How Did George Eastman Get Interested In Photography

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The Wizard of Photography | Article

George Eastman


George Eastman was built-in on July 12, 1854, in Waterville, New York. His begetter, George Washington Eastman, ran a business schoolhouse where he taught bookkeeping and penmanship, simply had to work a second job selling fruit copse and roses, which forced him to split his fourth dimension betwixt Waterville and Rochester, New York. The young George Eastman was thus raised mostly past his mother, Maria (Kilbourn) Eastman, from an early on age, and entirely past her after his father died in 1862. In 1870, his older sister Katie, who suffered from polio, died likewise, leaving the Eastman household permanently scarred by misfortune.

At the age of 15, the family since having moved to Rochester, Eastman quit school and took a task as an office boy to aid support his family unit. In 1875 he became a junior bookkeeper at the Rochester Savings Bank. By saving scrupulously, he was able to consider a career in real estate and in 1877 fabricated plans to travel to Hispaniola, where a boom in land speculation was underway. Convinced by a friend that he could best document with the trip with a photographic camera, he bought his showtime photographic equipment.

The circuit never took place, but Eastman was hooked on photography. He sought out the two amateur photographers in Rochester, George Monroe and George Selden, and became their willing educatee. A subscription to the “British Journal of Photography” inspired him to make improvements in dry-plate photography, so an inferior alternative to wet-plate photography (a process in which a drinking glass plate was exposed and adult while wet). These experiments resulted in a formula for gelatin-based paper film and a machine for coating dry plates. He went into concern selling dry plates in April 1880, in a room to a higher place a music store in the financial district of Rochester.

Eastman’s career received a boost when E & H.T. Anthony, the premier national photographic supply benefactor of the solar day, began ownership his plates. For a time, he continued to work at the bank, only offered his resignation in September 1881, afterward being passed over for a promotion that he felt was rightfully his.

For Eastman, the 1880s was a dynamic decade. In 1884, he hired William Hall Walker, a camera inventor and manufacturer, and together they designed the Eastman-Walker Roll Holder, which allowed photographers to advance newspaper film through a camera rather than handle individual plates. The roll holder came to ascertain the basic applied science of cameras until the introduction of digital photography in the tardily twentieth century. More immediately, information technology became the basis for the first Kodak photographic camera, initially known every bit the “roll holder chest camera.” The term Kodak, coined for the occasion past Eastman himself, first appeared in December 1887.

While the beginning Kodak camera was wildly popular with amateurs, the paper film used in it gave mediocre results. Henry Reichenbach, a chemist hired to work on emulsions, was asked to come upwardly with a transparent, flexible pic. Success came in February 1889, when Reichenbach attained a solution that, when flowed over drinking glass and allowed to evaporate, would produce a transparent flexible motion picture that could then be cut into strips and inserted into cameras. This film, which was used by Thomas Edison in his early experiments with the motility-picture show photographic camera, became the centerpiece of the Eastman empire, although the patent for information technology was later successfully contested.

In the 1890s the Eastman company barbarous on hard times with the departure of Reichenbach and a national financial depression, but it had recovered by 1900, the yr that the company introduced the Credibility camera, which sold for i dollar. With the coming of the twentieth century, a combination of innovation, perseverance, and hardheaded business sense had put the Eastman visitor at the forefront of the photographic industry internationally, a position information technology has never relinquished.

George Eastman never married, although he carried on a long ideal relationship with Josephine Dickman, a trained vocaliser and the wife of business associate George Dickman, and he became especially close to her after the death of Maria Eastman in 1907. A noted philanthropist, Eastman gave abroad more than than $100 one thousand thousand to charities and made a point of doing and then during his lifetime, rather than setting upwards a foundation. He was also an avid traveler and music lover. Facing the prospect of life in wheelchair, he took his own life with an automatic pistol on March 14, 1932.

Written by David Lindsay

Eastman the Entrepreneur

George Eastman’s major historical importance was as a business entrepreneur. He congenital a new and rapidly growing multinational corporation that transformed the photographic industry in his time and that provided world-wide leadership for more than a century. Eastman was to the photographic industry what John D. Rockefeller was to the oil industry and James Knuckles was to the tobacco industry, a determined American entrepreneur of international significance.

Using his introduction of the popular Kodak camera, Eastman remade the small, sleepy American photographic industry that he had entered in 1880. Dominated by a couple of national supply houses and a relatively small number of professional person studio photographers the old industry faced a young persistent man of affairs. He quickly recast the manufacture into a highly innovative and chop-chop growing 1, where i massive visitor came to world prominence.

The Rochester entrepreneur seized the initiative at a time when other American business concern innovators were likewise facing the new national market that had emerged with the completion of the network of American railroads. Like Eastman, these businessmen confronted profit-shrinking price competition. The almost visionary congenital large corporations, often by acquiring or merging with competitors or past edifice companies with integrated marketing, production, and raw material supply facilities. Eastman did both.

By the eye 1890s Eastman’south earlier experience in the business concern convinced him that amateur and professional person photographers akin were willing to pay a premium toll to ensure quality and absolute reliability of photosensitive materials such as curl picture, dry out plates, and photographic printing paper. Accordingly, Eastman adult an evolving multi-faceted series of concern strategies that sought to maintain high profits by competing with production quality, reliability, and improvements instead of competing with lower prices. These strategies involved i) production of high quality and reliable photosensitive materials; 2) continuous improvements in whorl-moving-picture show cameras; three) acquisition of competing companies; four) integration of marketing, production, and raw material supply in one visitor; five) research superiority in photographic science and technology; and 6) development of key personnel to optimize profits and to inherit eventually the top management positions in the visitor.

