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Eastmanova patentna kamera - zgodovina

Eastmanova patentna kamera - zgodovina


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George Eastman je patentiral ročni fotoaparat.

Zgodovina podjetij Rochester, NY Camera and Lens

To je najbolj zapletena zgodba, ki traja skoraj 100 let in zdi se mi, da je pogosto težko odkriti, kaj se je v resnici zgodilo, in razvrstiti številne spremembe imena, prevzeme in kombinacije podjetij, ki so se dogajala v Rochesterju, zlasti v obdobju od 1890 do 1905. Ustanavljala bi se majhna podjetja, pogosto zaposleni v drugem podjetju, pogosto pa bi propadla in njihovo premoženje bi isto ali drugo podjetje prevzelo. Tudi podjetja bi se pogosto reorganizirala z večjim kapitalom in novim naborom uslužbencev, pogosto z drugačnim imenom, in težko se je odločiti, ali gre za isto ali drugo podjetje. Eastman je bil še posebej dober pri prevzemu podjetja in mu nato leta omogočil, da deluje pod njegovim starim imenom, pogosto pa je na svojih izdelkih označeval & quotEastman Kodak Company, naslednika. & quot Tudi lociranje naslova podjetja ni pravi namig o lastništvu, ker bi pogosto v isti stavbi zasedla tri ali več podjetij.

Na tej točki se moram zahvaliti za veliko pomoč, ki sem jo prejel od Don Lyona pri razvrščanju različnih podjetij in osebnosti ter spremembah lastništva, zlasti za dostop do njegovih obsežnih zapisov in datotek. Res bi moral govoriti namesto mene. Večino svojih informacij sem pridobil iz mestnih imenikov, nekaj pa tudi iz datotek iz kataloga v hiši George Eastman. Čeprav sem izvedel veliko o številnih optičnih in kamernih podjetjih v Rochesterju, moji zapisi še zdaleč niso popolni in nedvomno bom še mnogo let odkrival zanimiva dejstva. Če kdo odkrije napako v moji zgodbi, upam, da jo bo opozoril, da bom lahko kar se da pravilno popravil.

Zelo se zavedam, da bi moral začeti s to raziskavo, preden je bilo središče Rochesterja raztrgano, da bi naredili prostor za notranjo zanko in projekt Urban Renewal. Nekatere ulice so popolnoma izginile, mnoge so si spremenile imena, stare zgradbe so porušili, da bi naredili prostor za parkirišča, in pogosto je brezupno ugotoviti, kje je dejansko podjetje. Ta problem je bil še otežen zaradi preštevilčevanja ulic, ki so se zgodila v letih 1899 in 1911.

Namerno sem izpustil podjetja, namenjena predvsem proizvodnji filma, tiskarskega papirja, držala za plošče in podobno, predvsem pa optična podjetja, ki izdelujejo le očala, kar je bilo v preteklih letih zelo aktivno podjetje v Rochesterju. Tako sem izpustil sklicevanje na podjetja, kot so Haloid, Defender in celo Xerox! Dve veliki podjetji, Bausch in Lomb ter Kodak, sta se izjemno izogibali dejavnosti drug drugega, zato jih lahko zgodovinar tine obravnava ločeno, kot sem to storil jaz. Različna podjetja za fotoaparate so bila na nek način povezana s podjetjem Kodak, medtem ko so bila podjetja za objektive in zaklope večinoma povezana z Bauschom in Lombom. Seveda so bile izjeme, kot bomo videli. Bilo je tudi več podjetij, ki niso bila povezana z nobenim od teh velikanov.

Bausch in Lomb

Foto-optična industrija v Rochesterju se je rodila leta 1880. Tega leta sta Bausch in Lomb začela izdelovati fotografske leče, ki jih je podjetje Rochester Optical Company začelo izdelovati fotoaparate, George Eastman pa plošče. Vendar se moja zgodba pravzaprav začne leta 1853, ko je J. J. Bausch ustanovil svojo drobno podjetje s spektakli in zaman čakal na stranke.

John Jacob Bausch se je rodil v Gross Suessenu v Nemčiji iz revne družine in je bil vajenec pri izdelovalcu očal. Pri 20 letih, leta 1850, se je odločil emigrirati v Ameriko in po mučnem 49-dnevnem potovanju na jadrnici pristal v New Yorku. Nadaljeval je v Buffalu, kjer je prišlo do epidemije kolere, in potem, ko je neuspešno poskušal najti delo, se je preselil v Rochester, kjer je imel spet največ težav pri iskanju kakršne koli zaposlitve. Končno se je pri 23 letih odločil, da bo v Reynoldsovi arkadi ustanovil optiko pod imenom & quotJ. J. Bausch, Optičar & quot. Takrat skoraj nihče v tej državi ni uporabljal očal in veliko ljudi jih sploh še ni videlo, zato je bila njegova prodaja skoraj nič. Kot je razvidno iz njegove vizitke, se je leta 1856 njegova trgovina imenovala & quotJ. Optični inštitut J. Bauscha. & Quot

V njegovem neskončnem boju za iskanje dela in celo preživetje je Bauschu močno pomagal gospod Henry Lomb, izdelovalec omar, ki ga je verjetno srečal v klubu Turn Verein. Lomb se je rodil leta 1828, emigriral pa je tudi iz Nemčije leta 1849. Bil je neženja, leta 1853 pa se je odločil, da se pridruži Bauschu, kjer se je učil optiške obrti, in se lotil pri družini Bausch, pri čemer jim je izročil svoj zaslužek. Ob izbruhu državljanske vojne se je Lomb takoj prijavil in se končno povzpel v čin kapitana. Vrnil se je v Rochester leta 1863, naslednje leto pa je postalo podjetje & quot; Bausch in Lomb, Optician. & Quot; Do takrat se je poslovanje izboljšalo do te mere, da so lahko odprli tovarno na vogalu Andrews in Water Streets. Henry Lomb se je poročil leta 1865 in se naslednje leto preselil v New York, da bi tam deloval kot prodajni agent podjetja. Umrl je leta 190S, zaradi številnih državljanskih dejavnosti in zlasti velikega zanimanja za Rochesterjev tehnološki inštitut pa so mu leta 1932 v Rochesterju postavili lep spomeniški jašek. Mimogrede, ime podjetja se je od leta 1866 do 1876 spremenilo v & quotVulcanite Optical Instrument Company & quot; saj so ta material v veliki meri uporabljali za izdelavo okvirjev za očala. Ime se je leta 1876 spremenilo v & quotBausch in Lomb Optical Company & quot; Po drugi svetovni vojni je postalo & quotBausch in Lomb Inc. & quot

Po državljanski vojni se je zanimanje za očala hitro povečalo in podjetje je leta 1868 zgradilo povečano tovarno na ulici River in Water Streets, šest let kasneje pa še večjo stavbo na sedanji lokaciji na ulici St. čez vrata. Med prvo svetovno vojno so dodali veliko stavbo pred staro. Zdaj so nam povedali, da namerava podjetje zapustiti celotno ustanovo in se preseliti v staro stavbo Bond Clothing na ulici North Goodman Street.

Ko se je vrnilo v leto 1875 na zahtevo Bauschovega najstarejšega sina Edwarda, se je podjetje odločilo, da se bo razširilo na optične instrumente, začenši z mikroskopom, po katerem je bilo povpraševanje vse večje. Za začetek so najeli temperamentnega lika po imenu Ernst Gundlach, ki je prej izdeloval mikroskope v Berlinu, nato pa je živel v Hackensacku v New Jerseyju. Gundlach sta bila od 1876 do 1878 zaposlena pri Bauschu in Lombu, vendar sta se pogosto prepirala in se končno ločila. Delo z mikroskopom pa je uspešno potekalo pod vodstvom Edwarda Bauscha in do leta 1903 so prodali približno 44.000 instrumentov.

Bausch in Lomb sta svoji liniji leta 1883 dodala fotografske leče, proizvodnjo polknov pa sta začela leta 1888. Leta 1892 sta postala edino podjetje v Ameriki, ki je pridobilo dovoljenje za izdelavo Zeiss Anastigmatov in drugih leč. Po dogovoru z Deckelom so izdelali tudi polkna Compound in Compur. Ti dogovori so bili dokončno prekinjeni v prvi svetovni vojni.

