manufacturing beverage bottles.

1980 – Kodak celebrated its 100th anniversary.
The company announced its entry into the clinical diagnostic market with the KODAK EKTACHEM 400 Analyzer, utilizing dry-chemistry blood serum analysis.

1981 – Company sales surpassed the $10 billion mark.
Kodak acquired Atex, Inc., a manufacturer of computer-based publishing systems.
The introduction of KODAK EKTAFLEX PCT Color Printmaking Products made it easy for home darkroom enthusiasts to make color enlargements.

1982 – Kodak launched “disc photography” with a line of compact, “decision-free” cameras built around a rotating disc of film.
KODACOLOR VR 100 Film was introduced, utilizing a new T-GRAIN Emulsion Technology, which represented a major break-through in silver-halide emulsions.
The Kodak pavilion opened in Walt Disney World’s new EPCOT Center near Orlando, Florida.

1983 – Colby H. Chandler was elected chairman and chief executive officer and Kay R. Whitmore became president.
The KODAK KAR 4000 Information System provided advanced capabilities for computer-assisted storage and retrieval of microfilm images.
Tennessee Eastman began operation of the only commercial plant in the U.S. for making industrial chemicals from coal.
The KODAK EKTACHEM DT60 Analyzer, a desk-top unit, brought the convenience of dry-chemistry blood serum analysis to the physician’s office.

1984 – Kodak entered the video market with the KODAVISION Series 2000 8 mm video system and introduced KODAK Videotape Cassettes in 8 mm, Beta, and VHS formats.
The company announced a full line of flexible floppy disks for personal computers.

1985 – The company introduced two new image management systems – the KODAK EKTAPRINT Electronic Publishing System (KEEPS) and the KODAK Information Management System (KIMS).
Minilab systems for photofinishers were introduced, offering consumers exceptionally fast photo print service.

1986 – The company introduced two new KODACOLOR VR-G 35 Films and re-entered the 35 mm camera market with two new Kodak VR 35 Cameras.
The company announced KODAK ULTRALIFE Lithium Power Cells, the world’s first 9-volt lithium cells for consumer use, and entered the general consumer battery market with a line of KODAK SUPRALIFE Batteries.
Kodak entered a new health-care business with the establishment of its Eastman Pharmaceuticals Division.

1988 – Kodak acquired Sterling Drug Inc., which provided the infrastructure and marketing ability Kodak needed to be a profitable participant in ethical and over-the-counter drugs. Kodak eventually sold its non-imaging health-related businesses in 1994.
Qualex, Inc. was established as a joint venture between Kodak and Fuqua Industries, Inc., merging the operations of about 90 photographic processing labs owned by the two parties.
The first line of color negative films created especially for photojournalists was introduced with Kodak EKTAPRESS GOLD films.
Black-and-white film technology progressed with KODAK T-MAX P3200 film.
The KODAK CREATE-A-PRINT 35 mm Enlargement Center enabled consumers to crop and make their own enlargements in a few minutes.1987 – The company entered the electronic still-video market with seven products for recording, storing, manipulating, transmitting and printing electronic still video images.
Construction began on a new state-of-the-art sensitizing plant in Rochester, N.Y. for coating color films for professional use.
Kodak announced its first one-time-use camera – the KODAK FLING Camera – which contained a 110 KODACOLOR Film Cartridge.