Already in the mid-1890s Eastman had articulated strategies of continuous improvements in roll-picture cameras that included development of new photographic camera features inside the visitor and purchase of the patents for them from others. Betwixt 1895 and 1898 Eastman even purchased three small camera companies in order to acquire patents.

From 1885 when he had begun to produce photographic printing paper, Eastman fought hard to maintain a meaning marketplace share. In order to obtain a competitive reward, he and Charles Abbott, president of a competing photographic paper company, negotiated in 1898 an sectional contract for North America for buy of raw paper from the major international supplier, the Full general Paper Company. Located in Brussels, Belgium, this company produced the world’s best raw newspaper for photographic manufacturers. Eastman and Abbott and then used their control of raw paper to combine the photographic newspaper division of Eastman Kodak with Abbott’s visitor and 2 other major photographic newspaper companies. Within three years Eastman Kodak so acquired this combine and dominated the sector.

Between 1902 and 1904 Eastman turned attending to dry plates, acquiring 1 English and 3 major American producers. He non just obtained dominance in that sector but also acquired vital emulsion-making trade secrets that strengthened the quality of roll flick and helped maintain world-wide dominance amid amateur photographers and cinematographers.

Within a decade George Eastman had consolidated into Eastman Kodak most of the leading American companies scattered in the various production sectors of the industry. Moreover he had shaped his firm into a major multinational corporation with production and distribution facilities around the world. Significantly, Eastman accomplished this consolidation without the “benefit” of powerful J. P. Morgan-similar investment bankers.

Meanwhile, like Rockefeller, Duke, Ford and others, Eastman had begun to bring together within Eastman Kodak the functions previously performed by separate marketing houses, production companies, and material supply businesses. Initially his small enterprise was a manufacturing visitor but already by the mid-1880s he had begun developing his own sales department, even establishing an outlet in London. In the kickoff decade of the 20th century, he expanded worldwide and bought twenty major photographic retail stores in large cities across the U.South. and in Canada. Meanwhile he had began to control basic raw materials through long-term contracts like that with the General Paper Visitor. He then gradually built the capacity to produce vitally needed materials such as raw newspaper, gelatin, chemicals, and lenses. He fifty-fifty bought a coal mine for the company’s fuel needs.

Bringing together in one firm the manufacturing, sales, and production of raw materials achieved coordinated, reliable operations that contributed to the growth and increased profitability of the Eastman Kodak Company. In 1912 Eastman hired English photoscientist, Dr. C.Eastward. Kenneth Mees, to create and direct the Eastman Kodak Inquiry Laboratory in Rochester, New York. Eastman offered Mees that his new lab need non produce a practical product for a decade simply commanded him with the responsibility for “the future of photography.” Mees and other members of Eastman’s carefully selected management team indeed ensured the future of the company. It was Eastman’south only child, nurtured for half a century past the photographic industry’s about visionary entrepreneur.

Written past Reese Jenkins

Eastman Patents a Dry-Plate Process

When George Eastman began to written report photography in 1877, pictures were taken using a process chosen moisture-plate photography. He later on described this process when recalling his first photographic excursions through Rochester with his mentor George Monroe:

Nosotros used the moisture collodion process, taking a very clean glass plate and blanket it with a thin solution of egg white. This was to make the subsequent emulsion stick. And then we coated the plate with a solution of guncotton and alcohol mixed with bromide salts. When the emulsion was set, merely still moist, the plate was dipped into a solution of nitrate of silvery, the sensitizing agent. That had to exist done in the dark. The plate, wet and shielded from the light, was put into the photographic camera. Now you took your picture.

Eastman resolved from the first to simplify this process. When he wasn’t working at his depository financial institution chore, he continued experimenting with photography and, to expand his knowledge, took out a subscription to the “British Journal of Photography.” The first issue he received, which arrived in February 1878, independent intriguing news: Charles Bennett had developed a formula that made dry-plate emulsions faster.

This was all the encouragement Eastman needed. Untrained and uncredentialed, he began devouring the photographic literature and corresponding with as many fellow amateurs as he could observe. He contacted a professional, one Carey Lea, and harangued him with questions until the instructor became the pupil. Often his mother found in the morn asleep on the floor.

Eastman initially experimented with his formula of ripened gelatin and silver bromide past pouring information technology from a teakettle onto a drinking glass plate, then distributing it with a drinking glass rod. This method was time-consuming and therefore expensive, however, and so he had a coating machine built to his specifications. In his overarching pursuit of simplicity, he too had a camera built that was lighter than the standard ones available. With this organisation, he took his first dry-plate photograph: a view of the Charles P. Ham building across the street from his window.

Eastman’s attention to a coating automobile and a lightweight photographic camera bear witness him thinking in terms of manufacturing costs from an early phase. And indeed, at a time when dry out-plate innovators clogged the advertising pages of photographic journals, efficiency in production is what would make Eastman stand out. But in 1878 he was notwithstanding a lowly bank clerk with little capital at his disposal. In a show of some insensitivity, he called on his uncle, Horace Eastman, for a loan, but Horace’s married woman had merely been committed to an insane aviary, and no coin was forthcoming for those quarters.

Undaunted, Eastman devised a riskier plan: he would go to London, where the dry out-plate business concern was growing, sell the rights to his coating motorcar and use the coin to get-go his own business at home. So off Eastman went, $400 drained from his savings account, without a personal contact in London to his name and, more critically, without having procured a patent on his coating car.

