Kodak was the largest photography company in the world for a very long period of time.  In fact, Kodak was one of the largest companies in the world for all industries at one point in time.  There was a point in time where Kodak was developing and releasing countless innovative products and technologies that helped elevate the photography industry, and affect other industries.  However, the large corporation fell to its knees when the economy began to crumble in the United States.  In this paper, I researched Kodak’s many strides and inventions that played an important role in the overall history of the world and in the timeline of photographic history.  Through the research I discovered Kodak’s successes, mistakes, faults and failures.  I also discovered a few items that were completely unexpected.

Chapter 1: Introduction

As a photographer, I have always found the history of the art fascinating.  Far too often, the most important parts of the history are overlooked or ignored.  In addition, much of photographic history has failed to continue innovating the art.  In this case study, you will learn about the role Kodak has played in photography since its inception, and where the company continues and fails to succeed to this day.

Background of the Topic

George Eastman, the founder of Kodak, made the first time experiment with gelatin as a base for chemical emulation.  Before 1878, photographs were typically printed glass or ceramic plates. The company invented many products that would shape the future of the industry, and many of which no longer exist.  For example, 35mm film was invented by Kodak in 1935 and is still used today.  However, the 110 films that were invented in 1972 failed to make enough of an impact to remain relevant.  Kodak’s ups and downs since its inception eventually lead to the one thing that would make the biggest impact in its history.  In 1975 Kodak invented the first digital camera  (kodak.com).

Problem Statement

There are many skeptics in the world that do not believe Kodak is as influential as it once was. The reason is because Nikon and Canon are the two most popular camera manufacturers on the market today.  They are the brands that people think of when considering a camera  (digital-photography-school.com). When trying to prove how important Kodak was in the rise and development of photography, one must consider a few key questions.

Question: What was Kodak’s importance in the rise and development of photography

Sub-questions

  1. When was photography discovered?
  2. Who invented the camera?
  3. When was a camera first used for personal use?
  4. When was a camera first used to document history?
  5. What role did Kodak play in the consumer end of photography?
  6. What role did Kodak play in the commercial end of photography?
  7. How has photography evolved over the years since digital was created?

Professional Significance of Your Work

As mentioned before, I am a working photographer and as a Nikon user, I understand how important Kodak was in the direction of the business.  I also understand that without Kodak, none of the digital cameras out there today would be as high performing as they are.  Last, but not least, I understand that without Kodak developing the first digital SLR (single lens reflex) camera, that Nikon would not have perfected the functionality and design.  I decided to write my case study on this topic because I feel the knowledge should be documented and shared with anyone attempting to learn about photography and its history.

Overview of Methodology

In order to determine how much Kodak affected the rise and development of photographic history, research on each sub-question will be implemented.  Through answering each of the questions, and any new questions that reveal themselves along the way, it will be obvious how much of a role Kodak played throughout time.  I will also speak to a couple professional photographers and photography teachers to learn about their view on the topic.  The short discussions will add alternative context to the research questions.

Delimitations

Research will be done through the Internet, using resources that have been verified by professional organizations.  The research will discuss Kodak specifically, but will briefly cover other brands that have been influential to Kodak and the industry.

Definition of Terms

  • Emulsion: a composition sensitive to some or all of the actinic rays of light, consisting of one or more of the silver halides suspended in gelatin, applied in a thin layer to one surface of a film or the like.
  • Film: A thin sheet or strip of flexible material, such as a cellulose derivative or a thermoplastic resin, coated with a photosensitive emulsion and used to make photographic negatives or transparencies.
  • Digital Camera: A camera that records and stores digital images.
  • Photography: The art or practice of taking and processing photographs
  • A photosensitive coating, usually of silver halide grains in a thin gelatin layer, on photographic film, paper, or glass.

Summary

Without Kodak being such an innovator in the photography industry, many commercial and personal daily activities and businesses would not be the same as they are today.  Kodak created the first consumer film for cameras, and the first digital camera.  The two inventions alone provide that Kodak’s development since its inception played a major role through the history of photography.

Chapter 2: Literature Review

Kodak’s role throughout the history of photography was one of the most influential.  At the same time, it was a roller coaster of financial and technological mistakes.  While Kodak was not the company, which created the camera or film, it was responsible for developing the film still used by consumers today.  During its long traveled road through history, Kodak made technological mistakes that wound up costing jobs, recognition and reputation.  Kodak continues to struggle releasing products that sell.  While they have taken strides in some areas, they fail in photography, which is what they’re best known for.