1989 – Kodak celebrated the 100th anniversary of motion pictures by introducing EASTMAN EXR Color Negative Films.
The KODAK XL 7700 Digital Continuous Tone Printer, which produced large format thermal color prints, was introduced.
The one-time-use KODAK STRETCH 35 Camera produced 3 1/2 x 10 – inch prints for panoramic scenes.
The one-time-use KODAK WEEKEND 35 Camera was an all-weather camera capable of taking pictures underwater down to a depth of 8 feet.
The KODAK IMAGELINK Component Series (for document imaging) and KODAK OPTISTAR Products (for computer output) offered a choice of micrographic or digital capture of images. ♦ The KODAK X-OMATIC RA cassette significantly reduced radiographic exposure for pediatric patients. One-time-use KODAK FUN SAVER Panoramic 35 Camera

1990 – Kay Whitmore was elected Kodak Chairman and CEO.
Kodak announced the development of its Photo CD system for playing images on television screens, and proposed a worldwide standard for defining color in the digital environment of computers and computer peripherals.
The KODAK PREMIER Image Enhancement System helped commercial and industrial photography labs achieve new levels of quality and productivity by combining silver-halide and electronic technologies to scan photographs, digitize the information, and then output to photographic film or paper.
The company announced its first product in a new family of document management systems, providing high-speed printing capability for centralized duplicating departments.
Kodak began a recycling program for one-time use cameras and also began using recycled paperboard for film boxes.

1991 – Sterling Drug Inc. announced an agreement with Sanofi, a leading French pharmaceutical company, that would result in a number of joint ventures between the companies.
The KODAK Professional Digital Camera System (DCS) was introduced, enabling photojournalists to take electronic pictures with a Nikon F-3 camera equipped by Kodak with a 1.3 megapixel sensor.
New copiers from Kodak offered innovative digital features, such as the ability to customize copies of original documents.
Construction of a new state-of-the-art sensitizing plant that began in 1986 in Rochester, N.Y. for coating color films for the professional and motion picture markets was completed.

1992 – Kodak launched a writeable CD that its first customer, MCI, used for producing telephone bills for corporate accounts.
The KODAK FUN SAVER Telephoto 35 camera was added to the popular line of one-time use cameras.
Kodak sold its 100,000th X-OMAT X-ray film processor, first introduced in 1956.
The company announced a joint R&D project with Canon, Fuji, Minolta and Nikon to develop an Advanced Photographic System.
New digital products included the KODAK Professional DCS 200 Digital Camera and the KODAK XLT 7720 Digital Continuous Tone Printer.
KODAK EKTAPRO Projectors became the first Kodak slide projectors to connect to a computer.
Kodak received an R&D 100 Award for its INSIGHT Thoracic Imaging System, which produced significantly improved X-ray images of soft tissues.
KODACOLOR film celebrated its 50th anniversary.