On his first day in London, Eastman marched into the offices of the “British Journal of Photography.” The journal’due south prestigious editor, W. B. Bolton, was incredulous and perhaps even a bit testy a first, but when Eastman showed what he could do, Bolton promised to open doors for him. This led Eastman to Charles Fry, whose partner was Charles Bennett — the same human whose dry-plate process he had adapted for his own employ. Seeing that Bennett and Fry were unable to fill their orders using what was considered the state-of-the-art in the dry-plate business, Eastman returned to America and contacted George Selden, another of his mentors and an accomplished patent attorney. Together they practical for a patent on his coating machine in September 1879.

While waiting for results from the Patent Office, Eastman continued to negotiate with Fry in London. In the end nothing came of it. Just by April 1880, when he received a patent for a “method and apparatus for coating plates for use in photography,” word of his coating motorcar was start to spread. The implication for photographers was clear: if gelatin dry-plate photography could be made viable, they would no longer accept to brand their own plates on site only could buy them pre-packaged from a manufacturer.

Eager to have advantage of this momentum, Eastman rented a room above a music store in Rochester’s fiscal district and began turning out dry plates with his blanket car. The manufactory was a study in ferocious economy, with compartments for everything, right down to his towels. This dedication to efficiency quickly paid off. By July, he had a new, improved blanket car to promote. By August, Edward Anthony, caput of the most prestigious national photographic supply house in America, was buying Eastman’due south plates. Capital arrived before the twelvemonth was out from Henry Stiff, a family friend.

Three years afterwards taking his first photograph, George Eastman was on his way.

Written by David Lindsay

Eastman and Mass Product

Although information technology is non frequently noted, George Eastman’south dream of a camera that could be manufactured for the masses relied on the existence of interchangeable parts. In the late nineteenth century, this was notwithstanding a largely untested principle, with a rocky history dating back nigh to the kickoff of the Republic.

The get-go figure of note to attempt the goal of interchangeable parts was Eli Whitney. Having seen his attempt to market his cotton gin finish in disaster, Whitney turned in 1797 to the idea of gun industry. At the time, Congress anticipated an attack from Napoleon. Playing on this fear, Whitney was able to initiate the do of government contracts for arms dealers — a custom that continues to this twenty-four hours.

The contract was astoundingly generous. Going into effect on June 21, 1798, information technology called for Whitney to produce 10,000 muskets, the first 4,000 of which would be delivered in a year and a one-half. For each musket delivered, he would receive $13.40, for a thou total of $134,000, with advances along the way if necessary. What made this handsome sum all the more astonishing was the fact that Whitney had almost no noesis of gunmaking in a time when the all-time armories were unable to produce more than 5,000 guns a yr.

Whitney gear up a factory in E Oasis, Connecticut and drove his workers hard, only come his start borderline on September xxx, 1799, he had no muskets to show for himself. Indeed, he hadn’t even equipped his armory. Thinking speedily, he wrote a letter of the alphabet to Secretarial assistant of State Oliver Wolcott, announcing a “new principle” in manufacturing. This principle, he claimed, would revolutionize that arms manufacture even equally it improved the quality of the goods.

“I of my main objects,” he wrote, “is to grade tools and so the tools themselves shall way the piece of work and give to every part its but proportion — which when once accomplished, will requite expedition, uniformity, and exactness to the whole.” Intrigued, Wolcott granted an extension, on the condition that Whitney demonstrate his results.

In January of 1801, earlier an audience that included President John Adams and Whitney’s quondam friend, President-elect Thomas Jefferson, Whitney personally showed how he could fit 10 unlike locks into the same musket using aught merely an ordinary screwdriver. He and so did one better and took 100 different locks apart, scrambled their pieces and put them back together “past taking the first pieces which come up to mitt.” His audience was amazed.

Unfortunately, Whitney’s locks were not even remotely interchangeable. Equally was after discovered, his individual lock components all bore the marks of individually fashioned pieces. Historian Merritt Roe Smith is chiselled on the thing: “Whitney must have staged his 1801 demonstration with specimens peculiarly prepared for the occasion.”

Many American industrialists blithely claimed interchangeability after Whitney without the slightest proof to back up their claims. Samuel Colt, the inventor of the vi-shooter, even teamed up with Eli Whitney, Jr., to enhance the illusion of success. Simply in fact, the real advances were taking place in England while the Americans fiddled.

Henry Maudslay grew upwardly around the dockyards of Woolwich, where he made himself useful at an early age by making and filling cartridges for the local arsenal. At the green age of 13, he caught the eye of the famous locksmith and plumbing genius Joseph Bramah. But Maudslay was besides bright to abide another genius very long. When Bramah refused to give him a heighten, he struck out on his own.

Past 1797, Maudslay had prepare up his own shop and developed a slide residual lathe, which improved on before lathes both in the speed and the precision with which it could cut metal. In effect, Maudslay’s lathe, which incorporated a blade of crucible steel mounted on accurately-planed triangular beams, allowed him to do work on a big calibration while retaining the locksmith’s or the clockmaker’s precision.

The twelvemonth 1808 found Maudslay in Portsmouth, turning out wooden rigging blocks, which were used largely aboard naval ships to motion guns into firing position quickly. At that time, a vessel of the tertiary form required i,400 blocks, all of which were made past paw. This was no problem for Maudslay, who could produce 130,000 blocks a yr.