Nekateri statistični podatki iz leta 1903 so impresivni. Takrat sta Bausch in Lomb izdelovala približno 20 milijonov očal na leto in izdelala 500.000 fotografskih leč in 550.000 rolet. Kot veste, podjetje še vedno obstaja s podružnicami v več drugih mestih in v tujini, zato proizvaja široko paleto optičnih in elektronskih izdelkov najvišje kakovosti.

Gundlach

Omenil sem tistega težkega posameznika, Ernsta Gundlacha, ki je leta 1878 nekoliko nevoljno zapustil Bausch in Lomb. Njegov naslov je bil takrat 171 St. Paul Street, medtem ko sta bila Bausch in Lomb na št. 179, zato je živel skoraj v bližini hiše . Leta 1879 se je Gundlachu pridružil Lewis R. Sexton in skupaj sta ustanovila in upravljala optično blago v svojem domu, Sexton pa se je kot učitelj v šoli št. 7 podvojil, pozneje postal ravnatelj šole 17 in nato šole 9 Ker je bil prepričan, da je optično podjetje v dobrih rokah, se je Gundlach leta 1880 preselil v Hartford, Conn., Kjer je živel naslednja štiri leta in se tako zaposlil kot "optičar". Naslednje leto je Sexton optični obrat preselil v 29 Stone. Street, kjer sta se mu pridružila še dva optika, JC Reich in J. Zellweger. V imeniku Rochester iz leta 1883 je bil naveden kot & quotDealer v Mikroskopih in ciljih Ernsta Gundlacha. & Quot

Lewis R. Sexton je umrl avgusta 1884, potem ko je opustil optiko, Gundlach pa se je takoj vrnil v Rochester. Reorganiziral je podjetje na 29 Stone Street kot & quot; Gundlach Optical Company & quot; s seboj, Reichom, Zellwegerjem in strojnikom H. H. Turnerjem kot častniki. V svojem oglaševanju so trdili, da so "edini proizvajalci mikroskopov in ciljev E. Gundlacha." V naslednjih osmih letih je podjetje zasedlo več različnih lokacij, ki so leta 1892 končno končali na aveniji South Clinton 761, kjer so ostali do tridesetih let prejšnjega stoletja. Leta 1889 se je Gundlachu pridružil njegov sin Karl, ki je z njim živel dolga leta.

V začetku leta 1895 je iz nekega razloga Ernst Gundlach zapustil podjetje in ustanovil konkurenčno podjetje, imenovano & quotGundlach Photo-optično podjetje & quot; na ulici South Water Street 5, saj je to stavbo nato izpraznilo podjetje Rochester Optical Company. V oglasu, objavljenem v American Journal of Photography, Vol. XV, avgusta 1895, je izjavil, da je & quotErnst Gundlach prekinil vse povezave s starim "Gundlach Optical Company" in da smo zdaj edini lastniki njegovega patenta z dne 9. decembra 1890, po katerem je njegov slavni "Rapid Rectigraphic", Perigraphic "in druge leče so bile izdelane tako dolgo." Tako sta od leta 1895 v Rochesterju obstajali dve podjetji Gundlach.

Konec leta 1895 se je ime drugega podjetja spremenilo v & quot; Ernst Gundlach, Lens Manufacturers & quot ;, leta 1896 pa se je ponovno spremenilo v & quot; Ernst Gundlach, Son, & Co. & quot; nato na 202 Court Street, uradniki so bili BW Fenn, ZP Taylor, GB Gilbert in AS Gilbert. Vendar posel ni mogel biti zelo uspešen, dve leti kasneje so Gundlachsi zapustili mesto in se preselili v Chicago. Ko so odšli, so tovarno preimenovali v "Rochester Lens Company", upravljali pa sta jo Fenn in Gilbert. Končno ga je leta 1905 kupil Wollensak.

Za vrnitev v prvotno optično podjetje Gundlach: Leta 1895 je bil HH Turner upravnik, J. Zellweger in JC Reich sta bila optika, leta 1896 pa sta kupila podjetje Milburn Korona, ki ga je dve leti pred tem ustanovil Gustave G. Milburn in tako so prejšnji liniji objektivov dodali fotoaparate Korona. Leta 1896 so začeli oglaševati tudi polkna in na svoj seznam leč dodali Turner-Reich Anastigmat (ameriški patent 539.370). Leta 1898 je bil Turner predsednik in menedžer, Zellweger podpredsednik ter tajnik in blagajnik Reicha. Avgusta 1902 je družba prevzela Manhattan Optical Company Of Cresskill, New Jersey, in spremenila ime podjetja v & quotGundlach-Manhattan Optical Company. & Quot; Njihova stavba na aveniji South Clinton 761 je ob različnih časih delovala kot dom drugih podjetij, med drugim Rochester Panoramic Camera Company (1905), Seneca Camera Company (1903-1910) in Ilex Optical Company (1912-1916).

Okrog leta 1926 se je ime spremenilo v Gundlach Manufacturing Company, leta 1928 pa sta ga prevzela John E. Seebold, predsednik, in Walter H. Ashby kot podpredsednik, pod čudnim imenom "Seebold Invisible Camera Company" & quot Seebold zapustil naslednje leto in Ashby je postal predsednik. Hudo so trpeli v depresiji in se oktobra 1935 končno preselili v Fairport, njihova stara stavba na aveniji Clinton je postala trgovina s pohištvom Kane. V začetku leta 1954 je preostalo premoženje kupil Albert Drucker iz Burkea in Jamesa v Chicagu ter ga nazadnje reorganiziral kot "Dynamic Optics Inc." z Davidom Goldsteinom kot predsednikom. Podjetje je prenehalo z delovanjem leta 1972. Leta 1946 je sin gospoda Turnerja, Donald, ustanovil podjetje Turner Bellows Company, ki še vedno obstaja na ulici 165 North Water Street, s čimer izdeluje na tisoče mehov na dan za Polaroid.

Wollensak

Drugo podjetje, ki se je odcepilo od Bauscha in Lomba, je bil Wollensak. Andrew Wollensak je bil prvič zaposlen kot strojnik pri Bauschu in Lombu leta 1882, naslednje leto pa je postal delovodja. Leta 1890 je pomagal Edwardu Bauschu pri oblikovanju žaluzije diafragme Iris, verjetno pa je delal tudi na drugih polknih. Leta 1899 sta se z bratom Johnom odločila ustanoviti novo podjetje za proizvodnjo linije visoko kakovostnih polknov, ki bi jih bilo mogoče prodati po razumni ceni. Bratje so uspeli pridobiti finančno pomoč od Stephena Rauberja, nekdanjega predsednika Union Brewing Company na aveniji North Clinton, novo podjetje Rauber in Wollensak pa je bilo ustanovljeno v stavbi na 280 Central Avenue. G. Rauber je umrl leta 1901, ime podjetja pa se je nato spremenilo v Wollensak Optical Company. Naslednje leto je Wollensak začel s proizvodnjo leč in polknov. Slovito polkno Optimo je zasnoval Andrew Wollensak leta 1909 in se je obsežno prodajal do leta 1930. Podjetje je leta 1905 kupilo podjetje Rochester Lens Company in si tako pridobilo pravico do izdelave linije "Royal" anastigmat, ki jo je razvilo to podjetje.

Andrew Wollensak senior, predsednik podjetja od njegove ustanovitve, je umrl januarja 1936, njegov brat John pa je umrl tri leta prej. John je zapustil pet otrok, od katerih sta Andrew A. in Frank J. ostala dolga leta dejavna v poslu, oba pa sem jih poznal. Leta 1913 se je podjetje preselilo na 1415 Clinton Avenue North na Norton Street, leta 1924 pa na 872 Hudson Avenue. Leta 1938 je prosta večja in bolj zaželena stavba nekaj jardov južno, na aveniji Hudson 850 (to je bila tovarna oblačil), vanjo pa se je preselil Wollensak. Žal je v zadnjih 15 letih, po več spremembah lastništva, vključno z Reverejem in 3M, podjetje postopoma padlo navzdol in leta 1972 dokončno zaprlo svoja vrata.

