Eastman Kodak Company, known worldwide as Kodak, is an American imaging company that began as a photographic innovator in the 19th century. It is also responsible for the ease of shooting home movies and the introduction of digital photography. Here’s a brief look at Kodak’s history and how the company plans to find its way into the 21st century.
Choosing the company name is a big part of Kodak’s history. In 1888, Eastman named his new company “Eastman Kodak“. Although the initial merger seems to have taken place, “Kodak” is nothing more than a harsh-sounding word that Eastman liked enough to trademark.
At the time, the founder said, “The letter ‘K’ has been a favorite with me – it seemed like a strong, bitter type of letter.”
In the Beginning of Kodak
Kodak‘s history begins with the Eastman Dry Plate Company, where owner George Eastman made single-shot sheets of paper covered in photographic emulsion. William Walker, also an expert in photography, began working for Eastman in 1883. The two men invented a holder for a roll of the company’s photographic plates in 1885.
While this was happening, fellow inventors Hannibal Goodwin and Emile Reynaud were also making amazing advances in photographic technology of their own. The former designed a transparent nitrocellulose film base in 1887, while the latter a perforated nitrocellulose film. In 1889, Eastman combined all these ideas to invent the first mass-produced roll of transparent photographic film. Eastman sold inexpensive cameras throughout Kodak’s history and then, he relied on the sale of consumables such as film, chemicals and paper to generate massive profits.
The innovation goes to long-time tinkerer Thomas Edison, who decided to trim 40mm film stock in 1892 while working with Eastman.
A Strange Brand name
Eastman and his mother used an anagram set to find the correct sounding “K” word. The only criteria was that the name should be short, easy to pronounce and not similar to any existing names.
Original Cameras of Kodak
Once Eastman trademarked the Kodak name, it released its first Kodak camera in 1888. It was preloaded with a roll of paper film capable of taking 100 photos. Once finished, customers will return their cameras to Eastman. He will load them with new film and prepare the used roll. The Kodak camera was so easy to use that it created a new hobby for amateur photography.
Eventually, the original camera was replaced by a collapsible model that required nitrocellulose film. And in 1897, the pocket-sized camera was marketed. Eastman’s crown jewel, however, would come in the form of the Brownie, a cardboard camera that sold for just one dollar—an invention that would outpace the mass market.
About 20th Century
The 20th century is a time in Kodak’s history when it grew in popularity and profitability. From the 1900s to the 1930s, everyone was fascinated by the concept of photography. Kodak reaped massive profits, and on July 18, 1930, it was quickly added to the Dow Jones Industrial Average Index, where it remained until it was delisted in 2004. Like any successful company, Kodak invested a large portion of its profits in research and development, and it developed its famous Kodachrome film in 1935. Kodachrome, the first successful color film on the market, was available in several formats, including 8mm, 16mm, and 35mm. It beautifully enabled color magazine photos and color motion pictures.
Kodak was smart enough to involve itself in the process of printing photos as well, and made particularly large profits from film development alone. The company was instrumental in developing high-quality, color-separated printing in the 1950s and 1960s.
It was a million. units in the first 5 years. By the late 1960s, Kodak had the majority of the market share in the photography industry. The company had more than $4 billion in sales and 100,000 employees. Kodak was even responsible for John Glenn’s film of Earth’s orbit in 1962 and the first photograph of planet Earth taken from space in 1966. In 1976, Kodak released the Kodamatic, an instant camera, as a competitor to Polaroid.
Side Projects of Kodak
Throughout Kodak’s history, the company diversified by taking on other projects using its patented imaging technology. The company created film that could detect the amount of radiation that the Manhattan Project scientists were receiving, a discovery that led to the invention of the modern X-ray. In fact, the first X-ray was taken on Kodak film. It was the handprint of the wife of the distinguished German mechanical engineer and physicist Wilhelm Röntgen.
Kodak proudly ranks 62nd among American companies in the value of World War II military production contracts. Most accounts of Kodak’s history state that the company’s microfilm technology shrunk 37 bags of “V-mail” down to just one.
Although it may seem strange to think about, a quick look at Kodak’s history reveals that it was actually a pioneer in digital imaging technology. In 1975, Steven Sasson, a Kodak engineer, built the first charge-coupled device (CCD) image sensor. The sensor resolution was 10,000 pixels or 0.1 megapixel. Then, in 1976, Kodak researcher Bryce Bayer invented the Bayer color filter array, which defined the sequence of color colors on a piece of film. The 50% green, 25% red, and 25% blue filter has carried over to digital photography, and almost all digital sensors use an RGB Bayer filter to capture images. By 1979, Kodak researchers had created the first efficient organic light-emitting diodes (OLED), which were put into use in 1999 after 20 years of continuous research. This is when Kodak teamed up with Sanyo to develop the first OLED display. In 1986, the company invented the first camera-sized megapixel sensor, and by 1991.