Maudslay’s work opened the fashion for the making of interchangeable parts, and he soon became highly sought afterward by aspiring engineers. Amidst his many apprentices was Joseph Whitworth, who developed measuring instruments accurate to a millionth of an inch. This was a vital stride, because interchangeability relied on precisely tooled parts, which naturally had to be measurable in order to be fabricated.

Whitworth went on to describe a method for standardizing spiral threads in an 1841 paper titled “A uniform organisation of spiral-threads.” The outset standardized screws before long followed, and with them mass production was finally inside reach.

In an era when handmade machinery was still the norm, attempts to apply precision tooling to particular products necessarily came on a case-by-case basis. The most famous example, of course, is Henry Ford’s Model T car, which first rolled off his associates lines in 1909. But in fact, George Eastman got there before Ford.

While Eastman recognized early that his profits lay in film sales, he also knew that he would sell no film at all if his cameras did not work. The Eastman-Walker Roll Holder, introduced in the 1885, showed how well he had considered this problem. Though it contained 17 carve up parts, his company was able to handle a high volume of orders from the very beginning. This became even more obvious in 1888, when the roll holder was incorporated in to the Kodak “roll holder chest camera” and sales jumped to five,000 units in six months. Though this product did pause down at times, the parts were in fact interchangeable and therefore relatively easy to repair, fifty-fifty equally Eastman kept upwards with sales.

Afterwards a century of bogus claims, the slogan of at to the lowest degree one American — Kodak’s “You press the push, we do the rest” — represented more than an empty boast.

Written by David Lindsay

Eastman Markets the Kodak Line

Eastman’s marketing career substantially began in 1885, when he introduced the Eastman-Walker Scroll Holder, which allowed a series of exposures to exist advanced through the camera. With this invention, a whole new concept in photography was launched — a camera anyone could apply. His challenge was to make that concept clear to a public accepted to thinking of photographic equipment as forbidding and obscure.

Eastman’due south first stroke was perhaps his well-nigh brilliant. A brand proper name, as he saw it, “must mean nothing. If the proper noun has no dictionary definition, it must be associated merely with your product.” To this end, he coined and trademarked the term Kodak, which was easy to remember and hard to misspell.

Get-go used in December 1887, the proper name defenseless on like wildfire. In almost no time, Kodak was beingness used as substantive, verb, and adjective alike. People who used the product came to be known equally Kodakers, and the letter of the alphabet G became fair game for anyone who could figure out how to incorporate it into a name: Kola, Kristmas, Kolumbus Solar day. The Kodak Child and Kodak Komics sprouted upward, as did *Helm Kodak*, a novel for young adults by Alexander Black. A bogus Kodak Visitor set upward shop in Florida, and countless others kept Eastman’due south legal section busy chasing down infringements of the trademark.

The proper noun was an auspicious start, but it was inappreciably the but strategy that Eastman marshaled. From the very beginning, he recognized that the lifeblood of his business lay in children, who would keep photographers interested long after the novelty of the photographic camera had worn off. The early Kodak ads show this wisdom at work, every bit he took pains to describe family events in connection with his production. A ane-fourth dimension amateur painter, he even showed a certain flair for pattern in these ads, running them in big-block impress with elegant line drawings at a fourth dimension when the typical ad was busy with information. According to tradition, it was also Eastman who hit upon the idea of the bright yellow packaging that even today stands out on shelves full of merchandise.

After the blush of success, however, information technology became obvious that Eastman was stretching himself also thin, so he began casting around for someone to accept over the job of advertisement for the company. He found exactly the right man in Lewis Burnell Jones, a graduate of the University of Rochester then working for a Syracuse newspaper, whom he hired in March of 1892. Dapper and lanky, Jones became a mainstay at the Eastman company for the next 4 decades.

Jones showed his innate understanding of where the photography business was headed when he told an interviewer that “information technology was the charm of photography not simply this piffling blackness box that must be sold to the public.” Indeed, he did not even need instructions in the company plan. Ane day, Eastman called him into his part and asked him why his copy was so good. When Jones ventured that it was because it had been written for the public and not for the dominate, Eastman told him: “From now on I don’t desire to see any ads until they’re printed.” With this agreement, the public came to read slogans such as “If it isn’t an Eastman it isn’t a Kodak,” “Picture show ahead! Kodak every bit yous go!” and the hard-sell “The snapshot you want tomorrow you must take today.”

Perhaps the most effective ad technique to come out of the Eastman company, though, involved not words merely an image: the Kodak Girl. It was Eastman, the perennial bachelor, who sprung this thought (though he borrowed it, admittedly, from the Gibson Girls campaign) on the public in 1888, when he outfitted an outdoorsy young adult female in a striped dress and had her flick taken with a photographic camera in her hand. At first, the Kodak Girls were rendered in line drawings, just in 1901, with improvements in half-tone, printing, photography, the first photographically illustrated Kodak Daughter appeared in a paper ad.

An independent-minded traveler, the Kodak Girl was conveniently both a photographer and a photographic subject, and over the years many a boy (and homo) became a clandestine admirer, while endless girls copied her look. Every bit late as the 1960s, the tradition lived on, every bit models trimmed out in striped suits descended on the beaches of England, snapping pictures of whomever happened to be there. By this fourth dimension, of course, Eastman’s advertisement entrada had become so thoroughly engrained in people’s minds that no one had to be informed of its meaning. Taking pictures of beautiful girls with Kodak cameras in their hands, who were taking pictures themselves, was simply something that everyone did.

