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Eastman Kodak Company

legal form Corporation
ISIN US2774614067
founding 1892
Seat Rochester , United States
management James V. Continenza ( CEO )
Number of employees 4,992
sales 1,242,000,000 USD (one billion euros )
Branch pressure
Website www.kodak.com
As of December 31, 2019

Kodak logos from 1907 to 2006
Kodak headquarters in Rochester

The Eastman Kodak Company is a multinational company that was founded in the 1890s and was formerly one of the world's most important manufacturers of photographic equipment, especially film material . Kodak was a leader in developing the amateur markets ahead of German and later Japanese competition.

Kodak "lost touch with the advance of digital images". The US company emerged as a specialist in digital printing from bankruptcy proceedings. "

Eastman Kodak was listed on the S&P 500 stock index.

The corporate headquarters is located in Rochester , Monroe County in the state of New York in the United States .



Eastman Kodak Co., Rochester, NY, factory and offices, circa 1900

The company Eastman Kodak Company of New York was in 1892 from the Eastman Dry Plate Company indicates that of the inventor George Eastman was founded and the businessman Henry Strong 1880th Kodak is a fantasy name invented by George Eastman that should be short and to the point. The name should also be spoken in all languages ​​of the world and not have a negative meaning in any language. The name and logo were registered with the German trademark register on October 29, 1894 and registered on April 5, 1895.

An advertising slogan from Kodak Box times was "You press the button - we do the rest" ("You press the button, we do the rest"). The company participated in sponsoring photo competitions, photo projects and grants for budding photographers .

Kodak produced roll films and from 1888 also industrially manufactured cameras , including the Kodak No. 1 , the Brownie and later the Instamatic , which could also be easily operated by amateurs; Kodak made photography a popular pastime in the United States.

Engagement in Germany between the world wars

In 1921 the subsidiary Eastman Kodak Ltd. (London) together with the Heidelberg gelatine factory Stoess & Co. GmbH under the name Chemische Werke Odin GmbH in Eberbach, the first German-American joint venture after the First World War. The company was dissolved on Christmas Eve 1939 after it had been placed under enemy property management at the beginning of World War II.

In 1927 Kodak took over the film manufacturer Glanzfilm AG in Berlin-Köpenick and, at the end of 1931, the August Nagel camera factory in Stuttgart-Wangen ; The cameras made in Germany therefore had the suffix Dr. Nagel - Stuttgart plant .

From the mid-1930s, Kodak advertised in brochures with statements such as “German the camera” , stated that “1,500 people were given work and bread” and processed “the best local raw materials” . From 1940, the Kodak plant in Stuttgart switched to armaments production .

The color slide films of the Kodachrome series introduced by Kodak in 1935 set the quality standard for decades, but also required a complex development process . These films were first as 8mm cine film and, starting in 1936 as a 35-mm-mm film assembled . In the 1930s there was a competition between Agfa and Kodak to introduce the first color negative films suitable for the market.

Manufactured in the Kodak factory in Stuttgart: Kodak Retina 1b

After the Second World War

Brands for photographic films introduced later include the Ektachrome slide films based on the Kodak E-6 development principle, the Kodacolor negative films for paper prints and, at the end of the 20th century, the “color world” negative films.

The Instamatic films introduced in 1963 and the pocket films launched in 1972 proved to be very successful and each gave a powerful boost to amateur photography with color films. The Super 8 films presented in 1964 also achieved decades of success.

Kodak EK6 Instant Camera

At Photokina 1976, Kodak presented instant cameras , whereupon Polaroid sued for patent infringement. The legal dispute was lost for Kodak, the production of instant cameras was stopped on January 9, 1986 and the cameras in circulation were bought back. For the Kodak PR 10 instant film , there were exposure devices from the Durst company to create paper images from slides, as well as an additional device for the Agfa Family Super 8 system (see Super 8 ).

Kodak EasyShare DX6340

The Kodak Disc System, introduced by Kodak in the 1980s , became a failure: today there is no disc material, nor can it be commissioned to print from disc negatives. The background to the development of this negative format were considerations to simplify handling in the large laboratories: developing machines for the discs could be equipped more efficiently and were significantly smaller than developing machines for films. (see photo finishing ).

Entry into digitization

In 1987 Kodak manufactured the world's first digital SLR camera , the Canon New F-1 Electro-Optic Camera . As a result, other cameras based on Canon and Nikon reflex cameras appeared.

Kodak NexPress

In 1989, Kodak launched its first digital press - the Kodak XL 7700 Digital Continuous Printer, based on the continuous drop technology. In 1997, the joint venture NexPress Solutions was founded with Heidelberger Druckmaschinen . It was to develop a high-performance digital color printing machine. In 1999 Kodak sold the division to Heidelberger Druckmaschinen. In 2004 Heidelberger Druckmaschinen AG wanted to concentrate entirely on sheetfed offset and sold the digital printing division to Eastman Kodak.