1993 – Kodak introduced 20 new photographic products, including the sleek, compact CAMEO 35 mm Camera Line; new EKTACHROME LUMIERE Films; an underwater version of EKTACHROME Film; and the KODAK FUN SAVER Portrait 35 One-Time Use Camera.
The company launched a stream of new software products and Photo CD formats for commercial use, in addition to a portable Photo CD player.
Using Kodak’s new CINEON Technology, Kodak technicians digitally restored Walt Disney’s 1937 classic “Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs.”
George M.C. Fisher, previously CEO of Motorola, became Kodak’s Chairman and CEO.
At year-end, Eastman Chemical Company (including Distillation Products business), founded in 1920, was spun off to shareholders and became an independent company with its own board of directors and New York Stock Exchange listing.
1994 – Kodak announced 30 new products, including KODAK ROYAL GOLD Film and new digital imaging products and services. Digital products included the KODAK Copyprint Station, for making new prints from old prints; the KODAK Digital Enhancement Station 100, enabling retailers to help consumers eliminate defects such as “red-eye;” and the KODAK Creation Station, an easy-to-use walk-up center for making digital prints from negatives, slides, prints and Photo CD images.
Kodak divested its non-imaging health-related businesses – Sterling Winthrop, L&F Products and Clinical Diagnostics – enabling the company to focus all of its resources on its core imaging business. Proceeds from the sale of these businesses was used to substantially reduce debt.
1996 – The Advanced Photo System format was introduced. Features included drop-in film cartridge loading, mid-roll change enabling the film to be removed before being completely exposed, and three different picture formats (Classic, Group, and Panoramic). Kodak unveiled the ADVANTIX brand, for its related products.
In June, the company unveiled the first in a series of pocket-sized digital cameras for the rapidly growing consumer digital market.
Kodak television commercials featured the theme, “Take Pictures. Further.,” a campaign designed to broaden the appeal of the Kodak brand.
The company shipped its 10,000th medical laser printer, the KODAK EKTASCAN 2180 Laser Printer, to Duke University Medical Center in Durham, N.C.
Daniel A. Carp was appointed Kodak’s President and Chief Operating Officer.
1995 – Kodak introduced its Internet website, kodak.com, providing an opportunity for Internet users all over the world to learn more about Kodak’s people, products, services, and history.
In March, Kodak advanced its digital imaging business with the KODAK DC40 Point-and-Shoot Digital Camera, and new premium-grade paper and transparency film formulated to provide high-quality color images from ink-jet printers.
In September, Kodak announced that Danka Business Systems PLC would sell and service Kodak high-volume copiers throughout the U.S. and Canada.
1997 – Kodak sold the sales, marketing, and equipment service operations of its Office Imaging business and its facilities management business (formerly known as Kodak Imaging Services) to Danka Business Systems PLC.
The company introduced four new GOLD Films (400, 200, and 100 speeds and Max 800 speed) that employed COLORSHARP Technology.
By February, the company had recycled more than 100 million one-time-use cameras since the program began in 1990.
The KODAK Picture Network was announced, enabling people to view their photos, order reprints, and share their pictures with friends and family around the world via the Internet.
In April, the company unveiled the KODAK DIGITAL SCIENCE DC120 Zoom Digital Camera, the first point-and-shoot megapixel quality digital camera under $1,000.
Kodak and Sun Chemical Corporation agreed to form a joint venture, Kodak Polychrome Graphics, to supply the graphic arts market with sensitized products as well as computer-to-plate and other digital solutions.
An advanced Kodak image sensor allowed NASA’s Mars Rover to “see” as it moved about to explore that planet’s surface.

1998 – KODAK PROFESSIONAL PORTRA Color Negative Films, and KODAK PROFESSIONAL SUPRA III Color Paper were introduced.
America Online and Kodak announced “You’ve Got Pictures!” a service where AOL members could have their processed pictures delivered online.
Kodak acquired most of Imation Corporation’s worldwide medical imaging business, including the DRYVIEW Laser Imaging business.
Astronaut John Glenn and the other members of the STS-95 crew used a KODAK PROFESSIONAL DCS 460 Digital Camera to capture high-resolution images for real-time transmission back to Earth during their space flight.