Written by David Lindsay

The Kodak Camera Starts a Craze

The introduction of the Kodak photographic camera of May 1888 was a dramatic upshot. Although it toll $25 (a smashing deal of coin in those days, but less than the cost of moisture-plate cameras), information technology was like shooting fish in a barrel to use, as Eastman made clear with his advertising slogan: “You press the button, we do the residue.”

And people did press the button. By August, Eastman was having trouble filling orders equally Kodak cameras made their way into the public arena. President Grover Cleveland owned ane, though he was apparently ho-hum to learn to turn the central that advanced the flick, as did the Dalai Lama, who took his with him when he left Tibet for the first fourth dimension. Gilbert and Sullivan paid Eastman the ultimate compliment by immortalizing his product in song for the operetta “Utopia”:

And so all the crowd take down our looks In pocket memorandum books. To diagnose Our modest pose The Kodaks exercise their best: If prove you would possess Of what is maiden bashfulness You demand a push press– And we do the rest!

The appearance of Eastman’s cameras was so sudden and so pervasive that the reaction in some quarters was fear. A figure called the “photographic camera fiend” began to appear at beach resorts, prowling the premises until he could catch female bathers unawares. Ane resort felt the trend so heavily that it posted a notice: “PEOPLE ARE FORBIDDEN TO USE THEIR KODAKS ON THE Beach.” Other locations were no safer. For a fourth dimension, Kodak cameras were banned from the Washington Monument. The “Hartford Courant” sounded the alarm also, declaring that “the sedate citizen can’t indulge in any hilariousness without the risk of existence defenseless in the act and having his photograph passed effectually amidst his Sunday School children.”

Hilariousness, however, was the key. Where the daguerreotype and its wet-plate successors had required stillness from their subjects, the Kodak photographic camera was able to capture their spontaneity. So convincing were these new images of people that today information technology is difficult to believe that anyone had had any fun at all in the historic period of the daguerreotype.

Did the snapshot but record emotions that had eluded cameras before, or did it really change the way people felt most themselves? The question may exist unanswerable in the end, but it is certainly true that the Kodak photographic camera caught on America at exactly the moment when America was reaching new heights of liveliness. Everywhere, the tempo was picking upward. The showtime automobiles were appearing on the streets. Telephones were beginning to grace the homes of ordinary citizens. Motion pictures, fabricated possible partly through Eastman’due south contribution of celluloid film, were really recording all this activeness and and then speeding information technology upwards in presenting it to viewers.

Of course, during this same time, the very embodiment of fun had also sprung up at the edge of New York City. Coney Isle, famous for and then many things, was a veritable photogenic sky. Where one time visitors there had to exist content with the Camera Obscura Observatory (erected in 1883), they of a sudden held the power of the images in their hands: snapshots on the Ferris Bike, snapshots on the roller coasters, they could have snapshots most anywhere.

In however another example of serendipity, the Brownie camera, which brought the toll of a Kodak photographic camera down to a truly democratic dollar, was introduced in 1900, just every bit Coney Island was undergoing a postcard explosion. In 1898, with the improvement of printing techniques and the increment in transportation speeds, the cost of postcards were lowered from two cents to one, and postcards began to scatter from Coney Island at an amazing rate: on a single 24-hour interval in September 1906, an astonishing 200,000 postcards were postmarked from Coney Island.

While the photographs on the Coney Island postcards were not, mostly, taken with Brownie cameras, they were all the same powerful emblems to their recipients, who saw for the first time how much fun photography could exist. The twentieth century had arrived, and with it, the image of a smiling America.

Written past David Lindsay

Eastman Kodak Introduces Full Color Photography

With the coming of the twentieth century and its exhilarant rhythms, many innovators intensified their search for the ways to render photography in full color. George Eastman was equally interested as anyone in conquering the problem. Indeed, convinced (correctly) that color photography would be more often than not the province of amateurs, he defended himself to finding a process that not but could offering the complete spectrum of colors just would be simple to use. He somewhen institute one, although it would not turn out to be simple to develop.

In 1910, when Eastman established a color laboratory at Kodak Park under the leadership of MIT graduate Emerson Packard, lantern slides and mitt-colored prints were enjoying tremendous popularity. Among the more than successful marketers of lanterns slides were the Lumiere brothers, who a decade earlier had stunned the world with their projected motion pictures. The Lumieres offered to sell their lantern-slide operation to Eastman, but a visit to their Paris offices revealed a family performance in disarray, and Eastman, a prim bachelor with strict concern standards, left in disgust.

Nevertheless, the European trip had strengthened Eastman’s resolve. “I spent a adept bargain of time on new developments in color,” he wrote of the trip, “which I hope volition develop into something commercial.” At Kodak Park, he instructed Packard to proceed as best he could without infringing on the Lumiere patents.

A series of efforts led by Packard and other Kodak employees resulted in the first signs of victory: a process that used ruby-red and green filters and transformed negatives direct into positives. Dubbed Kodachrome, the colour process would no incertitude take gone to marketplace, but progress was stalled by the outbreak of World War I. Calculation insult to injury, Eastman’s Kodachrome prints received poor reviews at a March 1915 demonstration at the Royal Photographic Society and at the 1915 Panama Pacific Exposition in San Francisco.

At this impasse, 2 complete amateurs entered the story and saved the day. Leopold Damrosch Mannes and Leopold Godowsky, Jr., both sons of famous musicians, had met as schoolmates and been drawn together past their mutual involvement in sonatas and the Credibility photographic camera. After seeing an early on color movie, Mannes and Godowsky became convinced that they could do meliorate and built a three-lens camera that combined the three chief colors projected equally light. This had already been done by others, but in their excitement the failures of others did non seem worth exploring.