Wollensak je bilo eno najboljših podjetij v Rochesterju, na svojem vrhuncu leta 1958 pa je imelo več kot 1200 zaposlenih. Njihove leče, polkna in drugi izdelki so veljali za odlične, med vojno pa so izdelali najrazličnejšo optično opremo za oborožene sile. Škoda, da jim ni uspelo preživeti.

Ilex

Naslednji odcep Bauscha in Lomba je bil Ilex. Leta 1910 sta dva oblikovalca zapornic Bausch in Lomb z imenom Rudolph Klein in Theodor Brueck (slednji je zasnoval zaklop & quotVolute & quot; Ta naprava je prvič omogočila izdelavo polkna, ki bi bila natančna neodvisno od temperature in drugih atmosferskih razmer.

Klein in Brueck sta se odločila zapustiti Bausch in Lomb ter ustanoviti lastno podjetje, ki se je imenovalo & quotXL Manufacturing Company & quot, za proizvodnjo novih polkna. Finančno jim je pomagal veleprodajni draguljar z imenom Morris Rosenbloom, v njegovih prostorih na naslovu 156 Main Street East pa so ustanovili svojo prvo tovarno. Vendar so kmalu ugotovili, da CP Goerz izdeluje tudi linijo tako imenovanih polkrov & quotX excel L & quot, zato so v izogib zmedi obrnili črke in preimenovali okna v & quotIlex, & quot; leta 1911 se je podjetje imenovalo Ilex Manufacturing Company . Zelo kmalu zatem je Friedrich Deckel iz Münchna zaprosil za dovoljenje za uporabo njihovega mehanizma za odlog plačila avtorskih pravic v znameniti liniji polkna & quotCompur & quot, ki se je Ilexu izkazala za znatno finančno pomoč.

Od leta 1912 do 1916 je podjetje, ki se zdaj imenuje Ilex Optical Company, leta 1917 zasedlo prostor v stavbi Gundlach na 761 South Clinton Avenue, se preselilo na 724 Portland Avenue in na koncu leta 1930 v 690 Portland, kjer so danes. Leta 1921 so poskusili ustanoviti ločeno tovarno leč na ulici St. Paul 814, imenovano & quotAcme Optical Company, ki pa je trajala le nekaj let.

Eden večjih prispevkov podjetja Ilex je bil izum samostojnega notranjega sinhronizacijskega mehanizma bliskavice med drugo svetovno vojno. To je zasnoval Alfred Schwartz, idejo pa so seveda od takrat vsi proizvajalci vključili v vse polkna.

Ilex je v preteklih letih doživel številne vzpone in padce v blaginji. Prvi predsednik Morris Rosenbloom je umrl leta 1935, nasledil pa ga je njegov sin Rufus kot predsednik in E. C. Roland kot podpredsednik. Roland je umrl leta 1942, po vojni pa se je bogastvo družbe znižalo. Nazadnje, leta 1963 sta preostalo premoženje kupila dva mlada zaposlena v Elgeetu, Eugene Miller in Manuel Kiner, danes pa podjetje uspeva z več kot 200 zaposlenimi in mora povečati tovarniški prostor, da bo sledilo povpraševanju po svojih izdelkih.

Elgeet

Ko govorim o Ilexu, me spominja na Elgeet. Optično podjetje Elgeet so ustanovili trije moški, ki so bili prijatelji iz otroštva: Mortimer A. London, nato inšpektor za leče v Kodaku, z Davidom L. Goldsteinom in Petrom Terbusko iz Ilexa. (Ime podjetja je kratica za L, G. in T). Leta 1946 so začeli z najemom nekaterih obdelovalnih strojev za izdelavo strojev za poliranje leč, s tem pa so ustanovili trgovino na podstrešju Atlantic Avenue, kjer so sami izdelovali, pakirali in prodajali leče.

Do leta 1952 je podjetje dovolj zraslo, da so lahko kupili nekdanjo tovarno oblačil na ulici 838 Smith. Takrat je bil predsednik Goldstein, sekretarka Terbuska in londonski blagajnik. Družba je uspevala in s skoraj 300 zaposlenimi so izdelali na tisoče leč za majhne filmske kamere in številne druge aplikacije.

London je leta 1960 odšel, leta 1962 pa je podjetje pridobilo lastništvo nad starodavno ustanovo Steinheil v Münchnu, vendar so to kmalu prodali, verjamem Learu Sieglerju. Leta 1964 so bile na sestankih delničarjev težave, podjetje pa je bilo reorganizirano z Alfredom Watsonom kot predsednikom. Dve leti pozneje je premoženje družbe kupila družba MATI (Management and Technology Inc.), ki je hkrati kupila Turner Bellows. MATI so preživeli le do leta 1969, ko so izginili. Goldstein je kupil preostalo premoženje nekdanje Gundlach Manufacturing Company v Fairportu in ga reorganiziral pod imenom & quot; Dynamic Optics Incorporated & quot ;, vendar je to tudi leta 1972 prenehalo z delovanjem.

Optično podjetje Rochester

Toliko o podjetjih Bausch in Lomb ter njuni hčerki. Zdaj se bomo osredotočili na kamero, ki jo je začel William H. Walker, ki je leta 1880 prišel v Rochester in ustanovil & quotWm. H. Walker and Company & quot, na naslovu Exchange Street 79. (Ne smemo ga zamenjati z Jamesom T. Walkerjem iz Palmyre, ki je deset let kasneje izdelal kamero Takiv). Leta 1882 se je Walker pridružil W. H. Reidu in J. Inglisu pri izdelavi suhih plošč, kar je Inglis nadaljeval več let. Leta 1883 je Walker opustil izdelavo kamer, W. F. Carlton pa je za prevzem njegovega premoženja ustanovil "Rochester Optical Company". Medtem se je januarja 1884 Walker pridružil Eastmanu in postal imetnik Eastman-Walker Roll Holder, naslednje leto pa je postal sekretar Eastman Dry Plate and Film Company. Kmalu za tem so ga poslali v Anglijo kot Eastmanovega predstavnika v tej državi.

Novo Rochester Optical Company se je nahajalo na ulici Aqueduct 9, nato 11, blizu štirih vogalov v Rochesterju, sprva pa so še naprej izdelovali nekaj Walkerjevih kamer. Kmalu so dodali nove lastne modele, njihova najuspešnejša inovacija pa je bila linija & quotPremo & quot, predstavljena leta 1893 in se je nadaljevala skoraj 30 let. Leta 1890 so tovarno preselili na 5 South Water Street, v začetku leta 1895 pa v svoj zadnji dom na South South 45, stavba je še vedno obstajala.

Leta 1891 se je H. B. Carlton, brat W. F., odločil ustanoviti konkurenčno podjetje v stari stavbi na ulici Aqueduct 13, ki jo je imenoval & quotRochester Camera Manufacturing Company & & quot; izdeloval kamere Poco. To je leta 1895 postalo Rochester Camera Company, takrat na ulici Elizabeth Street 29, in nazadnje leta 1897 Rochester Camera and Supply Company.

Leta 1899 se je pet kamernih podjetij odločilo združiti moči za ustanovitev & quot; Rochester Optical and Camera Company. & Quot; To so bile: Rochester Optical Company, Rochester Camera and Supply Company, Ray Camera Company, Monroe Camera Company in Western Camera Manufacturing Company iz Chicaga. Novo združeno podjetje je zasedlo R.O.C. stavba na južni ulici 45. Kljub temu sindikatu so njihovi izdelki ohranili svoja stara imena Poco, Premo, Ray in Cyclone. Uradniki novega podjetja so bili W. F. Carlton, direktor, s H. B. Carltonom, B. E. Chaseom in F. P. Allenom. Na žalost novo združeno podjetje ni imelo uspeha in je izgubilo kar 100.000 USD na leto, zato je leta 1903 celotno premoženje kupil George Eastman za 330.000 USD, njegovo ime pa se je spremenilo v Rochester Optical Company. Leta 1907 je postal optični oddelek Rochester podjetja Eastman Kodak, leta 1918 pa optični oddelek Rochester. Tovarna na južni ulici 45 je od leta 1912 do 1921 postala Kodakovo Premo Works, nato pa je bilo ime dokončno opuščeno in stavba prodana.