1999 – Kodak sold its digital printer, copier/duplicator, and roller assembly operations to Heidelberger Druckmaschinen AG. The two companies also expanded their joint venture, NexPress, which was created in 1998.
The company announced DURALIFE Paper, a revolutionary new photographic paper for snapshots. It set benchmarks in virtually every performance category, including tear-resistance, durability, brightness and whiteness, image sharpness, and resistance to curling.
Kodak’s Commercial & Government Systems business introduced an Earth-imaging digital camera capable of showing surface objects as small as one meter in length.
Kodak and Lexmark International, Inc. teamed up to introduce the KODAK Personal Picture Maker for home printing of digital images.
The Health Imaging business announced the KODAK DRYVIEW 8600 Laser Imaging System for mammography and three state-of-the-art digital radiography systems for capturing x-ray images.
Kodak and Sanyo Electric Co. unveiled the world’s first commercial model of a full-color, active matrix organic electroluminescent (OLED) display.
2000 – Dan Carp became Kodak’s CEO in addition to his responsibilities as President.
Kodak’s Health Imaging unit introduced 45 new products during the year, including, KODAK InSight Intraoral Dental Film; a dental radiography film that helped dentists reduce radiation exposure to patients while delivering excellent images; and two new digital radiography systems, the KODAK DirectView DR 9000 and DirectViewDR 5000.
Kodak’s Entertainment Imaging unit and Qualcomm Inc. launched an initiative to collaborate on testing of core technologies for the creation of a high-quality digital cinema system.
At year-end, Kodak completed the acquisition of Lumisys, Inc., a leading provider of desktop computed radiography systems and x-ray film digitizers.
2001 – Dan Carp became Kodak’s Chairman in addition to his responsibilities as President and CEO.
Kodak entered into an alliance with Maytag Corporation, Maytag’s Dixie-Narco vending machine division and e-Vend.net that would use vending machines and the Internet to expand the number of locations where consumers could buy film and one-time-use cameras.
The company completed its acquisition of Bell & Howell Company’s imaging businesses.
Kodak announced a new worldwide advertising campaign, “Share Moments. Share Life.”
The KODAK EASYSHARE System, a new line of digital cameras and docking systems that set the standard for ease of use for digital photography, was launched.
In June, the company acquired Ofoto, Inc., a leading online photography service.
2002 – Kodak finalized the acquisition of Encad, Inc., a wholly owned subsidiary of Kodak, focused exclusively on the wide-format inkjet printing industry.
KODAK PERFECT TOUCH Processing was introduced, which marked the expansion of the company’s digital photo processing offering to consumers. By individually scanning and digitally processing each picture, KODAK PERFECT TOUCH Processing removes dark shadows, reveals richer detail, improves sharpness and contrast, and reveals more vibrant color in pictures.
The company introduced the KODAK 8500 Digital Photo Printer, a photo-quality, thermal desktop printer that offers superior productivity vs. inkjet at a competitive price.
KODAK i200 Series Scanners were introduced; a new family of low-volume document scanners that feature much of the technology found in the company’s highest-speed scanners, plus the market’s first dockable flatbed accessory for scanning documents that need special handling.
Kodak and Sanyo Electric Co. unveiled a prototype fifteen-inch flat-panel display, the next generation of full-color displays based on Kodak’s patented organic light-emitting diode (OLED) technology.
The company unveiled KODAK VISION2 motion-picture color negative film, the next generation of its award-winning motion-picture films. KODAK VISION2 is the descendant of the VISION line of films, which were introduced in 1995 and quickly became the most widely used motion-picture films in the world.
2003 – The KODAK EASYSHARE printer dock 6000, a device that produces durable, borderless 4″ x 6″ KODAK prints, was introduced.
The company introduced several digital cameras including the KODAK EASYSHARE LS633 zoom digital camera, the first digital camera to feature an organic light-emitting diode (OLED) display, and the KODAK EASYSHARE DX6490 for advanced amateur photographers.
The KODAK i80 Scanner, able to digitize paper documents 40 percent faster than previous models, was introduced.
Kodak made several acquisitions including PracticeWorks, Inc., a provider of dental practice management software; 20% of Lucky Film Co., Ltd., the largest maker of photo film headquartered in China; Laser-Pacific Media Corporation, a provider of post-production services for filmmakers; Algotec Systems Ltd., developer of picture archiving and communications systems; and Applied Science Fiction’s Digital PIC rapid film processing technology.
Antonio M. Perez joined the company as President and Chief Operating Officer.
In September, the company unveiled a new digitally oriented strategy to accelerate growth to expand into a range of commercial businesses. The company was organized under five primary operations: Commercial Printing, Display & Components, Health Imaging, Digital & Film Imaging Systems, and Commercial Imaging.

