Eastman Kodak Company, commonly known as Kodak, is an American technology company that concentrates on imaging products, with its historic basis on photography.
George Eastman, the founder of Kodak has changed the landscape of photography.
Guess what, the filter that we have been using to edit our pictures nowadays, the very first idea was invented by Kodak very own inventor - Bryce Bayer in 1976.
It was founded by George Eastman in 1888.
During most of the 20th century Kodak held a dominant position in photographic film.
Kodak began to struggle financially in the late 1990s as a result of the decline in sales of photographic film and its slowness in transitioning to digital photography, despite having invented the core technology used in current digital cameras.
In August 2012, Kodak announced the intention to sell its photographic film (excluding motion picture film), commercial scanners and kiosk operations as a measure to emerge from bankruptcy.
In January 2013, the Court approved financing for Kodak to emerge from bankruptcy by mid 2013.Kodak sold most of its patents for approximately $525,000,000 to a group of companies (including Apple, Google, Facebook, Amazon, Microsoft,Samsung, Adobe Systems and HTC) under the name Intellectual Ventures and RPX Corporation.
- April 1880: George Eastman leased the third floor of a building on State Street in Rochester and began the commercial manufacture of dry plates.
- January 1, 1881: Eastman and businessman Henry A. Strong formed a partnership called the Eastman Dry Plate Company. Eastman resigned his position at the Rochester Savings Bank in order to work full-time at the Eastman Dry Plate Company.
- 1884: The Eastman-Strong partnership was dissolved and the Eastman Dry Plate and Film Company formed with 14 shareowners. The Eastman Dry Plate Company was responsible for the first cameras suitable for non expert use.
- 1885: George Eastman invented roll film, the basis for the invention of motion picture film, as used by early filmmakers and Thomas Edison.
- September 4, 1888: Eastman registered the trademark Kodak.
- 1888: The first model of the Kodak camera appeared. It took round pictures 6.4 cm (2.5 in) in diameter, was of the fixed focus type, and carried a roll of film enough for 100 exposures. Its invention practically marked the advent of amateur photography, as before that time both apparatus and processes were too burdensome to classify photography as recreation. The roll film used in the first model of the Kodak camera had a paper base but was soon superseded by a film with a cellulose base, a practical transparent flexible film. The first films had to be loaded into the camera and unloaded in the dark room, but the film cartridge system with its protecting strip of opaque paper made it possible to load and unload the camera in ordinary light. The Kodak Developing Machine (1900) and its simplified successor, the Kodak Film Tank, provided the means for daylight development of film, making the dark room unnecessary for any of the operations of amateur photography. The earlier types of the Kodak cameras were of the box form and of fixed focus, and as various sizes were added, devices for focusing the lenses were incorporated.
- 1889: The Eastman Company was formed.
- 1891: George Eastman began to produce a second line of cameras, the Ordinary range.
- 1892: It was renamed the Eastman Kodak Company in 1892. Eastman Kodak Company of New York was organized. He coined the advertising slogan, "You Press the Button, We Do the Rest." The Kodak company thereby attained its name from the first simple roll film cameras produced by Eastman Dry Plate Company, known as the "Kodak" in its product line.
- Early 1890s: The first folding Kodak cameras were introduced. These were equipped with folding bellows that permitted much greater compactness.
- 1895: The first pocket Kodak camera, the $5 Pocket Kodak, was introduced. It was of the box form type, slipping easily into an ordinary coat pocket, and producing negatives 1½ x 2 inches.
- 1897: The first folding pocket Kodak camera was introduced, and was mentioned in the novel Dracula, published the same year.
- 1899: George Eastman purchased the patent for Velox photographic paper from Leo Baekeland for $1,000,000. After this time, Velox paper was then sold by Eastman Kodak.
A Brownie No 2. camera
- 1900: The Brownie camera was introduced, creating a new mass market for photography.
- 1901: The present company, Eastman Kodak Company of New Jersey, was formed under the laws of that state. Eventually, the business in Jamestown was moved in its entirety to Rochester, and the plants in Jamestown were demolished.
- By 1920: An “Autographic Feature” provided a means for recording data on the margin of the negative at the time of exposure. This feature was supplied on all Kodak cameras with the exception of a box camera designed for making panoramic pictures and was discontinued in 1932.
- 1920: Tennessee Eastman was founded as a wholly owned subsidiary. The company's primary purpose was the manufacture of chemicals, such as acetyls, needed for Kodak's film photography products.
- 1930: Eastman Kodak Company was added to the Dow Jones Industrial Average index on July 18, 1930. The company remained listed as one of the DJIA companies for the next 74 years, ending in 2004.
Kodak Camera Center, Tennessee, ca. 1930-1945
- 1932: George Eastman dies at age 77, taking his own life with a gun shot.
- 1935: Kodak introduced Kodachrome, a color reversal stock for movie and slide film.
- 1936: Kodak branches out into manufacture of hand-grenades.
