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    • About Kodak

    1930-1959

    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.


    Tennessee Eastman began marketing cellulose acetate fiber in 1931.

    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.


    KODACHROME Film was introduced in 1935.

    1937 - Kodak introduced its first slide projector, the KODASLIDE Projector. A top-load model, it took one slide at a time.

    1938 - The first camera with built-in photoelectric exposure control was developed - the Super KODAK Six-20 Camera.

    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.


    The first KODAK COLORAMA debuted in Grand Central Station, May 15, 1950.

    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.

    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.

    1954 - KODAK TRI-X Film, a high-speed black-and-white film, was introduced. ♦ Texas Eastman constructed a new plant to produce EASTMAN TENITE polyethylene plastic. ♦ Kodak Brasileira began operating a sensitizing plant in Sao Paulo, Brazil.


    KODAK TRI-X Film.

    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.

    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.

    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.