Podjetje Ray Camera

Pri opisu nastanka podjetja Rochester Optical and Camera Company sem omenil dve majhni družbi, ki sta bili vključeni, in sicer Ray in Monroe. Podjetje Ray sta ustanovila dva moška po imenu Mutschler in Robertson. Leta 1893 je bil Albert Mutschler orodjar, John A. Robertson pa delovodja v podjetju Photo Materials Company na ulici St. Paul. Naslednje leto so se odločili, da na 177 West Main organizirajo strojnico in modelarstvo, leta 1895 pa so začeli s proizvodnjo kamer & quotRay & quot na tem naslovu. To je bilo očitno uspešno in leta 1898 so se preselili na 204 Commercial Street in podjetje preimenovali v & quotRay Camera Company. & Quot Z združitvijo petih podjetij leta 1899 sta partnerja postala nadzornika, vendar je Mutschler leta 1903 odšel, da bi spet postal strojnik. Robertson je ostal pri novem Rochester Optical Company in bil leta 1904 izvoljen za podpredsednika, zadolženega za proizvodne operacije.

Podjetje Monroe Camera

Družba Monroe Camera, poimenovana po okrožju Monroe, je bila ustanovljena leta 1897 s kapitalom 25.000 dolarjev, predsednik pa je bil Fred A. Sherwood, podpredsednik Albert Beir in tajnik-blagajnik Charles V. Case. Sherwood je bil trgovec z usnjem na 108 Mill Street Beir je bil približno eno leto prej proizvajalec kamer na 21 North Water Street, Charles Case pa je bil knjigovodja. Njegov sin Charles Z. Case je postal zaposleni v Eastmanu in je bil v tridesetih letih odgovoren za razvoj filma & quotBantam & quot. Družba Monroe Camera Company je zasedla stavbo na ulici Stone Street 48, vendar je trajala le tri leta, preden je bila absorbirana v združitvi optičnih naprav in kamer Rochester.

Eastman Kodak Company

Tretji del moje zgodbe je tisti, ki se ukvarja z Georgeom Eastmanom in podjetjem Kodak. Ta zgodba je bila tako dobro dokumentirana, da je verjetno znana vsem, vendar je morda vredno na kratko povzeti glavna dejstva. Leta 1878 je bil George Eastman mlad 24-letni pomočnik knjigovodja pri hranilnici pri Rochesterju v Main in Fitzhughu. Ulice. Živel je z vdovsko mamo na aveniji Jones 49. Ko ga je prijatelj nagovarjal, naj se fotografira, je kupil obleko za mokre plošče in se učil pri fotografu po imenu George H. Monroe, ki živi na glavni ulici. Vendar so želatinske suhe plošče takrat šele začele uporabljati v Angliji in Eastman se je odločil, da jih bo uporabil, čeprav je to pomenilo, da si jih mora sam izdelati. Leta 1879 se je odpravil na potovanje v London, kjer je pridobil nekaj dodatnih receptov in po naključju patentiral stroj za premazovanje plošč po svojem izumu. Njegove plošče so bile tako zadovoljive, da je leta 1880 najel podstrešje v tretjem nadstropju stavbe na 101 State Street, kjer je začel izdelovati suhe plošče za prodajo. Njegov glavni prodajalca sta bila E. in H. T. Anthony v New Yorku, ki sta se strinjala, da bosta vzela vse krožnike, ki jih je lahko naredila. V tem času je nadaljeval zaposlitev v banki, ob večerih pa opravljal vse svoje fotografsko delo. Mimogrede, Eastmanov nekdanji učitelj George H. Monroe je v oglasu iz leta 1880 trdil, da je pri vseh svojih fotografskih delih uporabljal suhe plošče. Leta 1882 je Monroe začel izdelovati tudi suhe plošče za prodajo na ulici 282 State Street in nadaljeval s tem poslom, dokler leta 1888 ni zapustil mesta in se preselil v Jamestown. Stavbo je nato do leta 1892 zasedel Frank Brownell.

Za vrnitev k Georgeu Eastmanu je kmalu ugotovil, da potrebuje denar za širitev, zato je 1. januarja 1881 sklenil partnerstvo s Henryjem A. Strongom, proizvajalcem vozičkov in družinskim prijateljem. To je bilo znano kot Eastman Dry Plate Company, s Strongom kot predsednikom in blagajnikom Eastmana. Kmalu so imeli šest zaposlenih in tako aktivno so se ukvarjali s proizvodnjo plošč, da se je Eastman končno odločil zapustiti banko in ves svoj čas posvetiti fotografiji. Tovarna je bila leta 1883. preseljena na današnjo lokacijo na ulici 343 State Street. Cestninska stavba na tem mestu je bila postavljena leta 1914, zgornja tri nadstropja pa so bila dodana leta 1930.

Leta 1884 je Eastman začel izdelovati fleksibilen film na prosojni podlogi iz naoljenega papirja za uporabo v nosilcu valja Eastman-Walker, podjetje pa je bilo vključeno kot & quotEastman Dry Plate and Film Company & quot; s kapitalizacijo 200.000 USD. Bilo je 14 delničarjev. Naslednje leto je bil predstavljen film za odstranjevanje na papirnati podlagi. Po obdelavi smo to zmočili in prenesli na začasen stekleni nosilec, nato pa smo list prozorne želatine namočili in stisnili proti občutljivemu negativu, po sušenju pa ga odlepili s stekla za tisk. Nazadnje so leta 1889 Eastman in njegov kemik Henry H. Reichenbach izdelali in patentirali prozoren film na osnovi celuloznega nitrata. To je popolnoma izpodrinilo prejšnji striptiz film, Edison pa ga je sprejel za svoje zgodnje poskuse v filmih. Nimam časa, da bi se lotil fantastične Goodwinove patentne tožbe o izumu prozornega filma, ki je v celoti opisana v Taftovi knjigi & quot; Fotografija in ameriška scena. & Quot; Tožba je 27 let trajala na sodiščih in v patentnem uradu. je bil končno rešen v korist Goodwina. Leta 1889 je bila organizirana nova korporacija, kapitalizirana na milijon dolarjev, imenovana preprosto & quot; Eastman Company & quot.

Junija 1888 je bila prva skupina fotoaparata & quotKodak & quot; zelo zanimiva za to skupino. Leseno ohišje je tukaj izdelal izdelovalec omar Rochester po imenu Frank Brownell, kovinske dele pa Yawman in Erbe. Objektiv sta verjetno izdelala Bausch in Lomb. Na podlagi uspeha te kamere se je ime podjetja leta 1892 ponovno spremenilo v & quot; Eastman Kodak Company & quot; New York, s kapitalom 5 milijonov dolarjev, leta 1901 pa je bilo nazadnje reorganizirano kot & quot; Eastman Kodak Company iz New Jerseyja & quot s kapitalom 25.000.000 dolarjev. Eastman je postavil Camera Works pod Brownellinim vodstvom na 333 State Street leta 1892. Leta 1968 so ga preselili na Elmgrove Road.

Eastmanov uspeh v primerjavi s številnimi konkurenti je bil predvsem posledica množičnega oglaševanja in odlične prodajne organizacije s svetovnimi povezavami, h kateri je treba dodati še njegovo nenavadno zmožnost zaposlovanja pravih ljudi in predvidevanja tistega, kar bi najbolj ustrezalo javnosti.

Eastman je pridobil nekaj drugih kamernih podjetij, med drugim leta 1898 Blair Camera Company iz Bostona, American Camera Manufacturing Company iz Northboroja v Massachusettsu in Podjetje za foto materiale iz Rochesterja. Vse tri družbe je z nekaj drugimi manjšimi oblekami preselil v stavbo PMC na ulici St. Paul, blizu mostu Driving Park. Leta 1911 je bila stavba poimenovana & quotHawk-Eye Works & quot; po nizu kamer, ki jih je tam izdelal Blair. Oddelek objektiva Kodak je bil leta 1913 preseljen iz Camera Works, ki je od takrat zapolnil celotno stavbo in več dodatkov. Stavba je še vedno v uporabi na ulici St. Paul 1447, bila je močno razširjena med drugo svetovno vojno.