In 1991, the company achieved sales of US $ 19.4 billion and launched the "DC-100", the world's first digital camera . It was invented in 1975 by Kodak engineer Steven J. Sasson . It was not suitable for the masses - the model cost 25,000 DM.


In the digital photo sector, Kodak was one of the pioneers with the Kodak Photo CD (1992) and later with the Kodak Picture Disc . Regardless, the company suffered severely from the sharp decline in sales of its analog films. In Germany, all of the company's large laboratories were sold in 2004 (sometimes followed by bankruptcy soon), and staff were cut worldwide.

In early 2004, Kodak announced the end of sales of Advanced Photo Systems (APS) cameras . They want to concentrate more on the market for digital photo devices. APS, only introduced by Kodak, Fujifilm, and some camera manufacturers in 1996 , was ultimately a failure. Also in 2004 the range of films was reduced and the further development of the film material stopped.

In late 2005, Kodak stopped manufacturing black and white photo paper . The increasing spread of digital cameras was cited as the reason for the - actually historical - decision . By 2008, Kodak had cut 12,000 to 15,000 of the 60,000 jobs at the time. Contrary to previous announcements, Kodak introduced new films again in 2007.

In March 2009, Kodak signed a licensing agreement with Sakar International under which Sakar would market cameras, photo and computer accessories under the Kodak brand. In 2009, after 74 years, the production of the world's first color slide film Kodak Kodachrome, which had been commercially successful for decades, was discontinued.

In the process of digitizing photography through 2010, Kodak had undergone several restructurings, sales of divisions and strategic realignments. The number of employees has fallen dramatically. Kodak has u. a. focused on the professional photofinishing and printing sector.

Bankruptcy filing

As of December 7, 2011, Kodak stock has been under one dollar. This threatened Kodak with exclusion from the NYSE , since the NYSE does not tolerate penny stocks, and with it the loss of further investors. Kodak rejected bankruptcy rumors as speculation, but filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy on January 19, 2012 . On September 3, 2013, it was released from bankruptcy protection proceedings.

In 2012, Kodak stopped producing digital cameras, video cameras, and digital picture frames. The company wants to focus on the printer business. In 2012 the production of slide films was also discontinued; the online platform Kodak Gallery was sold to the competitor Shutterfly.

In 2012, it was announced that Kodak operated a neutron source for materials testing and neutron radiography in a basement of its Rochester headquarters between 1974 and 2006 . The facility contained 1.6 kilograms of highly enriched uranium.

At the beginning of October 2012, the production of the high-speed black and white film Kodak P3200 T-Max was discontinued.

New beginning

On September 3, 2013, Kodak sold its photo film production and thus gave up the former core business. The new company Kodak Alaris was born. In October 2013, the company ran its European headquarters in Eysins (CH) as well as the inkjet demo facilities, which were previously located in Gland (CH), and the “Technology and Solutions Center” for Europe, Africa and, previously located in La Hulpe , Belgium the Middle East in one location.

Past and present products

At the end of 2016, the Kodak Ektra smartphone was presented, developed by the Bullitt Group and reminiscent of the Kodak Ektra from 1941.

See also


  • Carl William Ackerman: George Eastman: founder of Kodak and the photography business , Beard Books, Washington, DC, 2000.
  • Philippe Binant: Au coeur de la projection numérique , Actions, 29 , 12-13, Kodak, Paris, 2007.
  • Paul Read: A Short History of Cinema Film Post-Production (1896–2006) (in English). In: Joachim Polzer (Hrsg.): On the history of the film copy work (= world wonder of cinematography, volume 8). Polzer, Potsdam 2006, ISBN 3-934535-26-7 (with detailed consideration of the triumphant advance of Eastmancolor since the 1950s).
  • Joachim Polzer (Ed.): The rise and fall of the sound film (= world wonder of cinematography, volume 6). Polzer, Potsdam 2002, ISBN 3-934535-20-8 (with a detailed contribution by Gert Koshofer on the history of Eastmancolor and Technicolor ).