The 2 went on to college and met once again in New York after graduation, whereon they brutal to photographic experimentation once again. With the assist of impresario Due south. L. (Roxy) Rothafel, they were able to use the projection booth at the Rialto to produce their offset night, fuzzy pictures. Soon they had surpassed the efforts of others and were photographing a role of the color spectrum on double-layered plates — in the bathtubs and sinks of their homes.

Their parents did not approve of these scientific forays, however, and so in 1922 they turned to George Eastman for financial help. Eastman proved non-committal, but two years later on, Mannes and Godowsky were able to ingratiate themselves with C.E. Kenneth Mees, director of the Eastman Kodak Research Laboratory, and with that slender entree, to receive funding from other sources.

In 1930 the Eastman Kodak Company made improvements in color-film technology, but it yet lagged backside the Technicolor Motion Motion-picture show Corporation. Mees, anxious to remain at the forefront, finally agreed to hire Mannes and Godowsky. (By this time, Eastman himself, ill and v years into his retirement, was far from the action at Kodak Park.)

With the Eastman School of Music at their disposal, the duo were finally able to hit their step, although their methods were confusing to those around them. At the schoolhouse, they were known as “those color experts,” at Kodak Park, as “human and God.” Working in a completely light-tight darkroom, they timed their plate developing by whistling Brahms at two beats to the second, leaving their colleagues to wonder what had go of the famed Kodak efficiency ethic.

Doubts about Mannes and Godowsky increased as the Not bad Depression wore on. Mees, past then a vice president, could only hope for the best as he stalled other departments filled with achieved chemists and pressured the musicians for results. Nether these conditions, Mannes and Godowsky developed first a two-color picture and then a three-colour one, both of which could exist hands used by amateurs.

The Kodachrome proper name was revived, and on April xv, 1935, Kodachrome motility movie film went on sale. Shortly after that, Eastman Kodak introduced Kodachrome film for color slides. The process by which this film was developed was — and still is — maddeningly circuitous, just as with everything else at Kodak, the apprentice did not have to worry about that, since developing was handled past the company. Vivid colour photography for everyday use had go a reality.

Written past David Lindsay

Eastman Becomes a Mystery Donor to MIT

On February 29, 1912, Frank Lovejoy, then the general manager of Eastman Kodak, wrote George Eastman, suggesting that “you may be willing to lend a helping paw, and I am writing to say that I should welcome an opportunity of placing the plans before yous.” The help Lovejoy was requesting was a donation to the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, of which he was an alumnus.

MIT was planning to build a new campus, and though its lath of trustees included such financial heavyweights as T. Coleman du Pont and engineer Arthur D. Petty, they could only come up upwardly with $500,000 of the $750,000 needed for the program. With Eastman in mind, Richard Cockburn Maclaurin, the president of MIT, had contacted Lovejoy, hoping he would act as an intermediary.

Eastman was extremely conscientious nigh where his money went and was apt to micro-manage its use. He was known to demand that the buildings he funded be constructed with a minimum of ornament and so every bit to cut cost, a habit that led Claude Bragdon, who designed several building funded by Eastman, to compare his attitude to “that of Pharaoh.” Alternately, Eastman might insist on extra expenses to create the proper effect, equally when the University of Rochester was expanding its hospital, and he demanded the stairwell corners be painted white, on the theory that “only a hardened sinner would spit in a white corner.” Near important perhaps was Eastman’s lifelong involvement in guarding his privacy, a requirement that became less sustainable with each bequest he made.

Just Eastman had also long admired MIT. Not only were two of his top assistants, Lovejoy and engineer Darragh de Lancey, graduates of the school, but he had read several of Maclaurin’s almanac reports to MIT’south trustees and was familiar with his plans.

Maclaurin and Eastman met on March 5 at the Hotel Belmont in New York Metropolis, and the meeting spilled over into the evening every bit Maclaurin waxed eloquent on his plans for the new campus at MIT. As the meeting finally drew to a shut, Eastman asked, “What sum will be needed?”

“Two and a half meg,” Maclaurin replied.

Eastman immediately agreed to transport a bank check in that corporeality, on one condition: that his souvenir remain anonymous. Maclaurin happily accepted these terms, although it put him in an unusual quandary. The term “anonymous giver” was altogether too clumsy for everyday utilise. After a time, he decided on “Mr. Smith” as a pseudonym and gave the public 2 minor clues: Mr. Smith did non live in Massachusetts, and he had never attended MIT.

The creation of Mr. Smith was the closest Eastman ever came to cultivating a public persona. It became a kind of a game to guess his identity, though no ane did. MIT students went so far as to write lyrics on the subject area, which were sung to the tune of “Marching Through Georgia”:

Bring the practiced sometime bugle, boys, and we’ll sing some other song,
Of “Mr. Smith” and Dupy and the Corporation throng;
Of loyal Tech alumni, almost 10 thousand strong,
Who give–what we want–when nosotros want it.

Hurrah! Hurrah! for Tech and Boston beans,
Hurrah! Hurrah! for “Smith,” who’er that ways;
May he always accept a hundred meg in his jeans,
So we’ll get — what we want — when we want it.

And and so it went for some other 8 years, during which time Eastman donated $20 meg in cash and Kodak stock to MIT. So safe was his identity that in 1916 he attended a banquet to celebrate the new campus and even joined in as the alumni toasted the marvelous Mr. Smith.

