Kodak in collapse
The news that Kodak has filed for bankruptcy in the US prompts me to think about this company, which dominated the commercial and technical aspects of photography throughout the twentieth century. Among the many Kodak products I have used, I fondly remember my first two cameras, the Carousel projector, Kodachrome film, the 100 mm Wide Field Ektar lens on my first 4x5 camera, and countless Austral postcards.
In 1888, with the introduction of the first Kodak camera George Eastman changed photography by allowing ordinary people to take photos without needing their own darkroom. The camera was sold loaded with a roll of film that could take 100 pictures. Owners sent the camera back to the Kodak factory for processing, printing and reloading. Hence Kodak’s slogan, “You press the button, we do the rest.”
This was a social transformation as great, in its time, as the introduction of the mobile phone camera.