Photography has come a long way since Joseph Niépce created a photograph in 1826, which he termed heliography.  Or the few years later when Niépce and Louis Daguerre joined together to create the daguerreotype.  Together, the men created two of the most famous photographs of all time.  In 1889, George Eastman decided to take the standard film from the era, and cut it in half to what is now know as 35mm film (lightstalking.com). It was at this point in Eastman’s life where Kodak began to take shape.  In the 63 years between Niépce’s heliography to those by Eastman’s 35mm film, the photograph jumped leaps and bounds.

George Eastman was using wet plates for his photographs until 1878 when he created a dry plate that utilizes gelatin.  This innovation meant that photographers would not have to process their photographs directly after capturing them.  Instead, the plates could be safely transported until the photographer is ready to process them.  The invention of the gelatin dry plate was the moment Eastman formed the Eastman Dry Plate Company.  Shortly after, Eastman found himself inventing another product that would change how photographers capture images (kodak.com).

It was in 1885 when the business became Eastman American Film and the company created its first transparent film, also made with gelatin.  It was this invention that took photography on a new exciting path.  Thomas Edison used the transparent film in 1891 when he partnered with Eastman to create the first motion picture (kodak.com).  A reporter from NBC said, “In many ways Kodak is Rochester” (whec.com). The statement is very true, as Kodak opened their first manufacturing plant there in 1891 (kodak.com).  As the company developed more products and grew larger, so did the growth of Rochester, New York.

Kodak’s innovations continued through the 1980s and 1990s, with products such as disposable cameras, 110 film and disc film (kodak.com).  Of the three inventions, only the disposable camera continued production to this day.  However, Kodak is no longer making the cameras and their competitor Fujifilm is.  The next big advancement in photographic history came in the 1990s when Kodak created the first digital camera.  It was a modified Nikon film camera with a 1.3 megapixel CCD sensor.   With only 987 made and price tag of thirteen thousand dollars, it was obvious why so few photographers were using it (lightstalking.com). It was apparent that Kodak had the ability to think of a product and bring it to life, but not put it in the hands of consumers.  It was companies like Nikon, Canon and Sony that really paved the future of digital photography.  Kodak tried to follow, but continued to be unsuccessful grabbing attention of consumers (wsws.org).

Kodak partnered with Sanyo in 1999 to take a 20-year-old product idea, and bring it to fruition.  OLED technology was first thought of in 1979 by a Kodak researcher.  With Sanyo’s help, Kodak was able to put the technology in their digital photo frames. However, due to poor marketing choices and rushing to release the new products to the market, they failed to sell enough to keep producing OLED chips.  By 2009, Kodak had no choice but to get rid of its OLED business and sold it to LG, which is now used in their televisions (extremetech.com).

Over the years, Kodak has continually made poor choices that affected their stability in the photography industry.  At one point, Kodak decided to try and compete with Polaroid on instant film.  All was well until Polaroid caught on to Kodak using their technology.  Polaroid sued Kodak for twelve billions dollars but won nine hundred and nine million just before closing doors themselves.  When Fuji came into the roll film market, Kodak made the mistake of not competing with their prices.  Kodak continued marketing themselves as the better film when Fuji’s name was plastered on advertisements around the world and at large events, like the Olympics.  Kodak’s revenue dropped twenty four percent from Fuji’s market share alone (forbes.com).

As mentioned previously, one of Kodak’s biggest mistakes was the lack of innovation in digital photography.  Although they developed the technology, the failed to continue making strives of improvement and instead left it up to Nikon, Canon and Sony.  Another error on Kodak’s part was to acquire the pharmaceutical company, Sterling Drug.  Somehow, the executive team at Kodak thought it would be a great fit considering Kodak made chemicals.  The five billion dollar purchase is what ultimately leads Kodak towards final bankruptcy (forbes.com).

Kodak’s last stand in the consumer market was to create inkjet printers, sold at Staples around the world.  The products would be low cost printers with economical inks as a means to compete with competitors like HP, Epson and Canon (forbes.com).  In addition to printers, Kodak decided to give digital cameras another try and created a new line of cameras that would seamlessly connect to the printers so anyone can print photographs from home (kodak.com).  The popularity of services chain print services, like Walgreens, CVS and Costco, it made it difficult for Kodak to sell the cameras.