Eastman connected to go along Maclaurin busy trying to satisfy his demands. In 1918 he offered MIT $iv million in Kodak shares if matching funds could be found by December 31, 1919. Finally, seeing that these stipulations were wearing Maclaurin downwardly, Eastman agreed, as a consolation prize, to reveal himself equally the mystery donor at the annual alumni dinner on January 10, 1920.

The revelation that Mr. Smith was George Eastman, the famous recluse of Rochester, was front-page news. Maclaurin did not live to bask it, however. Wearied from raising the $4 million to match Eastman’s request, he had come up downwardly with pneumonia in December 1919, and Maclaurin died a calendar week afterwards, at the historic period of 50. His voice communication revealing Eastman’south identity had to be read past others.

Eastman went on to go one of the major philanthropists of his era. On December 10, 1924, he held a printing conference to announce that, likewise retiring from Eastman Kodak, he would donate the majority of his fortune rather than hold onto information technology. In the short term, this meant $30 million in bequests that he had earmarked for four institutions. Two of these were institutions of college learning for African Americans — the Hampton Institute and the Tuskegee Plant. The others were the University of Rochester, where he had already established the Eastman School of Music. For the remaining eight years of his life, he continued to give smaller amounts to favorite causes such as dental clinics and the Rochester Philharmonic Orchestra.

His reasons were plain plenty. “If a man has wealth,” he declared in 1923, “he has to make a option, because there is the money heaping up. He tin keep it together in a agglomeration, and then get out information technology for others to administer later he is dead. Or he tin can get information technology into action and have fun, while he is still alive. I adopt getting it into action and adapting it to man needs, and making the plan work.”

Written by David Lindsay

Eastman Retires and Goes on a Safari

In 1917, Eastman, having given the world permission to smile, decided he might be permitted himself, and put it exactly that manner. “I never smiled until I was 40,” he said. “Since then, I take tried to win back something of the fun that other men had when they were boys.”

This remark is rather curious, in that Eastman had been dedicated to the fine art of the vacation for decades. Having get-go thrown himself into his career after an trip to Hispaniola fell through in 1877, he had been traveling ever since–at first to London, so on bike tours of Europe and Russia, camping ground trips out West and, if all else failed, getaways to Oak Lodge, his Due north Carolina retreat.

But there was likewise a certain frustrated quality to his constant globetrotting. Upon returning home, he was typically quick to let people know how much fun his trips had been, yet fun is the one thing that seemed to exist lacking. Eastman’s notion of relaxation was to plan out every moment in the itineraries of his traveling companions, right down to the courses of their meals. In this respect, it makes some sense that he would feel the urge to make his terminal expeditions more than dramatic than usual. If he was going to pause through his own cyberspace of control, it would take more than a cycle tour through Leningrad.

Fittingly, the plan was linked to film. In the early on 1920s, Martin Johnson, an exclusive sales agent for Kodak cameras and supplies in Missouri, and his wife, Osa, traveled to Africa and returned with a film, “Abaft African Wild Animals.” Martin Johnson approached the motion-picture show department at Kodak, asking for backing for another safari. When Eastman gave them $x,000, they began tempting him to join them sometime.

Shortly after retiring from his own visitor in 1925 at the age of 72, Eastman took the Osa and Martin Johnson up on their offer, and once again, the Eastman fashion of travel came to life. Martin Johnson wrote Eastman that he could travel as if going to London, and so he did. More than than 200 small boxes of uniform size were shipped out of Kodak Park, assembled and numbered so as to stop up on the advisable native porters’ heads. Once they were in the Kedong Valley of Republic of kenya, far from culture, Eastman rolled out the day’s fare: corn meal and graham flour that had been sterilized back at Kodak Park, caviar and vintage wine served in crystal goblets on linen-spread table.

At the time, big game hunting was on the wane, and many species were already considered endangered. As it was, however, Eastman managed to have plenty of excitement without firing a shot.

While out on the hunt ane 24-hour interval, the party encountered a rhinoceros. Eastman saw that its horns were unsuitable for trophy-taking purposes, then he decided to picture information technology instead. Equally the Martin and Osa Johnson looked on, he moved within 20 anxiety of the beast, filming as he approached. Apparently, the photographic camera was giving him problem, considering he failed to react at get-go when the rhinoceros lowered its head and charged. He simply stood there, waiting until the animal came within 15 feet before stepping out of the way. For a moment, the rhino became more enraged and, in a 2d charge, came within two paces of Eastman, at which point it was brought down by a shot from one of the horrified onlookers.

A second safari in 1928 garnered Eastman several trophies for his wall, but afterward his brush with expiry, it was all an anticlimax. Inevitably, whenever he showed his rhino film to viewers back in the States, he was admonished for his foolhardiness. For once, he seemed to savour the reaction. To a friend he wrote: “The thing could not have been more perfect if information technology had been staged and was the opportunity of a lifetime.”

Indeed, after a lifetime of heavily engineered adventures, George Eastman had finally experienced his Kodak moment.

Written by David Lindsay

George Eastman: The Terminal Shot

The end of a life often explains a peachy deal about how it was lived, and the way of George Eastman’s death is no exception.

At the age of 74, Eastman had grown noticeably sparse and weak, and he had difficulty standing. Ii years later, his gait had go boring and shuffling. A doctor of today would accept diagnosed spinal stenosis, simply even without a name to describe his condition, he knew that an invalid’s life was in store for him. Having seen his mother live out her final 2 years in a wheelchair, he also knew well what that meant.