Web links

Commons : Kodak  album of pictures, videos and audio files

Individual evidence

  1. ^ Executive Profile - Jim Continenza. In: www.kodak.com. Retrieved February 6, 2020 .
  2. ^ A b Eastman Kodak Company 2019 Annual Report on Form 10-K and Notice of 2020 Annual Meeting and Proxy Statement. (PDF; 3.8 MB) March 17, 2020, accessed on July 6, 2020 (English).
  3. ^ Dpa text in Alb-Bote: Kodak with its own cryptocurrency. , January 11, 2018.
  4. ^ DFC to Sign Letter of Interest for Investment in Kodak's Expansion Into Pharmaceuticals. Retrieved August 2, 2020 .
  5. ^ Stoess, Carl Wilhelm Heinrich , German Biography, accessed July 2020
  6. Reading sample: Chemistry in Berlin. History, traces, personalities ( Memento of the original from April 14, 2014 in the Internet Archive ) Info: The archive link was inserted automatically and has not yet been checked. Please check the original and archive link according to the instructions and then remove this notice. 2012, ISBN 978-3-86368-060-2 @1@ 2Template: Webachiv / IABot / www.berlinstory-verlag.de
  7. ^ The Electro-Optic Camera - The world's first DSLR. Made by Eastman Kodak Company in 1987. In: jemcgarvey.com. March 15, 2012, accessed March 15, 2012 .
  8. Christoph Schlautmann: Kodak is threatened with extinction. Handelsblatt , January 5, 2012, accessed on January 10, 2012 .
  9. Sakar International, Inc press release, March 3, 2009
  10. Kodak Will Retire Kodachrome, Its Oldest Color Film Stock (Associated Press / New York Times, June 22, 2009)
  11. Kodak prepares for bankruptcy. Spiegel Online , January 5, 2012, accessed January 10, 2012 .
  12. Kodak files for bankruptcy. Reuters , January 19, 2012, accessed January 19, 2012 .
  13. Kodak files for bankruptcy. FAZ , January 19, 2012, accessed on January 19, 2012 .
  14. Kodak leaves bankruptcy protection. WSJ.de , September 3, 2013, accessed September 4, 2013 .
  15. Archived copy ( Memento of the original dated December 3, 2013 in the Internet Archive ) Info: The archive link was inserted automatically and has not yet been checked. Please check the original and archive link according to the instructions and then remove this notice. @1@ 2Template: Webachiv / IABot / www.kodak.de
  16. http://www.wallstreetjournal.de/article/SB10001424052970203824904577213813232468818.html
  17. http://www.n-tv.de/wirtschaft/Kodak-versucht-es-wieder-analog-article5457701.html
  18. http://www.stern.de/digital/homeentertainment/kodak-produziert-keine-kameras-mehr-1784885.html
  19. http://de.nachrichten.yahoo.com/kodak-steller-keine-kameras-mehr-her-155741001.html
  20. http://www.abendblatt.de/wirtschaft/article2204437/Kodak-stell-nun-auch-die-Produktion-von-Diafilmen-ein.html
  21. http://www.lr-online.de/wirtschaft/wirtschaft-lr/Kodak-stell-Diafilm-ein-und-verkauf-Plattform;art1067,3706771
  22. http://futurezone.at/b2b/7783-kodak- stellen- diafilm- ein- und- verkauf- portal.php  ( page no longer available , search in web archivesInfo: The link was automatically marked as defective. Please check the link according to the instructions and then remove this notice.@1@ 2Template: Toter Link / futurezone.at  
  23. http://www.handelszeitung.ch/unternehmen/kodak-steig-aus-diafilm-und-online-fotogeschaeft-aus
  24. Archived copy ( Memento of the original from August 18, 2012 in the Internet Archive ) Info: The archive link was inserted automatically and has not yet been checked. Please check the original and archive link according to the instructions and then remove this notice. @1@ 2Template: Webachiv / IABot / www.shutterfly.com
  25. Kodak: Secret nuclear reactor in the basement. May 14, 2012, accessed May 16, 2013 .
  26. Did you know? Kodak Park had a nuclear reactor. (No longer available online.) May 11, 2012, formerly in the original ; accessed on May 16, 2013 .  ( Page no longer available , search in web archivesInfo: The link was automatically marked as defective. Please check the link according to the instructions and then remove this notice.@1@ 2Template: Dead Link / www.democratandchronicle.com  
  27. Setting the Kodak P3200 T-Max. Retrieved March 14, 2013 .
  28. ^ Eastman Kodak Company: UK Kodak Pension Plan Completes Acquisition of Eastman Kodak Company's Personalized Imaging and Document Imaging businesses. (No longer available online.) September 3, 2013, archived from the original on December 13, 2013 ; Retrieved December 9, 2013 . Info: The archive link was inserted automatically and has not yet been checked. Please check the original and archive link according to the instructions and then remove this notice. @1@ 2Template: Webachiv / IABot / graphics.kodak.com
  29. Video of the opening of the new European headquarters. Retrieved October 25, 2013 .
  30. Prosper digital printing solution. Kodak, accessed January 7, 2012 .
  31. VERSAMARK printing and impression systems. Kodak, accessed January 7, 2012 .
  32. The most innovative printing technologies, compiled by the printing industry portal print.de