The Japanese Competitors
Unfortunately, for the first time in Kodak’s history, it could not keep pace, and eventually lost out to Japanese competitors who mastered digital technology. However, the company used its patented OLED technology to create breathtaking digital photo frames in the early and mid-2000s. However, due to an uncertain market, poor promotion, and sticker shock, Kodak’s early digital cameras were less than popular. As such, it sold its OLED assets to LG Corporation in 2009.
While Kodak first made and marketed digital cameras, it’s important to note that it put all its faith in the analog film market in the 1970s, 1980s, and 1990s. Since the business had been massively profitable throughout its history, it seemed a sure bet. But the company couldn’t have been more wrong. Once Kodak made the digital leap into the commercial market, it was too late to compete with companies like Sony and Canon who had already claimed their share.
Kodak enjoyed moderate success and strong critical acclaim for its user-friendly EasyShare line of digital cameras and printers, but it arrived prematurely. They saw an unmet opportunity for consumers and developed a system of PC photo sharing products and services to fill that unfilled niche for consumers, but it was all too late.
Kodak then attempted a turnaround strategy focusing exclusively on digital photography and digital printing, backed by aggressive patent litigation involving “borrowed” digital technologies and concepts. has been done Unfortunately, the plan fell through and Kodak filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection in January 2012.
In February 2012, for the first time in Kodak’s history, the company said it would cease all production of digital cameras, pocket video cameras, and digital picture frames and instead focus on the digital printing market.
If you’re interested in the complex and fascinating histories of various technology companies, such as a look at the history of Kodak, keep checking back for more history, advice, and tips on today’s printing technologies.
The Fall of Kodak
During the early 1980s, Kodak’s competitors began to catch up in terms of price and features. The industry was beginning to shift more toward digital counterparts and less toward rolls of film and analog cameras.
In 1984, consumers were beginning to prefer Fujifilm products over Kodak. Fujifilm was a Japanese competitor and their camera rolls were usually around 20% cheaper while being of the same quality as Kodak’s rolls.
In 1991, Kodak developed the world’s first digital SLR (DSLR) camera, which uses a mirror and prism system to allow the photographer to see as if you were looking “through” the camera lens. To know what you are doing. In 1999, Kodak teamed up with Sanyo to develop the first OLED display. Kodak even used OLED displays as viewfinder displays on their digital cameras.
Throughout its operations, Kodak made most of its money from rolls of film and felt that it needed to continue and preserve the sales of its rolls of film. So even as digital cameras, which Kodak helped invent, gained popularity, Kodak was still focusing on promoting its analog products, such as rolls of film. In 2004, Kodak saw its profits decline even though its sales were at an all-time high. By the time Kodak began to focus on digital products, it released a large number of digital cameras and printers that printed images taken from digital cameras, it was too late to catch up with those consumers. There were those who switched to other brands.
Although Kodak offered digital cameras, people still mostly associate Kodak with rolls of film and analog cameras. Kodak’s efforts did not prove fruitful and it had to slowly reduce its operations. In 2012, after nearly 130 years on a high note, Kodak filed for bankruptcy and announced that it would sell its digital cameras, rolls of film and digital stills. The production of frames will stop.
The Major Reason for Failure of Kodak
After the digital camera became popular, Kodak spent nearly 10 years arguing with its biggest competitor, Fuji Films, that viewing a photo taken with a digital camera was normal and people would not touch a printed photo. . And loved the feeling. Kodak believed that the citizens of the United States would always choose it over Fujifilms, a foreign company.
Rather than engage in verbal sparring with Kodak, Fujifilms and many other companies focused on gaining a foothold in photography and videography. And once again, Kodak wasted no time in promoting the use of film cameras rather than imitating its competitors. They completely ignored media and market feedback. Kodak tried to convince people that film cameras were better than digital cameras and wasted 10 precious years in the process.
Old-time camera accessory manufacturers, Kodak, are looking to join forces with Chinese smartphone manufacturing giant Oppo for the upcoming flagship smartphone. The new smartphone is rumored to feature dual 50MP cameras, where the device’s cameras will follow the classic camera design of older Kodak models.
Oppo’s all-new flagship model is designed to pay homage to classic Kodak camera design. The camera of this Oppo model will reportedly use a Sony IMX766 50MP sensor. Additionally, the phone will add a larger sensor to its ultra-wide camera, as well as a 13MP telephoto lens and a 3MP microscope camera. No further information on this matter is currently available as of September 13, 2021.
Collaboration between Android OEM and Camera Makers
Collaboration between Android OEMs and camera makers is nothing new. Yes, many other companies have already teamed up with other camera manufacturing companies like Nokia, which teamed up with German optics company Carl Zeiss to bring the Nokia N95 camera phone in early 2007. have seen. Many other collaborations eventually followed, leading to spectacular results. OnePlus’ partnership with Hasselblad, Huawei’s pairing with Leica and the recent news of Samsung’s tie-up with Olympus are some of the notable collaborations worth noting.
Kodak first ventured into the smart TV industry and is finding success with this new venture. Additionally, the iconic photography company is looking to invest over Rs 500 crore over the next 3 years to enable a fully automated TV manufacturing plant at Hapur. The company is committed to the project as part of its ‘Make in India’ initiative and will leverage its Android certification.