Leta 1903 je Eastman kupil Rochester Optical and Camera Company in ga preimenoval v & quot; Rochester Optical Company & quot;, kjer so kamere Premo še naprej izdelovali do leta 1922, ko je bilo to ime opuščeno. Kot bomo videli, je leta 1905 pridobil Folmerja in Schwinga. Eastman je umrl leta 1932 v starosti 78 let. Kmalu po tem, ko smo prišli v Rochester, leta 1929, smo imeli srečo, da smo bili povabljeni na eno izmed nedeljskih popoldanskih godb g. Eastmana, verjetno zaradi naše povezave z novim Inštitutom za uporabno optiko na Univerza. Konec večera se je pojavil le za kratek čas. Ko sem bil na obisku na univerzi, sem ga spet videl tik pred smrtjo.

Podjetje za foto materiale

Od različnih podjetij, ki jih je prevzel Eastman, bi rad razpravljal o treh, in sicer o podjetju Photo Materials Company (PMC) Folmer in Schwing ter o podjetju Century Camera Company. Podjetje Photo Materials Company je leta 1892 ustanovil Henry M. Reichenbach, kemik, ki je z Eastmanom nekaj let sodeloval pri razvoju filma celuloznega nitrata Gustava D. Milburna, proizvajalca kamer in S. Carla Passavanta, drugega kemika.

Milburn je odprl svojo tovarno fotoaparatov na ulici Aqueduct 11, ko se je preselila družba Rochester Optical Company, leta 1891 pa je prostor v isti stavbi našlo tudi konkurenčno podjetje Rochester Camera Company. Milburn je leta 1892 opustil svoje podjetje, da bi pomagal ustanoviti PMC, in tam je nekaj let služil kot prodajalec. Vendar pa je leta 1894, ko je PMC opustil izdelavo svojih kamer Trokon in Trokonet, Milburn odšel in ustanovil svojo drugo kamero pri vznožju ulice Platt. Tu je razvil linijo kamer & quotKorona & quot in leta 1895 spremenil ime svojega podjetja v Milburn Korona Company. To podjetje je leta 1896 prevzel Gundlach, Milburn pa je umrl ali zapustil mesto.

Družba Photo Materials Company je proizvajala različne senzibilizirane fotografske materiale, vključno s & quotPMC bromidnim papirjem & quot in & quotAzo & quot papirjem, ki ju je Eastman obdržal, potem ko je leta 1898 pridobil PMC. Podjetje se je leta 1902 končno združilo z Eastmanom.

Reichanbach, Morey in Will

Čeprav je bil Henry Reichenbach kemik, je očitno imel veliko zanimanje za kamere, saj je leta 1896 zapustil PMC in se pridružil Johnu E. Moreyju iz podjetja Rochester Cut Sole in Albertu Willu, proizvajalcu štedilnikov in štedilnikov, da bi ustanovil podjetje za izdelavo & quotAlta & quot; kamer se je nahajalo v stavbi na 323 University Avenue. Reichenbach was president, Morey treasurer, and Will secretary of the new enterprise. I must explain that at that time University Avenue went along what is now Atlantic Avenue, the eastern end of the present University Avenue being a cul-de-sac with trees down the middle, called Culver Park. In 1897 Culver Park was cut through to join Culver Road, and the whole street was then called University Avenue, as it is today. The old road was renamed Atlantic Avenue but it was not renumbered, so that 323 University Avenue became 323 Atlantic Avenue. Two years later, in 1899, much of the city was renumbered, and Atlantic Avenue was numbered from the junction, so the Reichenbach Morey and Will building became 59 Atlantic. It was all one building with numbers 61 and 65, and indeed the three numbers seem to have been used somewhat interchangeably.

Vogt Optical Company

In 1891 a man named Louis J. Vogt, who had operated the Vogt and Klippert machine shop and model-making establishment at 151 State Street, left to become an optician at Bausch and Lomb. He later joined Reichenbach, Morey and Will as a foreman. Apparently there was dissension within the company, because in 1899 he and Mr. Morey decided to start a separate company called the Vogt Optical Company at 146 North Water Street. The following year (1900), Reichenbach, Morey and Will was disbanded and the Vogt Company moved into their building, along with the Rochester Lens Company and the Century Camera Company. The Vogt Company survived only one more year, but the Rochester Lens Company lasted until 1905 when it was acquired by Wollensak, and Century in 1903 moved to 12 Caledonia Avenue (now 154 Clarissa Street). The building at 65 Atlantic Avenue was apparently occupied by other firms until 1909 when the Crown Optical Company moved in and occupied it until 1912. The building is still standing but terribly run down.

Stoletje

The Century Camera Company was founded in 1900 by three former employees of the Rochester Optical Company, namely, J. M. Walmsley, president, G. E. Mosher, and G. J. MacLaughlin. They first occupied space at 65 Atlantic Avenue along with Vogt and the Rochester Lens Company. In 1903 their stock was acquired by George Eastman and the company was moved to 12 Caledonia Avenue. In 1905 the Century Company took over the Rochester Panoramic Camera Company, maker of the Cirkut camera, which had been patented in 1904 by Johnston, Reavill, and Brehm. In 1907 they became the Century Division of Eastman Kodak. They were merged into Folmer Graflex, but the name "Century" continued to exist until 1920.

Graflex

In 1887 William F. Folmer and William E. Schwing entered into partnership to establish a bicycle company in New York City. The company was incorporated in April 1890 as the "Folmer and Schwing Manufacturing Company." Because of the general association of bicycles and cameras at that time, the company gradually added cameras to their line, probably made first by Scovill and Adams. Their 1896 catalog shows a "4 x 5 Cycle Graphic camera" on the back page this sold for $25 with a Victor shutter and Rapid Rectilinear lens. They also listed regular "Graphic" cameras in three sizes up to 6 1/2 x 8 1/2 inches, costing $50.

Mr. Folmer was an inventor, and in 1898 he built the first Graflex camera. This had a complicated focal-plane shutter with a variable aperture, but it gave so much trouble that in 1904 he changed it to a simple cloth curtain with a series of apertures of different widths, leaving the user to select the one required for any given exposure. This arrangement proved to be highly reliable, and it was manufactured for over 60 years.

In April 1905 the Folder and Schwing Manufacturing Company was purchased by George Eastman and brought to Rochester, where it was installed in the building at 12-14 Caledonia Avenue. This building had been previously occupied by the Rochester Camera Company, in 1898, and by the Century Camera Company since 1903. In 1907 the company became the Folmer and Schwing Division of Eastman Kodak Company, and in 1917 the Folmer-Century Division. Mr. W. F. Folmer continued as general manager until 1926.

In 1926, as a result of a court order, the Folmer-Century Division of Eastman Kodak Company was offered for sale, but no buyers appeared. So finally the Folmer Graflex Corporation was organized to take over the assets of the Division. Mr. Nelson Whitaker became president and general manager in 1928, and his son Gaylord C. Whitaker succeeded him in 1949. The company became known as "Graflex Inc." in 1945.

Business was bad during the depression of the 1930's, and the payroll dropped to less than 100 employees. However, things gradually improved and we learn that by 1957 there were 760 employees. The best known product of the company was for a long time the "Speed Graphic", a solid reliable camera that was the work-horse of the press photographer indeed, it almost became his badge of office. Numerous other models have, of course, been made over the years.

In August 1956 Graflex became a division of General Precision Equipment Corporation, and in July 1957 the plant was moved out to 3750 Monroe Avenue, near Pittsford. The company became the Graflex Division of the Singer Corporation in 1966, and it is now known as "Singer Education Systems", engaged in making audio-visual equipment.

Sunart and Seneca

Besides the three main divisions of photo history that have been discussed, there have been a number of other companies, not all small, that have had no connection with the larger companies. Chief among these is the Sunart Photo Company that became Seneca.