2004 – KODAK EASYSHARE Digital Cameras ranked highest in customer satisfaction in the $200-$399 and $400-$599 price segments in the J.D. Power and Associates 2004 Digital Camera Satisfaction Study.
Kodak expanded its graphic communications business, becoming sole owner of former joint venture NexPress (a provider of high-end, on-demand color printing systems and black-and-white variable-data printing systems), and Scitex Digital Printing (a leader in high-speed variable data inkjet printing). The latter was renamed Kodak Versamark, Inc.
The company also bought remaining shares of Chinon Industries, a digital camera manufacturer, acquired the imaging sensor business of National Semiconductor, and formed an alliance with IBM to manufacture CMOS image sensors.
To more closely focus on its growth areas, Kodak sold its Remote Sensing Systems business, which served defense and aerospace customers, to ITT Industries.
Construction began on a manufacturing facility at Kodak’s Windsor, Colorado site to expand capacity for thermal media used in products like Kodak’s popular picture maker kiosks.
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) granted approval for Kodak’s innovative mammography computer-aided detection system designed to aid radiologists in early detection of breast cancer.
KODAK Ultima Picture Paper, with COLORLAST technology, was introduced. When used with the latest inks, photos printed on this inkjet paper will last for more than 100 years in typical home display.

2005 – Kodak received industry accolades for its new EASYSHARE-ONE Digital Camera, which provides an unprecedented ability to hold up to 1,500 pictures for instant display and to wirelessly transmit images for printing, e-mailing or online viewing.
Other new EASYSHARE cameras included V-series and P-series models. P-Series cameras offer advanced features for avid photographers. Smaller than a deck of playing cards, V-series cameras blend still and video photography—offering the ability to take print-quality still images from video, or record up to 80 continuous minutes of TV-quality videos with sound.
The company’s OFOTO Online Photo Service changed its name to KODAK EASYSHARE Gallery.
Kodak acquired OREX Computed Radiography Ltd., a leading provider of compact computed radiography systems that digitally acquire x-ray images.
Continuing to grow its Graphic Communications business, the company became sole owner of former joint venture Kodak Polychrome Graphics—a leading supplier of products and services to the graphic communications market; and acquired Creo Inc.— a premier supplier of prepress and workflow systems used by commercial printers around the world.
Kodak introduced new offerings for the graphics industry, including the KODAK Enterprise Management Solution (EMS), a complete business workflow solution; and the KODAK VERSAMARK VX5000e printing system, offering an effective resolution twice that available with previous generations of continuous inkjet printheads.
Antonio M. Perez became Kodak CEO, in addition to his role as President.
Kodak announced availability of the first CMOS image sensor (CIS) devices to come from its manufacturing alliance with IBM.
Kodak introduced molecular imaging systems that, through a non-invasive procedure, help identify molecular abnormalities that signal disease at a very early stage. At this point the systems are not intended for human use, but they will aid laboratory researchers in fields like cancer study.
Kodak announced new home printing products including the EASYSHARE Photo Printer 500, for use with virtually any brand of digital camera and recent camera phones.
The world’s first 39 million pixel image sensor, the KODAK KAF-39000 Image Sensor, was introduced.
Strengthening its leading position in retail printing, Kodak introduced the KODAK Picture Kiosk G4, offering faster uploading and printing of images.

2006 – Antonio M. Perez became Chairman of Kodak, in addition to his role as CEO.
The world’s first dual-lens digital still camera, the sleek KODAK EASYSHARE V570 zoom digital camera, was introduced. That was followed by introduction of the KODAK EASYSHARE V610 dual lens digital camera, the world’s smallest camera to feature a 10x optical zoom; and the KODAK EASYSHARE V705 dual lens digital camera, the world’s smallest ultra-wide-angle optical zoom digital camera.
Kodak updated its brand logo, providing a fresh, contemporary look for today’s digital world.
Kodak and Motorola entered a global product, cross licensing and marketing alliance around mobile imaging.
The KODAK Scan Station 100 was announced. It allows office workers to simultaneously scan, store and share documents on an office network, and send them anywhere — without a computer.
Enhanced KODAK PROFESSIONAL PORTRA color negative films were introduced for professional photographers. The films offer finer grain, and provide spectacular skin tones and superb color in mixed lighting conditions.
The company celebrated the 10th anniversary of the first thermal computer-to-plate system for imaging printing plates. The Kodak system uses heat to digitally image plates, a departure from earlier systems that used light. The faster turnaround times, lower cost and improved quality provided by thermal technology continue to benefit commercial printers today.