By the time 2009 rolls around, Kodak already began trying to sell off its eleven hundred patents in a last ditch effort to stay afloat.  Then the company sued supposed patent infringing companies like Apple, maker of the iPhone, and Research In Motion, maker of the Blackberry (rochesterhomepage.net).  At the same time, the company stopped production of their 35mm film, thus stepping out from the still film market (telegraph.co.uk).  With the constant mistakes, lack of leadership, lawsuits and inability to sell enough of its patents, Kodak had no choice but to file Chapter 11 (kodak.com).

Darren Rowse compiled a survey sent to over fifty photographers in which  he asked which camera manufacturer is their favorite.  To no surprise, Canon and Nikon are on top.  Kodak is near the bottom, right above Minolta which was acquired by Sony, Ricoh who no longer manufacturers cameras and Leica who is too over priced for most photographers (digital-photography-school.com). In the graph, An ugly picture, it is clear that Kodak’s fall was in the mid 1990s just after reaching its peak. The company went from almost one hundred dollars per share in stock and 120,000 employees, down to the bare minimum (economist.com).

After filing Chapter 11, Kodak successfully sold its digital imaging patents for over five hundred million dollars.  The company hopes to emerge from the ashes, but time will tell if it will come true (wsj.com).  If history truly repeats itself then it is possible that after returning to life, that Kodak’s management will continue making poor decisions and eventually put it out of business again.

George Eastman started one of the most influential businesses of all time.  Kodak invented the most popular consumer film, disposable cameras, digital cameras, OLED screens and more.  Without Kodak, Thomas Edison would never have created motion picture technology.  However, due to poor management choices there was a point where the company began to start a decent towards vanishing.  It took over twenty years for Kodak’s failures to catch up to them, but in 2012 the business filed Chapter 11.

Chapter 3: Methodology

Plan of Action

Due to the nature of the topic, the research is being done in a case research design.  However, evaluation research design is partially being utilized for opinions and interviews.  To answer the main question, each sub-question is addressed on an individual basis.  The findings from each sub-question are used to provide potential climaxes and pitfalls of Kodak throughout its history.  From answering the sub-questions, the main question is answered and a conclusion is made.

Methods Used to Answer Sub-question One

*When was photography discovered?

To address this sub-question it is necessary to obtain information the history of photography.  By determining the first encounter with the study of light, the answer becomes easier to find.  Through Internet searches on various engines like Google and Bing, it is determined that a Chinese philosopher, Mo-Ti discovered the camera obscura in 500 BCE.   The fact has been written on many websites, but confirmed by the George Eastman House (eastmanhouse.org).

Methods Used to Answer Sub-question Two

*Who invented the camera?

To address this sub-question the answer is verified in the book, History and Practice of the Art of Photography by Henry Hunt Snelling.  There, Snelling states that Joseph Niépce first submitted his writings and research about a camera in 1827 (Snelling, pg. 95).  From there, further research is completed via Internet searches to identify additional information about the discovery and what came of it.

Methods Used to Answer Sub-question Three

* When was a camera first used for personal use?

To address this sub-question, an Internet search was done through Google and continuing to the most relevant results.  On the website for The Metropolitan Museum of Art, it is determined that William Henry Fox Talbot had a major influence on photography.  The article makes readers aware about the calotype process, which Talbot created in 1840.  The process made it possible for latent images to appear on paper instead of on plates.  In turn, it made cameras lighter and more portable (metmuseum.org).

Methods Used to Answer Sub-question Four

* When was a camera first used to document history?

To address this sub-question, and research was done through Internet based encyclopedia and museum searches.  I eventually landed on the Getty Museum where I found the answer.  For some time, I believed that the Mathew Brady photograph of Abraham Lincoln in his deathbed was the first photograph for historical purposes.  Through research, I found that Timothy H. O’Sullivan was the first to document history through photographs.  Timothy H. O’Sullivan was Mathew Brady’s photography assistant until he left to document the American west and the civil war.  O’Sullivan’s work dates back to 1862 of slaves and 1863 of fallen soldiers (getty.edu).

Methods Used to Answer Sub-question Five

* What role did Kodak play in the consumer end of photography?