- 1940-1944: Eastman Kodak ranked 62nd among United States corporations in the value of World War II military production contracts.
- 1949-1956: Kodak Introduces the Retina Series 35mm Camera
- 1959: Kodak introduced the Starmatic camera, the first automatic Brownie camera, which sold 10 million units over the next five years.
- 1963: Kodak introduced the Instamatic camera, an inexpensive, easy-to-load, point-and-shoot camera.
- 1970: Kodak scientists disclose the continuous wave tunable dye laser. This becomes a product for several high-tech companies but not at Kodak.
- 1975: Steven Sasson, then an electrical engineer at Kodak, invented a digital camera.
- 1976: The Bayer Pattern color filter array (CFA) was invented by Eastman Kodak researcher Bryce Bayer. The order in which dyes are placed on an image sensor photosite is still in use today. The basic technology is still the most commonly used of its kind to date.
- 1976: Kodak introduced the first Kodamatic, instant picture cameras, using a similar film and technology to that of the Polaroid company.
- 1976: The company sold 90% of the photographic film in the US along with 85% of the cameras.
- New Kodak Moment: A $19M profit.
- 1981: Kodak was sued by Polaroid for infringement of its Instant Picture patents. The suit ran for five years, the court finally finding in favour of Polaroid in 1986.
- 1982: Kodak launched the Kodak Disc film format for consumer cameras. The format ultimately proved unpopular and was later discontinued.
- 1986: Kodak scientists created the world's first megapixel sensor, capable of recording 1.4 million pixels and producing a photo-quality 12.5 cm × 17.5 cm (4.9 in × 6.9 in) print.
- 1987: Dr. Ching W. Tang, a senior research associate, and his colleague, Steven Van Slyke, developed the first multi-layer OLEDs at the Kodak Research Laboratories, for which he later became a Fellow of the Society for Information Display (SID)
- 1988: Kodak buys Sterling Drug for $5.1 Billion
- 1988: Kodak scientists introduce the coumarin tetramethyl laser dyes also used in OLED devices. These become a successful product until the line of fine chemicals is sold.
- 1991: The Kodak Professional Digital Camera System or DCS, the first commercially available digital single-lens reflex (DSLR) camera. A customized camera back bearing the digital image sensor was mounted on a Nikon F3 body and released by Kodak in May; the company had previously shown the camera at photokina in 1990.
- 1993: Eastman Chemical, a Kodak subsidiary founded by George Eastman in 1920 to supply Kodak's chemical needs, was spun off as a separate corporation. Eastman Chemical became a Fortune 500 company in its own right.
- 1994: Apple Quicktake, a consumer digital camera was debuted by Apple Computer. It was manufactured by Kodak.
- 2003: Kodak introduced the Kodak EasyShare LS633 Digital Camera, the first camera to feature an AMOLED display, and the Kodak EasyShare Printer Dock 6000, the world's first printer-and-camera dock combination.
- November 2003: Kodak acquired the Israel-based company Algotec Systems, a developer of advanced picture archiving and communication systems (PACS), which enable radiology departments to digitally manage and store medical images and information.
- January 2004: Kodak announced that it would stop selling traditional film cameras in Europe and North America, and cut up to 15,000 jobs (around a fifth of its total workforce at the time).
- April 8, 2004: Kodak was delisted from the Dow Jones Industrial Average index, having been a constituent for 74 consecutive years.
- May 2004: Kodak signed an exclusive long-term agreement with Lexar Media, licensing the Kodak brand for use on digital memory cards designed, manufactured, sold, and distributed by Lexar.
- January 2005: The Kodak EasyShare-One Digital Camera, the world’s first Wi-Fi consumer digital camera capable of sending pictures by email, was unveiled at the 2005 CES.
- January 2005: Kodak acquired the Israel-based company OREX Computed Radiography, a provider of compact computed radiography systems that enable medical practitioners to acquire patient x-ray images digitally.
- January 2005: Kodak acquired the Burnaby, BC, Canada-based company Creo.
- January 2006: Kodak unveiled the Kodak EasyShare V570 Dual Lens Digital Camera, the world's first dual-lens digital still camera and smallest ultra-wide-angle optical zoom digital camera, at the CES. Using proprietary Kodak Retina Dual Lens technology, the V570 wrapped an ultra-wide angle lens (23 mm) and a second optical zoom lens (39 – 117 mm) into a body less than 2.5 cm (an inch) thick.
- April 2006: Kodak introduced the Kodak EasyShare V610 Dual Lens Digital Camera, at that time the world’s smallest 10× (38–380 mm) optical zoom camera at less than 2.5 cm (an inch) thick.
- August 1, 2006: Kodak agreed to divest its digital camera manufacturing operations to Flextronics, including assembly, production and testing. As part of the sale it was agreed that Flextronics would manufacture and distribute consumer digital cameras for Kodak, and conduct some design and development functions for it. Kodak kept high-level digital camera design in house, continued to conduct research and development in digital still cameras, and retained all intellectual property and patents. Approximately 550 Kodak personnel transferred to Flextronics.