2007 – Kodak attacked the high-cost of inkjet printing, introducing the revolutionary KODAK EASYSHARE All-In-One Printers that affordably print crisp, sharp documents and Kodak lab-quality photos using premium pigment-based inks.
Kodak entered into technology cross-license agreements with Sony Corporation and Sony Ericsson Mobile Communications.
KODAK EASYSHARE Digital Picture Frames were introduced, giving consumers an easy and exciting way to play slideshows of favorite pictures and videos – even set to music.
Two new offerings expanded the KODAK NEXPRESS Platform of digital color printing presses, making it easier for commercial print providers to enter – or grow their presence in – the digital printing market.
Kodak completed the sale of its Health Group to an affiliate of Onex Corporation of Canada. The business is continuing under the name Carestream Health, Inc.
The KODAK TRACELESS System – designed to protect against counterfeiting of items like tickets, documents, and luxury goods — was launched. Invisible markers are embedded in a product or label. Kodak readers then detect these markers to verify authenticity.
Kodak installed its 10,000th computer-to-plate (CTP) device, further cementing its position as a technology leader in this printing market.
Kodak announced a groundbreaking advance in image sensor technology – a filter pattern array that provides a 2X to 4X increase in light sensitivity versus current sensor designs.
Kodak introduced its first camera featuring the company’s innovative CMOS image sensor technology. The KODAK EASYSHARE C513 Digital Camera offers 5-megapixel resolution for under $100.
Introduced for the packaging printing industry, the KODAK FLEXCEL NX Digital Flexographic System provides near offset print quality on flexible films, foil, labels and other packaging materials.
Kodak launched KODAK PROFESSIONAL T-MAX 400 Black-and-White Film, offering photographers a level of clarity normally available only from 100-speed film.
A new generation of color motion picture film – KODAK VISION3 Film – was introduced, improving exposure in brightest highlights and darkest shadows.

2008 – Kodak received its ninth Oscar® statuette, this time for developing emulsions for KODAK VISION2 Color Negative Films for the motion picture industry.
In the 80 years Academy Awards have been presented, all “Best Picture” Oscars have gone to movies shot on Kodak film. This year’s winner, No Country For Old Men, was no exception.
Kodak launched the APEX system, a dry lab solution for retailers. APEX can fulfill standard print orders and be expanded to also produce photo books, cards, and other custom photo items.
Using the new KODAK TRUESENSE CMOS pixel and recent color filter pattern technology, Kodak introduced the world’s first 1.4 micron, 5 megapixel sensor – designed for consumer applications like mobile phones.
KODAK CCD Image Sensors were used on the space shuttle Discovery to help assess the orbiter’s exterior before reentry.
Kodak launched more than two dozen new products at drupa, the world’s largest printing trade show. Kodak also demonstrated its highly anticipated Stream Inkjet Technology, a continuous inkjet system providing offset-class performance for high volume commercial/data printing applications.
Motorola announced the MOTOZINE ZN5, a camera phone featuring KODAK Imaging Technology for convenient, high quality picture-taking.
Kodak and the PGA TOUR announced the Kodak Challenge, a competition to celebrate beautiful holes and memorable moments in golf. Players compete for the title based on their scores on selected holes during the PGA TOUR season.
Kodak introduced the first 50 million pixel CCD image sensor, offering unprecedented resolution and detail for professional photography.
Kodak introduced high-definition (HD)-enabled products including The KODAK Zi6 Pocket Video Camera for easy shooting and sharing of videos.
KODAK PROFESSIONAL EKTAR 100, offering the finest grain of any color negative film, is launched.
Wireless versions of Kodak’s consumer inkjet printers – the Kodak ESP 7 and ESP 9 AiO Printers – are introduced. By year end, more than one million Kodak AiO printers had been sold to consumers since the product’s 2007 introduction.