To address this sub-question, research was done through Google and Bing to find validated sources of information.  Through the In addition, I had the honor of doing a phone interview with Don Preuss who is a researcher for Kodak.  Don started with the company in 1979, worked in the Rochester office for thirty years and continues there today as a consultant.  Through combining both Internet research and Don’s comments and opinions, I was able to come to a definitive conclusion of Kodak’s influence on consumers.    (Don Preuss, Consultant for Kodak, in a phone discussion, March 12, 2013)

Methods Used to Answer Sub-question Six

* What role did Kodak play in the commercial end of photography?

To address this sub-question, I took the same approach as I did with the previous question.  As before, the combination proved successful to come to a validated conclusion as to Kodak’s influence on businesses and government.  (Don Preuss (Consultant for Kodak) in a phone discussion, March 12, 2013)

Methods Used to Answer Sub-question Seven

* How has photography evolved over the years since digital was created?

To address this sub-question, I took the same approach as I did with the previous two questions.  Kodak’s website provides a timeline of innovations, highs and lows since the company’s inception.  Through Kodak’s clear guidance and the conversation with Don Preuss, the answer to this sub-question became clear.  (Don Preuss (Consultant for Kodak) in a phone discussion, March 12, 2013)

Organization and Analysis of Data

All findings are being organized into an organizational sequence based on the information found on photographic history and the Kodak timeline.  In turn, the information will be used to and interpreted in an understandable format with a validated conclusion.

Chapter 4: Results

As stated previously, this document is about Kodak’s influence and innovation through the photographic history and specifically their highs and lows over time.  Throughout the project, I have used a series of sub-questions to act as a guide through the research process. The questions are listed below.

Main question:

What was Kodak’s importance in the rise and development of photography?

Sub-questions

  1. When was photography discovered?
  2. Who invented the camera?
  3. When was a camera first used for personal use?
  4. When was a camera first used to document history?
  5. What role did Kodak play in the consumer end of photography?
  6. What role did Kodak play in the commercial end of photography?
  7. How has photography evolved over the years since digital was created?

In this chapter, I have compiled the information found to answer the sub-questions in order to solve the main question.

Results to Sub-question One

*When was photography discovered?

A Chinese philosopher first discovered the camera obscura in 500 BC.  The fact was identified on many websites through Google searches and verified with the George Eastman House (eastmanhouse.org).

Results to Sub-question Two

*Who invented the camera?

Joseph Niépce was the first person to build and utilize a camera in 1826, but not long after Niépce partnered with Louis-Jacques-Mandé Daguerre to improve on his camera.  The result was known as the Daguerreotype.  I found the answer through various Google searching and verified in the book History and Practice of the Art of Photography by Henry Hunt Snelling (Snelling, 1839, pg. 95).

Results to Sub-question Three

* When was a camera first used for personal use?

I found the answer to this sub-question from The Metropolitan Museum of Art. William Henry Fox Talbot had created the calotype process in 1841, which enabled him to create a lighter camera through which photographs were printed on paper instead of heavy and large plates (metmuseum.org).  The use of the calotype meant that Talbot had the ability to bring a camera to people’s homes.

Results to Sub-question Four

* When was a camera first used to document history?

Timothy H. O’Sullivan was the assistant of President Lincoln’s photographer, Mathew Brady.  During the civil war in 1861, O’Sullivan was sent to document the war, and his photographs became the first ever to document a historical event.  At the same time, Timothy H. O’Sullivan had the chance to photograph slaves in the south and dead soldiers.  The answer to this sub-question was verified by the Getty Museum (getty.edu).

Results to Sub-question Five

* What role did Kodak play in the consumer end of photography?

I had the opportunity to have a phone conversation with a researcher for Kodak.  Don Preuss started with Kodak in 1979, and although he lost his job with the company before Kodak filed Chapter 11, he continues today as a consultant.  During the conversation, Don explains that in addition to creating the most popular consumer film, 35mm, Kodak also created many other industry changing products.  Kodak also created cleaning solutions for equipment, the digital camera and tried to bridge the gap between digital and film with its APC film.  Although Kodak did not invent the compact disc, they were the largest manufacturer and supplier of the discs.  They also included a Photo CD option with film processing to customers.  Don also explained that Kodak did not have the most popular consumer digital cameras because of their quality, but because of the name.  This is proof of branding importance.  (Don Preuss (Consultant for Kodak) in a phone discussion, March 12, 2013)

Results to Sub-question Six

* What role did Kodak play in the commercial end of photography?

