Kodak and consumer photography earn Historic Chemical Landmark designation


When photography was in its infancy, it was a complicated and tedious process accessible to a select few. But thanks to innovations that began in the late 19th century, George Eastman and the Eastman Kodak Company made photography accessible to everyone. On October 3, the American Chemical Society (ACS) will honor this achievement with the National Historic Chemical Landmark designation.

Landmark’s ribbon-cutting ceremony will take place at 4:30 p.m. ET at the Kodak Center in Rochester, New York.

“This Landmark honors George Eastman, Eastman Kodak and the many generations of Kodak chemists, scientists and engineers who made photography a daily part of our lives before the advent of smartphones and digital cameras,” said the president. of ACS, Angela K. Wilson, Ph.D. . “Many of us remember the thrill of taking pictures, sending the film off to be developed, and waiting to see the pictures printed.”

But in George Eastman’s day, it was a different story. In 1878, he planned a vacation in the Caribbean. He wanted to take pictures during the trip, so he bought a camera. But it was the size of a microwave oven. The chemicals and other supplies needed to prepare the photographic plates and then capture and develop the photos were even more cumbersome. The experience left him determined to find a better way.

Eastman changed the chemistry and equipment to make photography easier – so easy even a child could take pictures. The company he founded, Eastman Kodak, ultimately revolutionized photography. Thanks to the company’s advancements, the size of the cameras has been reduced and the production and development of films has been simplified. Millions of people around the world have captured memories using cameras and film, leaving all the chemistry to Kodak. The ease of this process was summed up by the company’s slogan: “You press the button, we do the rest”.

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