2009 – Kodak’s single-use camera recycling program reached the milestone of recycling 1.5 billion cameras, including both Kodak and competitive models.
Kodak’s breakthrough Stream commercial inkjet technology – which delivers offset class, variable data printing – entered the market under the KODAK PROSPER family name.  The first product available was the KODAK PROSPER S10 Imprinting System, a printhead for use on existing presses.
Kodak continued to grow its line of popular pocket video cameras, introducing the KODAK Zi8 Pocket Video Camera offering full 1080p High Definition video capture.
KODACHROME Color Film was retired, concluding its 74-year run as a photography icon.
The KODAK EASYSHARE S730 Digital Picture Frame, featuring a rechargeable battery that lets you unplug the frame and pass it around for easy viewing – was introduced.
Kodak acquired the document scanner division of BÖWE BELL + HOWELL, a leading supplier of document scanners to value-added resellers, system integrators and end users.
Kodak subsidiary Cinesite won an Emmy® Award for “Special Visual Effects for a TV Special or Miniseries” for its work on the HBO production “Generation Kill.”
Kodak announced it will sell the assets of its OLED business to a group of LG companies.

2010 – New Kodak consumer products promoted ease of sharing pictures. Offerings included the KODAK PULSE Digital Frame – featuring an e-mail address to receive images from KODAK Gallery, Facebook and e-mail messages – and new KODAK EASYSHARE Digital Cameras – featuring a unique Share Button. The Button lets users easily tag pictures for effortless e-mailing and uploading to popular sharing sites or the PULSE Frame.
Also for consumers, the KODAK PLAYSPORT Video Camera was the first waterproof offering in Kodak’s popular line of pocket video cameras
KODAK TRILLIAN SP Thermal Plates were introduced, providing outstanding quality, efficiency, and environmental benefits for offset printing.
The first full PROSPER Presses – the monochrome KODAK PROSPER 1000 Press and the color KODAK PROSPER 5000 Press – entered the market.
Kodak unit Cinesite, a leading provider of visual effects for motion pictures, launched services for stereoscopic 3D visual effects and conversion of 2D films into 3D.
KODAK Picture Saver Scanning Systems were introduced to enable retailers and niche marketers to help consumers digitize photo prints, keepsake documents and other “printed memories.”
The KODAK ESP Office 6150 All-in-One Inkjet Printer, with connectivity to print from multiple sources, brought Kodak’s revolutionary affordable ink to home-based businesses.
Kodak continued to innovate in film, introducing KODAK PROFESSIONAL PORTRA 400 Film – which features the finest grain structure available in a 400 speed color negative film – and making KODAK PROFESSIONAL EKTAR 100 Film available in large formats.
Retired Kodak researcher Steve Sasson received the National Medal of Technology and Innovation for invention of the digital camera in 1975. It is the highest U.S. honor for scientists, engineers and inventors.
Kodak announced the highest resolution interline transfer CCD image sensor for demanding applications like industrial inspection, aerial photography and security.
The 100th KODAK FLEXCEL NX Digital Flexographic System – an innovative platemaking solution for the printing of flexible packaging materials – was installed.

2011 – Over the course of the year Kodak shares fell by more than 80pc as it struggled to maintain market share and was hit with huge pension costs for workers.

2012 – Kodak files for chapter 11 bankruptcy.

3 thoughts on “A History of Kodak

  1. Is there away to bring Kodak abck from the brink and help it get back to creating cameras and film. I have 2 cameras from Kodak Digital and a pocket camera. I’d love to buy more film, and flash cubes for the pocket and more ink rolls an paper for the didgital. So, I desperately want Kodak back in business.

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