During the conversation with Don Preuss, he mentioned some of the high impact products that Kodak created for the commercial side of the photography industry.  This includes motion picture film for Hollywood movie companies and the films that movie theaters receive to project movies.  Until recently Kodak manufactured the CCD and CMOS sensors that have been found in many professional digital still and video cameras.  Kodak continues to manufacturer professional printing products that are not available to consumers and typically found in print labs, in Hollywood and in government.  (Don Preuss (Consultant for Kodak) in a phone discussion, March 12, 2013)

Results to Sub-question Seven

* How has photography evolved over the years since digital was created?

Photography has taken interesting turns over the years.  Photography went from printing on plates to paper.  Film went from being large to being extremely small.  Now film can be compared to an endangered animal.  It’s hard to find, and when you do it disappears very quickly, almost to the point of extinction.  Digital photography has taken photography for a fast ride towards the future.  Photographers can now take pictures anywhere with many devices, including cell phones.  Although Kodak has made many poor choices through its history, there is no doubt that none of the innovations that Kodak’s competitors continue to do today would even exist if Kodak did not make the first step towards digital photography.  (Don Preuss (Consultant for Kodak) in a phone discussion, March 12, 2013)

This chapter has discussed the research collected, primarily from Internet resources an interview and museums.   There is no doubt that Kodak has experienced difficulties, but thanks to the interview, I know that the company is doing everything in its power to make a comeback and rise above bankruptcy.

Chapter 5: Summary and Discussion

Throughout this paper, I have researched and reviewed the historical facts of Kodak.  Information is gathered from Internet resources, books, encyclopedias, museums and a phone interview with a former Kodak employee.  By examining the timeline of the photographic history and that of Kodak, I am able to identify specific points where Kodak played an important role in photography.  For example, although George Eastman did not invent the camera, it was his idea of creating the 35mm film in 1889 that changed history.  In 1990 Kodak’s development team invented the first digital camera, which used a modified version of a competitor’s film camera (lightstalking.com).  As you see, two of the many innovations that Kodak created were some of the most influential in the history of photography. However, Kodak’s management made many mistakes throughout its time and they have also been identified in the paper. In the following sections, I will elaborate on the research and findings.  (Don Preuss (Consultant for Kodak) in a phone discussion, March 12, 2013)

Statement of Problem

There are many skeptics in the world who do not believe Kodak is as influential as it once was. The reason is because Nikon and Canon are the two most popular camera manufacturers on the market today.  They are the brands that people think of when considering a camera (digital-photography-school.com).  Another question that is often asked by the photographic community is whether Kodak put themselves in the financial situation they are now in.  When trying to prove how important Kodak was in the rise and development of photography, one must consider a few key questions.

Question: What was Kodak’s importance in the rise and development of photography?

Sub-questions

  1. When was photography discovered?
  2. Who invented the camera?
  3. When was a camera first used for personal use?
  4. When was a camera first used to document history?
  5. What role did Kodak play in the consumer end of photography?
  6. What role did Kodak play in the commercial end of photography?
  7. How has photography evolved over the years since digital was created?

Review of Methodology

To find the answer for the main question and sub-questions, I began my research on the Internet.  I ran many search queries based on the sub-questions on popular Internet search engines.  I then gathered all the results into one location where I was able to go back afterwards to read and review them all.  After gathering Internet sources, I turned to museums and encyclopedias for further verification of what I found on other Internet sources.  Then I moved on to books that had more detail about historical information.  Finally, I had a very educational interview with a former Kodak researcher who lost his position when Kodak went bankrupt in March 2011.  By using the various sources for answers and verification, I am able to come to a solid conclusion to the main question.

Summary of Results

The summaries of the results are compiled from the review in chapter two; methods used from chapter three and the results in chapter four.

Summary of Sub-question One

*When was photography discovered?

This question was extremely difficult to find, but fortunately the George Eastman House had the answer.  As it turned out, a Chinese philosopher named Mo-Ti was the first to discover the camera obscura in 500 BC (eastmanhouse.org).  While this question was not specific to Kodak, I found it to be important to understand where photography started in order to have a true value of Kodak’s impact and influence.