Unremarkably tight-lipped nearly his personal affairs, Eastman had been letting sideslip how he felt most his circumstances. One occasion plant him confessing to a friend that at that place wasn’t much left to live for. A more brilliant expression involved one of his extravagant domestic routines. He had long employed Harold Gleason, an organist, to perform for him in his own home as he ate his morning breakfast. One of Eastman’due south most common requests was *Marche Romaine*, from a Gounod opera, and, as his health deteriorated, he gradually came to refer to this piece as “my funeral march.”

On March 14, 1932, Eastman invited some friends to witness a alter of his will. After some joking and warm conversation, he asked them to leave then that he could write a annotation. Moments later, he shot himself once in the center with an automatic pistol. The notation found by the household staff read just: “To my friends, My work is done–, Why wait?” When his casket was carried out of the Eastman House, the accompanying music was *Marche Romaine*.

Suicide is inevitably a puzzling act, and all the more so when carried out past an inventor, considering it is and then rare. Indeed, besides Eastman, only two famous American inventors accept died by their own hand.

1 of these was John Fitch, who in 1787 demonstrated his steamboat, the starting time working example of such in the earth, to the attendees of the Ramble Convention, only to exist derided and scorned by the crowd. Pressing alee, Fitch organized steamboat excursions between Philadelphia and Trenton to less than enthusiastic acclaim. The situation reached the height of applesauce when the Patent Part issued patents to both Fitch and his rival, James Rumsey, for essentially the same invention. Fitch’southward complaints to Thomas Jefferson, who as Secretarial assistant of State was also empowered to prosecute patents, were to no avail. On July seven, 1798, in a boardinghouse in Bardstown, Kentucky, Fitch wrote a notation that lamented “Nobody will believe that poor John Fitch can do anything worthy of attention,” and ended his troubles with a draught of poison.

Edwin Armstrong suffered much the aforementioned misfortunes equally Fitch. The inventor of FM radio, the super-regenerative circuit and the superheterodyne — all of which represented enormous leaps forward for radio — Armstrong was mired for most of his life in lawsuits. The bitterest of these contests was with David Sarnoff, the mastermind behind RCA. By 1954, when it was clear that Sarnoff would win the rights to use FM radio technology, Armstrong put on an overcoat, a scarf and pair of gloves, removed the air conditioner from his 13th-floor apartment in New York City… and jumped. (Sarnoff’s first reaction upon hearing the news was to say: “I did not impale Armstrong.”)

George Eastman suffered some of the same problems every bit did these two Inventors — nearly notably the crushing weight of patent battles. Like them, he ultimately lost the fight for 1 of his most cherished inventions; for him it was transparent flexible picture, the patent for which was awarded posthumously to Hannibal Goodwin. Still for all that, Eastman went on to build a hugely successful business organization, which neither Fitch nor Armstrong was always able to practise.

One might forgive Eastman because he was suffering from a debilitating disease, but it is not quite plenty to interpret his suicide equally an practise of his right to die (which he supported on a political level). Successful inventors, having seen the benefits of perseverance, typically practise not get gentle into that good nighttime. Thomas Edison suffered Brilliant’s disease and a host of other illnesses in his concluding years, yet he plowed alee with his characteristic dynamism correct to the very end. George Westinghouse, for his role, approached decease with plans to design an electric wheelchair that would assistance him get effectually. And, in fact, Eastman himself had known astringent emotional pain, if not concrete agony, many times during his life as he watched his loved ones dice effectually him.

But Eastman parted visitor from his famous contemporaries in some other respect likewise. In addition to being optimists, inventors have by and large institute it difficult to go along their personalities in bank check. Their profession encourages them to brag and complain and, every bit often as not, to lose themselves entirely in their own enthusiasms, as Edison did when he embarked on a half-serious plan to communicate with the dead. For an inventor to appear mad nearly comes with the territory.

If there is i thing that tin can exist said virtually Eastman, it is that he was a rational man. Throughout his life, he sounded the aforementioned themes again and over again — adventure, happiness and command, and the greatest of these was control. The early expiry of his father and his family’s subsequent poverty stamped him with an clamorous demand for stability, which he found in bachelorhood and a fiscal empire and held close ever after. As far as he was concerned, there was no world beyond the 1 he could dominate. Even when he punctuated his labors with travel, his drive for order went with him in his compulsion to plan out every last detail of his itinerary. In this light, Eastman’s career can be seen as human action of self-cede. With i of his cameras in hand, information technology became possible to capture an instant of carelessness, even happiness, and so nosotros came to possess, as function of our homo heritage, images of people smiling on adventures large and small. Of grade, Eastman was often caught in photographic camera in furthermost locations as well, but in the end i fact is inescapable: one must look long and hard to detect a motion picture of George Eastman grin. In harnessing his impulses, he gave the globe an experience that he never permitted himself.

Having borrowed the discussion “snapshot” from a hunting term to describe a bullet fired at random, Eastman proved unable to exercise anything haphazardly — certainly not hunting or fifty-fifty photography, both of which he approached with the same fastidiousness he brought to industrial manufacturing. Information technology is perhaps the supreme irony of his life, then, that the terminal bullet he fired was no snapshot at all, simply the final footstep in an upshot carefully designed to bring out the desired results. It was, in other words, simply the nigh efficient thing to do.

Written by David Lindsay

Source: https://www.pbs.org/wgbh/americanexperience/features/george-eastman/

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