The Sunart Photo Company was founded in 1893 at 1 Aqueduct Street, and it continued in that location until 1899. They made a novel magazine camera, but it was not particularly successful, and in 1899 its assets were acquired by a vigorous group of men who were establishing the Seneca Camera Company at 248 Mill Street. The new company was incorporated in 1900 with a capital of $25,000. The first officers were Frank T. Day, a superintendent at Kodak Camera Works, president William C. Whitlock, vice-president and Lorin E. Mason, a hardware merchant at 348 State Street, secretary and treasurer. The new company quickly became established as one of the most successful camera manufacturers in the country.

In 1900 Seneca moved to 160 Court Street, and in 1903 to the Gundlach building at 761 South Clinton. In 1910 they moved again to the Woodworth building at 299 State Street, and in 1917 to Central Avenue where they occupied several locations. In 1924 the company was sold to Conley, then a wholly owned subsidiary of Sears Roebuck, and Seneca disappeared from the city in 1926.

In late 1901 or early 1902, Seneca absorbed the Bullard Camera Company of Springfield, Massachusetts, when Edgar R. Bullard, the founder, returned to his original home at Wheeling, West Virginia. The 1902 Seneca catalog carries these words: "Successor to Sunart Photo Co. and Bullard Camera Co."

As a personal note, my father in London used a 4 x 5 Bullard magazine camera for many years. It was equipped with a Koilos shutter and a Voigtlander Collinear lens, which must have been added later as that particular shutter was first made about 1906. My own first camera was a 4 x 5 folding Seneca with a Wollensak "Uno" shutter. I acquired it in exchange for a set of box tops of the cereal called "Force" about 1912, and I used it regularly until one day I could not resist taking the shutter to pieces, and in the process a wire spring flew out and I never found it again. The shutter was useless without it, and so also was the camera. I still have a number of glass negatives made with that early Seneca.

The Crown Optical Company

This company was founded in 1906 by A. H. Hatmaker, president, and A. E. May secretary-treasurer, to manufacture lenses. They first occupied a building at 484 Clinton Avenue South, and moved to 65 Atlantic Avenue in 1909, to 299 State Street in 1912, and finally to 203 State Street in 1917. They disappeared in 1919 at the close of World War I.

Projection Optics

One of the few Rochester companies that has apparently existed by itself and free from any alliances or encumbrances is the Projection Optics Company. It was founded in 1918 by William H. Repp, at 203 State Street, and in 1930 it was moved to its present address at 330 Lyell Avenue. Its principal product is a line of projection lenses for professional motion picture projectors. The company was acquired in the 1960's by Beseler of New York, but it remains a largely autonomous organization to this day, after being in existence for 56 years.

Gassner and Marx

Probably the least known of the Rochester camera companies was Gassner and Marx. The founders were Benjamin Marx, president James Rothschild, vice-president and Henry Gassner, secretary-treasurer. The company occupied rooms in the Cox building at 36 St. Paul Street in 1898, and it was incorporated in that year. They manufactured the "Day Plate Camera", a box camera containing a special magazine in which a folded strip of black paper carried a series of separated 3 x 4 -inch glass plates (Pat. Sept. 6, 1898), permitting daylight loading. The arrangement was described in Scientific American for October 8, 1898. The company and all its officers left the city during the following year (1899).

Movette

The Movette was an unusual negative-positive motion picture system using a special 17 1/2 millimeter film, with two perforations to a frame on each side. The frame size was 11 x 14 mm, and a special Kodak film was supplied in cassettes holding 50 feet which ran for two minutes. The hand-cranked camera retailed for $30 and the projector for $55, a packet of film costing $1.50 with another $1.50 for a positive print. The inventor of the system was a Mr. Frank L. Hough of Chicago.

The Movette Camera Company was organized in Rochester in 1916, and was first located at 1155 University Avenue. In November 1917 it was incorporated as Movette Inc., with a capital stock of $1,250,000, and the plant was moved to 545 West Avenue. In 1920 they moved again to 295 State Street, the building later occupied by the Photostat Corporation. The chairman was then Homer Strong, the secretary W. F. Strang, and the president was Howard Strong, secretary to the Rochester Chamber of Commerce. In 1921 Howard Strong moved to New York, and Homer Strong took over the presidency. In 1922 the company moved to 101 North Water Street, and by 1927 it had disappeared.

In spite of everything, the Movette had little appeal to the public. Possibly the need for a separate positive print may have been one reason. Certainly the Kodak 16mm reversal system announced in June 1923 proved to be infinitely more successful and quickly replaced all other systems.

Photostat and Rectigraph

These early types of document copying cameras using sensitized paper in a large camera, with a prism in front of the lens to reverse the image, must be included in my story although they have now practically disappeared.

The Rectigraph company was founded in Rochester in 1909, and after occupying a few places was moved to its final location at 282 Hollenbeck Street in 1921. In 1937 it became the Rectigraph Division of Haloid in 1958 of Haloid-Xerox and in 1961 the company was merged into the Xerox Corporation. Obviously, with electrostatic copying working so well the old type of photocopier using wet processing quickly became obsolete.

The Photostat Corporation was incorporated in Rhode Island in 1911, and the company set up an office and factory at 299 State Street, Rochester, in 1921. In 1956 they moved out of town, to 1001 Jefferson Road in Henrietta, and in 1963 it was absorbed by Itek and is now known as "Itek Business Products." Undoubtedly the old familiar type of Photostat machine has disappeared forever.

Present day optics companies in Rochester

Besides Kodak, Bausch and Lomb, Ilex, and Projection Optics, there are Tropel of Fairport, making very high quality lenses (now owned by Coherent Optics of California) Anson Instrument Company and Anstron Optical Company in the former Wollensak building on Hudson Avenue Planar Optics making prisms of all types Stefan Sydor Optics Dorn Optics in Webster Fresnel Optics on Mount Read Boulevard making high precision molds for Fresnel Lenses JML Optical Industries (was Precision Optics) and several smaller companies. The optical center of America is no longer in Rochester, but spread between Boston and Los Angeles.

Rudolf Kingslake , the author of numerous books on lens and optical design, has spent his lifetime designing and teaching about lenses and optics. Born in London, England, he moved to the United States in 1929 to help establish The Institute of Optics at the University of Rochester. In 1937 he became head of the lens design department at Eastman Kodak. He returned to the University of Rochester upon retiring from Kodak.

In his honor, the annual Rudolf Kingslake Medal and Prize is presented by The International Society for Optical Engineering (SPIE) in recognition of the most noteworthy original paper to appear in Optical Engineering, the SPIE journal on theoretical or experimental aspects of optical engineering.

In addition, Mr. Kingslake is an honorary member of the Optics Society of America (OSA), an honor that can only be bestowed once per year, and the number of honorary members cannot exceed 1/1000 of the total OSA membership.


Eastman Patents Camera - History

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Eastman Kodak Co. Camera Listing

CLICK HERE for an icon list view of the Eastman Kodak Cameras

Kodak Cameras - Made in the USA

1931 - 1934 Camp Fire Girls (V.P. Model B)
1933 - 1933 Century of Progress World Fair Souvenir
1933 - 1933 Century of Progress - Eastman Box
1953 - 1956 Chevron
1930 - 1932 Coquette Camera (lipstick & compact)

1939 - 1940 New York World's Fair Baby Brownie
1939 - 1940 New York World's Fair Bullet Camera

1916 - 1927 No. 2C Autographic Kodak Junior
1923 - 1928 No. 2C Autographic Kodak Special w/coupled rangefinder
1905 - 1911 No. 2C Brownie
1924 - 1931 No. 2C Kodak Series III
1926 - 1932 No. 2C Pocket Kodak
1928 - 1933 No. 2C Pocket Kodak Special Camera

1931 - 1934 Camp Fire Girls (V.P. Model B)
1933 - 1933 Century of Progress World Fair Souvenir
1933 - 1933 Century of Progress - Eastman Box
1953 - 1956 Chevron
1930 - 1932 Coquette Camera (lipstick & compact)