Summary of Sub-question Two

*Who invented the camera?

Through Internet searching I was able to find the answer to this question.  However, I decided to verify the information I found by examining a book by Henry Hunt Snelling titled History and Practice of the Art of Photography.  In the book, Snelling mentions that it was Joseph Niépce who was the first to discover the camera in his writings in 1827 (Snelling, pg. 95).   This question was also not directly related to Kodak, but the timing starts to get closer to that of George Eastman’s innovations.

Summary of Sub-question Three

* When was a camera first used for personal use?

Through The Metropolitan Museum of Art I found that William Henry Fox Talbot was the man who made one of the first major impacts in photography since its inception. Talbot discovered and created the calotype process in 1841.  The process made it possible for photographers to carry lighter cameras and less chemicals due to the format on which the photographs were printed.  The calotype process was the first to use paper instead of plates (metmuseum.org).  This is important to the main question because it is this point in time when film begins to become a thought in the minds of photographers.  Like Talbot made it possible to switch from plates to paper, Eastman will make it possible to switch from paper to film, and in turn put a camera in the hands of thousands of consumers.

Summary of Sub-question Four

* When was a camera first used to document history?

The answer to this question was difficult to find, as I originally thought to look at different photographers and at previous points in history.  However, with Internet searching and verification from the Getty Museum I was able to find the answer.  Timothy H. O’Sullivan, assistant to President Lincoln’s photographer, went on a journey to the American west to document what he found.  Around the same time, in 1861, the civil war began and Timothy returned east to document the war.  This served as the first photographic documentation of history (getty.edu).  This is important to Kodak because it was less than 30 years later that George Eastman created the 35mm negative.  It is very possible that if Eastman were born earlier that O’Sullivan might have had an easier time photographing the war, and admirers, students and historians today would have more to study.

Summary of Sub-question Five

* What role did Kodak play in the consumer end of photography?

To answer this question, I began with searching the Internet for as many innovations that Kodak had that directly impacted the consumer.  Fortunately many of them were listed on the Kodak website in their own timeline.   I also had the opportunity to speak to a former Kodak researcher for his insights into Kodak.  George Eastman created 35mm film in 1885 and marked the beginning for Kodak’s long reign at the top of the photography industry.  Kodak also began manufacturing their own cameras, which became the first to land in the hands of consumers.

By the 1980s, Kodak produced products like disposable cameras and disc film.  In the early 1990s when Kodak invented the digital camera, they resisted the technology and kept pushing to keep film as the main medium for photographers.  When they eventually created 110 film, it was a further attempt to hold back from letting digital photography take over the market (kodak.com).  The reason this is important is because it was Kodak’s mistake of not fully putting themselves into the digital photography business that began the eventual financial crisis.  Kodak’s competitors, including Canon, Nikon and Sony, were all pursuing and innovating in the digital photography market where Kodak did not.

Summary of Sub-question Six

* What role did Kodak play in the commercial end of photography?

Using the same research technique as in sub-question five, I began with searching the Internet, reviewing Kodak’s timeline and speaking with a former Kodak employee in order to answer sub-question six.  Kodak has always played some form of role in the commercial side of the photography business.  This included manufacturing the film processing machines used in retail locations, supplying materials to government agencies, schools and partnering with other businesses to create products (kodak.com). For example, there was a long period of time when all drivers licenses were created using Kodak products.  In addition, schools would use Kodak products in their darkrooms for teaching students.  Kodak also partnered with Sanyo to develop OLED screens that were used in their digital photo frames (extremetech.com).  This is important to answer the main question because of the next sub-question.  Since filing for Chapter 11, Kodak is focusing on more of the commercial end of the business than the consumer side.

Summary of Sub-question Seven

* How has photography evolved over the years since digital was created?

In answering this sub-question, I used the same approach as the previous two questions.  I found my findings very interesting as Kodak is moving away from consumer photography products, and has sold off and split ways from businesses that were keeping them down, preventing them from coming out of bankruptcy.  In the past few years Kodak began manufacturing consumer printers, but the products were not doing as well as they hoped.  Now, Kodak is focusing on commercial printers for digital photography.  The printers they are now manufacturing will not be found in the hands of consumers, but rather retail outlets, government agencies and professional printing labs.  In addition, Kodak has created a printer that can produce motion picture film with fraud detection technology and they have already made deals with NBC-Universal, Paramount, Disney and Warner Brothers to use the product (kodak.com).  The reason why this is important is because now I know what Kodak’s future holds, and that they are doing everything they can to return out of Chapter 11 with their dignity.

