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Chronology of Motion Picture Films: 1889 to 1939

KODACHROME box from 1936


  • 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.


  • First public announcement of Eastman Safety Acetate Support based on successful burning test results vs. Nitrate Support.


  • First Safety Film (acetate) offered for sale in 22mm.


Kodak Research Laboratories, Rochester, New York, 1920
In 1912 George Eastman was one of the first American industrialists to organize a research laboratory. This picture was taken at Kodak Research Laboratories in Rochester, New York, in 1920.

  • Eastman provides Cellulose Acetate Base film to Thomas A. Edison, Inc., Orange, NJ for use in Home Kinescopes
  • Kodak Supplied 22mm wide film containing 3 linear rows of pictures with perforations between the rows.


  • Cine Negative Film, Type E - Orthochromatic


  • Cine Negative Film, Type F - Orthochromatic


  • Cine-Positive tinted stocks available in: lavender, red, green, blue, pink, light amber, yellow, orange and dark amber.


  • Super Speed Cine Negative Film - Orthochromatic
  • Kodak Panchromatic Cine Film


  • Manufacture of matrix stock for (2 color) Technicolor process as well as print stock (Kalmus Positive)
  • 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.


  • Motion Picture Duplicating Film for duplicate negatives


  • Type II and Type III Cine Negative Panchromatic Films
  • Kodacolor, a lenticular additive color film introduced for 16mm movies. Motion pictures in color became a reality for amateur cinematographers with the introduction of 16 mm KODACOLOR Film.


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

1930 - 1931

  • Super Sensitive Cine Negative Panchromatic Film --Awarded Oscar®-- (4th Academy Year) Class I. Scientific or Technical Award (joint with DuPont Film Mfg. Corp.)
  • Orthochromatic Negative Film discontinued
  • Experimental Kodachrome color motion picture film (2 color) tried by Fox Film Co.


  • First 3-color Technicolor film stocks introduced.
  • Awarded Oscar® -- (5th Academy Year) Class III. Scientific or Technical Award for the Type 2-B Sensitometer
  • The first 8 mm amateur motion-picture film, cameras, and projectors were introduced.


  • Awarded Oscar® -- (8th Academy Year) Class II. Scientific or Technical Award for the development of the Eastman Pola-Screen
  • KODACHROME Film was introduced and became the first commercially successful amateur color film initially in 16 mm for motion pictures. Then 35 mm slides and 8 mm home movies followed in 1936.


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


  • EASTMAN Fine Grain Duplicating Film 1365 (Nitrate Base). For making master positives. Awarded Oscar® -- (10th Academy Year) Class II. Scientific or Technical Award.
  • EASTMAN Fine Grain Panchromatic Duplicating Film, 1203 (Nitrate Base). For duplicate negatives. Awarded Oscar® -- (10th Academy Year) Class II. Scientific or Technical Award.


George Eastman used this long table to manufacture rolls of flexible film in 200-foot lengths.
George Eastman used this long table to manufacture rolls of flexible film in 200-foot lengths. Thomas Edison was one of the first customers. Edison needed the film to complete his invention of a motion picture camera and projector.

  • KODACHROME Duplicating film, 5262 (16mm). Also used as a camera film. Replaced by 5265 in 1940.
  • EASTMAN Fine Grain Sound Recording Film, 1360 (Nitrate Base). For variable area sound recording.
  • EASTMAN Plus X Film 1231 (Nitrate Base). Replaced EASTMAN Super X Film, 1227 (Nitrate Base).


  • EASTMAN Fine Grain Sound Recording Film, 1366 (Nitrate Base). For variable density sound recording.
  • Oscar® Awarded to Emery Huse and Ralph B. Atkinson of Kodak -- (12th Academy Year) Class III. for their specifications for chemical analysis of photographic developers and fixing baths.
1889-1939 | 1940-1959 >