1939 - 1940 New York World's Fair Baby Brownie
1939 - 1940 New York World's Fair Bullet Camera

1916 - 1927 No. 2C Autographic Kodak Junior
1923 - 1928 No. 2C Autographic Kodak Special w/coupled rangefinder
1905 - 1911 No. 2C Brownie
1924 - 1931 No. 2C Kodak Series III
1926 - 1932 No. 2C Pocket Kodak
1928 - 1933 No. 2C Pocket Kodak Special Camera

1931 - 1933 Rainbow Hawk-eye Vest Pocket
1932 - 1934 Ranca
1932 - 1940 RECOMAR 18 & 33
1946 - 1949 Reflex
1948 - 1954 Reflex II
1935 - 1939 Regent
1939 - 1939 Regent II
1960 - 1963 Retina Automatic I
1960 - 1963 Retina Automatic II
1961 - 1963 Retina Automatic III
1934 - 1937 Retina (Black top plate)
1937 - 1939 Retina I (Chrome top plate)
1939 - 1951 Retina I
1951 - 1954 Retina IA
1954 - 1957 Retina Ib
1937 - 1950 Retina II
1951 - 1954 Retina IIa
1954 - 1957 Retina IIc
1964 - 1967 Retina IIF
1954 - 1958 Retina IIIc
1958 - 1961 Retina IIIC
1959 - 1961 Retina IIIs
1958 - 1959 Retina Reflex
1961 - 1965 Retina Reflex III
1964 - 1968 Retina Reflex IV
1959 - 1961 Retina Reflex S
1967 - 1970 Retina S1 Camera
1952 - 1954 Retinette
1959 - 1967 Retinette 1A 1931 - 1933 Rainbow Hawk-eye Vest Pocket
1932 - 1934 Ranca
1932 - 1940 RECOMAR 18 & 33
1946 - 1949 Reflex
1948 - 1954 Reflex II
1935 - 1939 Regent
1939 - 1939 Regent II
1960 - 1963 Retina Automatic I
1960 - 1963 Retina Automatic II
1961 - 1963 Retina Automatic III
1934 - 1937 Retina (Black top plate)
1937 - 1939 Retina I (Chrome top plate)
1939 - 1951 Retina I
1951 - 1954 Retina IA
1954 - 1957 Retina Ib
1937 - 1950 Retina II
1951 - 1954 Retina IIa
1954 - 1957 Retina IIc
1964 - 1967 Retina IIF
1954 - 1958 Retina IIIc
1958 - 1961 Retina IIIC
1959 - 1961 Retina IIIs
1958 - 1959 Retina Reflex
1961 - 1965 Retina Reflex III
1964 - 1968 Retina Reflex IV
1959 - 1961 Retina Reflex S
1967 - 1970 Retina S1 Camera
1952 - 1954 Retinette
1959 - 1967 Retinette 1A -->

Kodak AG Cameras - Made in Germany
1933 - 1936 Brownie Junior 620
1938 - 1939 Kodak Suprema
c1947 - 1955 Pionier Deko

Kodak Brasileira Cameras - Made in Brazil

Kodak AG Cameras - Made in Germany
1933 - 1936 Brownie Junior 620
1938 - 1939 Kodak Suprema
c1947 - 1955 Pionier Deko


Key events in the history of Eastman Kodak Co.

Kodak postpones an auction of its imaging patent portfolios, though negotiations continue as it looks to sell the patents as it tries to emerge from bankruptcy protection. Here are key events in the history of Eastman Kodak Co.:

1880 — George Eastman begins commercial production of dry plates for photography in a rented loft of a building in Rochester, N.Y.

1888 — The name "Kodak" is born and the Kodak camera is marketed with the slogan, "You press the button, we do the rest."

1889 — The Eastman Co. is formed, taking over the assets of the Eastman Dry Plate and Film Co.

1892 — The company becomes Eastman Kodak Company of New York.

1900 — The first Brownie camera is introduced. Selling for $1 and using film that costs 15 cents a roll, it brings hobby photography within financial reach.

1929 — The company introduces its first motion picture film.

1935 — Kodachrome film is introduced and becomes the first commercially successful amateur color film.

1951 — The low-priced Brownie 8mm movie camera is introduced, followed by Brownie movie projector in 1952.

1962 — The company's U.S. consolidated sales exceed $1 billion for the first time. Its work force tops 75,000.

1963 — Kodak introduces a line of easy-to-use Instamatic cameras with cartridge-loading film (selling more than 50 million by 1970).

1972 — Five pocket-size Instamatic cameras that use smaller cartridges are launched. More than 25 million cameras sell in less than three years.

1975 — Kodak invents the world's first digital camera. The toaster-size prototype captures black-and-white images at a resolution of 10,000 pixels (.01 megapixels).

1981 — Company sales surpass the $10 billion revenue mark. The next year, hometown payroll peaks at 60,400.

1984 — Kodak enters the video market with the Kodavision Series 2000 8mm video system and introduces Kodak videotape cassettes in 8mm, Beta and VHS formats, along with a line of floppy disks for computers.

1988 — Global payroll peaks at 145,300.

1992 — Kodak launches a writeable CD that its first customer, MCI, used for producing telephone bills for corporate accounts.

2003 — Launch of Kodak Easyshare printer dock 6000, which produces durable, borderless 4-by-6-inch prints.

2004 — Kodak begins digital makeover, the same year it gets ejected from the 30-stock Dow Jones industrial average. It cuts tens of thousands of jobs as it closes factories and changes businesses.

2008 — Kodak begins mining its patent portfolio, which generates nearly $2 billion in fees over three years.

2010 — Kodak sues Apple Inc. and Research in Motion Ltd. before the U.S. International Trade Commission, claiming the smartphone makers are infringing its 2001 patent for technology that lets a camera preview low-resolution versions of a moving image while recording still images at higher resolutions. Global employment falls to 18,800.

July 20, 2011 — Kodak begins shopping around its 1,100 digital-imaging patents.

Sept. 27 — Moody's Investors Services downgrades all of its debt ratings for Kodak, citing ongoing weakness in the company's core business operations and the likelihood that flagging demand will hamper results indefinitely.

Oct. 3 — Kodak confirms it has hires Jones Day, a law firm that lists bankruptcies and restructuring among its specialties.

Oct. 16 — Kodak says Imax Co is licensing thousands of patents covering laser projection technology, giving Kodak millions of dollars in revenue. The Kodak patents will allow Imax to provide high-quality digital content for theater screens larger than 80 feet and domed theaters for the first time. Screens that large had previously been limited to film content.

Dec. 19 — Judge extends Apple camera-patent dispute into 2012.

Dec. 22 — Kodak says it has agreed to sell its gelatin business as it looks to boost its dwindling cash reserves. The product is used in photographic and printing processes as well as in food, pharmaceuticals.

Jan. 10, 2012 — Kodak announces plans to realign and simplify its business to cut costs, accelerate its digital transformation and boost its share price. The new structure has two business units — commercial and consumer — instead of three — traditional film and photo paper products consumer digital imaging and graphic communications, which included printing equipment.

Jan. 19 — Kodak files for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection as it seeks to boost its cash position and stay in business.

Feb. 9 — Kodak says it will stop making digital cameras, pocket video cameras and digital picture frames.

Feb. 15 — Kodak receives court approval to end its sponsorship deal with the Hollywood theater that is the venue for the Academy Awards. Kodak had signed a $74 million deal for naming rights to the theater in 2000. During the Feb. 26 Oscars ceremony, host Billy Crystal jokingly refers to the venue as "the beautiful Chapter 11 Theater."

March 1 — Kodak says it plans to sell its online photo service business to online photo publishing company Shutterfly Inc. for $23.8 million.

April 27 — Kodak says its first-quarter loss widened on a drop in sales and hefty charges related to its reorganization. Revenue fell 27 percent to $965 million, partially as a result of the company's decision to stop selling digital cameras and focus on its other businesses.

April 30 — Kodak lawyers tell a bankruptcy judge that turnover has become a serious problem. The company was granted approval to pay up to $13.5 million in bonuses to persuade key managers to stay on.