Relationship of Research to the Field

When conducting research for this paper, my first instinct was to do typical Internet searches as most people would do.  I used the Internet as the starting point to research all necessary questions.  Depending the source for each finding, I then used additional sources, both on the Internet and offline, to verify the information.  My final method of research was in a phone interview with a former Kodak employee.  I found that this approach was beneficial because the majority of the information I received between all the sources complimented each other.  (Don Preuss (Consultant for Kodak) in a phone discussion, March 12, 2013)

Discussion of Results

As a photographer, the main question is one that intrigues me.  I had the opportunity to own one of Kodak’s first digital SLR cameras available to consumers, and had the misfortune of seeing how horrible it was.  Knowing that, it was important to me to find the truth about Kodak’s impact, and the mistakes they made over the years.

Being able to spend the time with the research, and find definitive answers was extremely valuable.  With the information I can now share the knowledge with other photographers, and provide historical education of one of the biggest companies ever in the United States of America.

In addition to the personal impact that the research has on me, it also shows that Kodak, who was the largest American company, can come back form their lowest point since its creation.  The research I found shows that Kodak has a plan, is working on it, and is determined to rise above once again.  However, they will have a completely different direction than previous. Kodak has decided to focus on commercial products and services instead of a mixture of corporate and consumer products and services. (kodak.com).

Conclusions

At a first glance, many of the sub-questions are not directly related to Kodak.  However, by going through the effort to research answers to those questions, it is impossible not to step over facts about George Eastman and Kodak.  Through research I cam across websites, timelines, newspaper articles, biographies, museums and so many other educational and factual sources.  I was able to come to conclusions about each sub-question and answer the main question through the research.  The only item left open ended is in Kodak’s hands.  Currently Kodak is in bankruptcy, but recent news articles state that they have a plan in action to come out above water.

References

12 Hugely Important Moments in the History of Photography   Click Here: 12 Hugely Important Moments in the History of Photography . (2013, February 13). Lightstalking. Retrieved February 18, 2013, from www.lightstalking.com/12-hugely-important-moments-in-the-history-of-photography

I always knew that Joseph Niepce and Louis Daguerre created their own form of photographic print types.  However, I did not know that they worked together on the daguerreotype.  Between the two, the heliograph has always been considered the most popular photograph in history, while the daguerreotype has been known as the most influential.

1878-1929. (n.d.). Kodak Printers, Printer Ink, Digital Printing Solutions, Document Scanners, Picture Kiosk. Retrieved February 11, 2013, from http://www.kodak.com/ek/US/en/Our_Company/History_of_Kodak/Milestones_-_chronology/1878-1929.htm

Kodak was more innovative than I originally thought.  I knew that Eastman created film using gelatin but never knew he was responsible for dry plates.  I always thought he created film based off the idea of someone else.

1999., 19, F. m., persisted, 9. l., & 2009, f. e. (n.d.). How Success Killed Eastman Kodak – Forbes. Information for the World’s Business Leaders – Forbes.com. Retrieved February 18, 2013, from http://www.forbes.com/sites/petercohan/2011/10/01/how-success-killed-eastman-kodak/

Kodak made many proof choices over the years, including a copy of Polaroids, not lowering prices to compete with Kodak, not innovating digital photography and more.

Anthony, S. (n.d.). The history of Kodak: Pioneer of film and digital photography – Slideshow | ExtremeTech. Latest Technology News | Tech Blog | ExtremeTech. Retrieved February 18, 2013, from http://www.extremetech.com/extreme/99281-the-illustrious-history-of-kodak-inventor-of-the-snapshot-digital-cameras-oled-and-more

I always wondered where the word Kodak came from.  Turns out it was because George Eastman liked the sound of it and his favorite letter was K.  Kodak also developed OLED technology with Sanyo, although they failed to effectively sell products with it.

Camera Obscura: Room With a View  · George Eastman House Rochester. (n.d.). George Eastman House, International Museum of Photography and Film, Rochester, NY, USA. Retrieved March 12, 2013, from http://www.eastmanhouse.org/events/detail.php?title=obscura-12-22-12

Mo-Ti was the Chinese philosopher who discovered the camera obscura, which is another word for pinhole camera.

Doran, K. (n.d.). Timeline of Kodak History. Home. Retrieved February 18, 2013, from

“Kodak sues Apple and Research in Motion, claiming the smartphone makers are infringing its 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… Kodak begins shopping around its 1,100 digital-imaging patents.  Kodak hires Jones Day, a law firm that lists bankruptcies and restructuring among its stop specialties.”

Snelling, H. H. (1849). History and Practice of the Art of Photography  (Kindle Edition ed.). New York, NY: G.P. Putnam.

In the book I learned that Joseph Niépce didn’t just invent the first camera, but actually wrote a paper on it.

Kodak: 130 years of history – Telegraph. (n.d.). Telegraph.co.uk – Telegraph online, Daily Telegraph, Sunday Telegraph – Telegraph. Retrieved February 18, 2013, from http://www.telegraph.co.uk/finance/newsbysector/retailandconsumer/9024539/Kodak-130-years-of-history.html

“2009 – Kodak stopped selling 35mm colour film after 74 years of production.”

Period, T. (n.d.). William Henry Fox Talbot (1800–1877) and the Invention of Photography | Thematic Essay | Heilbrunn Timeline of Art History | The Metropolitan Museum of Art. The Metropolitan Museum of Art – Home. Retrieved March 12, 2013, from http://www.metmuseum.org/toah/hd/tlbt/hd_tlbt.htm

William Talbot had a much greater influence on photography than I thought due to his invention of the calotype process.

Rowse, D. (n.d.). Best Digital Camera Manufacturers – a Graph  . Digital Photography Tips: Digital Photography School. Retrieved February 11, 2013, from http://digital-photography-school.com/best-digital-camera-manufacturers-a-graph

Not surprised by the results, but a very interesting survey to over 50 photographers.

Technological change: The last Kodak moment? | The Economist. (n.d.). The Economist – World News, Politics, Economics, Business & Finance. Retrieved February 18, 2013, from http://www.economist.com/node/21542796

The graph in the article clearly shows the fall of Kodak over the years with both employees and stock.

The History of Kodak – WSJ.com. (n.d.). The Wall Street Journal – Breaking News, Business, Financial and Economic News, World News & Video – Wall Street Journal – Wsj.com. Retrieved February 18, 2013, from http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052970204138204576605042362770666.html

“it hopes to emerge from bankruptcy in the first half of 2013. ”

The bankruptcy of Kodak – World Socialist Web Site. (n.d.). World Socialist Web Site. Retrieved February 18, 2013, from http://www.wsws.org/en/articles/2012/01/pers-j20.html

“In the 1990s, it lost more and more market share to digital camera producers Canon, Sony and Nikon.”  To this day, all 3 continue to dominate the industry with innovations in their products.

The history of Kodak | Business | City Living News. (n.d.). City Living News. Retrieved February 26, 2013, from

“In many ways Kodak is Rochester” is such an interesting quote, and I never really thought about just how influential the company was to the town until viewing the video.

Timothy H. O’Sullivan (Getty Museum). (n.d.). The Getty. Retrieved March 14, 2013, from http://www.getty.edu/art/gettyguide/artMakerDetails?maker=1928

I always believed that the Mathew Brady photograph of Abraham Lincoln in his deathbed was the first photograph for historical purposes.  Turns out it was Brady’s assistant that captured the first photographs for historical purposes.

What’s Wrong with This Picture: Kodak’s 30-year Slide into Bankruptcy – Knowledge@Wharton. (2012, February 1). Knowledge@Wharton. Retrieved February 18, 2013, from http://knowledge.wharton.upenn.edu/article.cfm?articleid=2935

With 19,576 patents, 38,000 pensions and $200 million in annual health care expenses, Kodak knew they needed to find ways to reduce costs and increase revenue.  However, chance after chance they filed to do so.  Kodak were “foot-dragging” their way into the digital world.  So much so that they failed to continue innovating the digital market, or release products that were attractive to consumers and professionals.  Kodak was spreading their wings across industries and lacked focus.  The lack of focus and innovation was part of the spiraling downfall of Kodak in the photography industry.  It was lack of successful leadership that prevented Kodak from reducing their overall costs.

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