May 1 — Audio technology company Dolby Laboratories Inc. gets naming rights to the Oscars venue after Kodak ends a deal early. Bankruptcy judge issues order approving sale of online photo business to Shutterfly.

May 3 — Kodak says Pradeep Jotwani is resigning as the president of consumer business and chief marketing officer. No reason was given.

July 2 — Kodak shuts down Kodak Gallery, North American accounts go to Shutterfly. Judge rules that Kodak can proceed with auctioning some 1,100 digital imaging patents, about 10 percent of the company's portfolio.

Aug. 23 — Kodak says it will sell its document imaging and personalized imaging businesses to better focus on printing and business services. The company says the sale of the units, along with cost-cutting measures and the auction of its patent portfolio, will help it emerge from bankruptcy sometime in 2013. Kodak's document imaging division makes scanners and offers related software and services. The personalized imaging business includes photo paper and still camera film products. It also offers souvenir photo products at theme parks and other venues.

Sept. 10 — Kodak says it is reshuffling executives and cutting thousands of jobs. Kodak says it cut about 2,700 employees worldwide since the beginning of the year and plans to cut about 1,000 more by the end of 2012. The company says annual savings from the cuts should reach about $330 million.

Friday — Kodak postpones indefinitely an auction of its imaging patent portfolios, even as negotiations with potential buyers continue. Kodak also says an alternative option is to keep the patents and create a company to make money by licensing the technology.


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125 Years Ago Today, George Eastman Patented the Box Camera, Trademarked “Kodak”

Yesterday, Kodak exited bankruptcy, and the world of consumer products, in order to protect what remains of the once megalithic company. It seems a sad coincidence that exactly 125 years ago, George Eastman patented the original box camera, and trademarked the name “Kodak”, starting what was to become one of the powerhouses of the popular camera movement.

On September 4, 1888, George Eastman was granted patent US388,850, for a “camera” — a camera that was to become the foundation of the Kodak empire, and later became known as the Kodak box camera.

The original Kodak box camera marked one of the first popular and easy to use cameras, pushing photography into a hobby that almost anyone could enjoy. Just three years after Eastman had invented the roll film, the Kodak box camera could carry enough film for 100 exposures, and had a fixed focal length. It was the first camera designed specifically for rolls of film, a form factor that would come to dominate the industry.

Not only was the original Kodak camera patented today, but September 4 was also the day that George Eastman trademarked the name Kodak and the tagline “You Press the Button, We Do the Rest”. Kodak was an entirely made up word, which he explained as:

It’s astonishing to think that its been exactly 125 years since one of the most formative photographic powerhouses officially appeared, and while the company might be in tricky financial times now, we can still look back on the incredible things they accomplished before now.


Kodak No. 1

The Kodak was George Eastman's legendary first rollfilm camera bearing the new brand name "Kodak", patented and introduced in 1888. It used Eastman stripping negative film. The Kodak No. 1 of 1889 resembled the Kodak, but featured a more sophisticated shutter. It was available for Eastman stripping negative film or Eastman transparent film.

In use, the shutter was set by pulling a string the camera was sighted by looking along a V-shape on the top of the camera. The shutter was tripped by pressing a button on the camera's side. After exposure, the key was used to wind the film to the next frame. The film moved past a shaft, rotating it, which caused a pointer visible on the top of the camera to rotate, so the photographer could be sure of advancing the correct amount of film. Once one hundred pictures had been taken, the user sent the whole camera back to Kodak for film processing and reloading - at a cost of $10 Ώ] . A hundred round negatives with a diameter of 65mm came from each roll of Eastman American Film. The round image was a design decision, partly as a way of ensuring that the photographer didn't have to hold the camera exactly level with the horizon, and partly to compensate for the poor image quality at the corners of the image. These first Kodak cameras were designed by George Eastman in collaboration with a cabinetmaker, Frank A. Brownell, who set up the production line at Eastman's factory. They are beautifully built, with box joints and strong leather covering.


Action Cameras

While action cameras and quad-rotor helicopters are mostly geared toward shooting video, these two advancements bear mentioning, simply because of how much they’ve advanced people’s ability to capture amazing images.

GoPro HD Hero

A surfer named Nick Woodman wanted a way to capture photos while he was surfing, so he began tinkering with 35mm cameras. Woodman continued to improve on his design, and in 2010, his company, GoPro, released the GoPro HD Hero.

The HD Hero marked the first rugged, waterproof camera able to capture video in 1080p. Since then, the Hero line of cameras has become the standard in the now-widespread market of action cameras.


Philanthropist

Although his company was essentially a monopoly for many years, Eastman was not the average corporate industrialist. He was one of the first American industrialists to embrace and implement the concept of employee profit sharing in the United States, and, in addition, he made an outright gift from his own money to each of his workers. In 1919, he added what is known now as stock options.

His generosity extended beyond his own business, as he gave to the struggling Mechanics Institute of Rochester, which became the Rochester Institute of Technology, as well as M.I.T. (Massachusetts Institute of Technology). His high regard for education in general led him to contribute to University of Rochester, and the Hampton and Tuskegee institutes. "The progress of the world depends almost entirely upon education," he said.

Dental clinics both in Rochester and in Europe were also a focus of his concern. "It is a medical fact," he said, "that children can have a better chance in life with better looks, better health and more vigor if the teeth, nose, throat and mouth are taken proper care of at the crucial time of childhood."

In all, it is estimated that Eastman contributed more than $100 million of his wealth for philanthropic purposes during his lifetime.


May 2, 1887: Celluloid-Film Patent Ignites Long Legal Battle

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__1887: __The Rev. Hannibal Goodwin files a patent application for camera film on celluloid rolls. He beats the Eastman Kodak company by two years and sets off a 27-year legal battle.

Goodwin was an Episcopal rector in Newark, New Jersey. He liked projecting lantern-slides of Bible stories to his Sunday school classes and wanted to try making his own. However, he found the intricacies of glass-plate photography too daunting and decided he could invent a better medium for holding the photographic emulsion.

He was a 65-year old clergyman, not a professional chemist, but two years of tinkering in his attic laboratory finally produced a flexible film from nitrocellulose, a trademarked plastic introduced in 1869. Without a clear understanding of the chemistry involved, he filed a vaguely worded patent application.

Meanwhile, George Eastman introduced rolls of photographic film in 1888, but the rolls were made of paper. Developing the negatives was costly, time-consuming and often produced streaked or blurry images. Professional photographers and serious amateur first adopters would have none of it.

Eastman set his chemist Henry Reichenbach to develop a film medium that would be clear, light, flexible, capable of holding the photochemical emulsion, and resistant to folding, shriveling, stretching, wrinkles, blemishes, bubbles and streaks. Quite a task.

Reichenbach wound up developing a formula remarkably similar to Goodwin's, with one additional ingredient: camphor. He filed a tightly worded patent application in April 1889.

Goodwin's application had been languishing with multiple revisions required to get it in proper form and specificity. The Reichenbach patent was approved in December 1889. The new Kodak film went on sale the next year and was an immediate success.

Goodwin, now retired, contested the Eastman-Reichenbach patent. The case wound its way through the labyrinthine administrative patent process until 1898, when Goodwin was finally awarded his patent. Goodwin died on what is considered the last day of the 19th century: Dec. 31, 1900.

His widow sold the Goodwin company to Anthony & Scovill (which became Ansco in 1907). The new company produced a small amount of film based on Goodwin's original patent, and then it sued Eastman Kodak.

The big company's problem was that in order to improve its film and accommodate new manufacturing processes, it had reduced the amount of camphor in its formula until its product was virtually indistinguishable from Rev. Goodwin's original formula. After more than a decade of legal wrangling, the U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals found in favor of Ansco and Goodwin's heirs (.pdf) in 1914.

Goodwin's patent was due to expire the following year, but Eastman Kodak had to pay out more than $5 million ($111 million in today's money, and 5 percent of George Eastman's net worth then) for past infringement and future license. Other film companies ponied up another $300,000.

Except for the substitution of acetate for celluloid, Goodwin's original technology dominated photography for a century before the advent of digital cameras. But he's hardly a household name.


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