- January 10, 2007: Kodak agreed to sell Kodak Health Group to Onex Corporation for $2.35 billion in cash, and up to $200 million in additional future payments if Onex achieved specified returns on the acquisition. The sale was completed May 1. Kodak used part of the proceeds to fully repay its approximately $1.15 billion of secured term debt. Around 8,100 employees transferred to Onex, and Kodak Health Group was renamed Carestream Health. Kodak Health Group had revenue of $2.54 billion for the 12 months to September 30, 2006.
- April 19, 2007: Kodak announced an agreement to sell its light management films business, which produced films designed to improve the brightness and efficiency of liquid crystal displays, to Rohm and Haas. The divested business comprised 125 workers. As part of the transaction Rohm and Haas agreed to license technology and purchase equipment from Kodak, and lease Building 318 at Kodak Park. The sale price was not disclosed.
- May 25, 2007: Kodak announced a cross-licensing agreement with Chi Mei Optoelectronics and its affiliate Chi Mei EL (CMEL), enabling CMEL to use Kodak technology for active matrix OLED modules in a variety of small to medium size display applications.
- June 14, 2007: Kodak announced a two to fourfold increase in sensitivity to light (from one to two stops) compared to current sensor designs. This design was a departure from the classic "Bayer filter" by adding panchromatic or “clear” pixels to the RGB elements on the sensor array. Since these pixels are sensitive to all wavelengths of visible light, they collect a significantly higher proportion of the light striking the sensor. In combination with advanced Kodak software algorithms optimized for these new patterns, photographers benefited from an increase in photographic speed (improving performance in low light), faster shutter speeds (reducing motion blur for moving subjects), and smaller pixels (higher resolutions in a given optical format) while retaining performance. The technology was credited to Kodak scientists John Compton and John Hamilton.
- September 4, 2007: Kodak announced a five-year extension of its partnership with Lexar Media.
- November 2008: Kodak released the Kodak Theatre HD Player, allowing photos and videos stored on a computer to be displayed on an HDTV. Kodak licensed technology from Hillcrest Labs for the interface and pointer, which allowed a user to control the player with gestures.
- January 2009: Kodak posted a $137 million fourth-quarter loss and announced plans to cut up to 4,500 jobs.
- June 22, 2009: Kodak announced that it would cease selling Kodachrome color film by the end of 2009, ending 74 years of production, after a dramatic decline in sales.
- December 4, 2009: Kodak sold its organic light-emitting diode (OLED) business unit to LG Electronics, resulting in the lay-off of 60 people.
- December 2010: Standard & Poor's removed Kodak from its S&P 500 index.
- September 2011: Kodak hired law firm Jones Day for restructuring advice and its stock dropped to an all-time low of $0.54 a share. During 2011, Kodak shares fell more than 80 percent.
- January 2012: Kodak received a warning from the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) notifying it that its average closing price was below $1.00 for 30 consecutive days and that over the next 6 months it must increase the closing share price to at least $1 on the last trading day of each calendar month and have an average closing price of at least $1 over the 30 trading-days prior or it would be delisted. From the $90 range in 1997, Kodak shares closed at 76 cents on January 3, 2012. On January 8, 2012, Kodak shares closed over 50% higher after the company announced a major restructuring into two main divisions, one focused on products and services for businesses, and the other on consumer products including digital cameras.
- January 19, 2012: Kodak filed for Chapter 11 Bankruptcy Protection. The company's stock was delisted from NYSE and moved to OTC exchange. Following the news it ended the day trading down 35% at $0.36 a share.
- February 7, 2012: The Image Sensor Solutions (ISS) division of Kodak was sold to Truesense Imaging Inc.
- February 9, 2012: Kodak announced that it would exit the digital image capture business, phasing out its production of digital cameras. Kodak sees home photo printers, high-speed commercial inkjet presses, workflow software and packaging as the core of its future business. Once the digital camera business is phased out, Kodak said its consumer business will focus on printing. It will seek a company to license its EasyShare digital camera brand.
- August 24, 2012: Kodak announced that it plans to sell its film, commercial scanner and kiosk divisions.
- September 10, 2012: Kodak announced plans to cut another 1,000 jobs by the end of 2012 and that it is examining further job cuts as it works to restructure its business in bankruptcy.
- September 28, 2012: Kodak announced that it is exiting the inkjet printer business.
- December 20, 2012 Kodak announced that it plans to sell its digital imaging patents for about $525 million to some of the world’s biggest technology companies, thus making a step to end bankruptcy.
- April 29, 2013 Kodak announced an agreement with the U.K. Kodak Pension Plan (KPP) to spin off Kodak’s Personalized Imaging and Document Imaging businesses and settle $2.8 Billion in KPP claims.
- September 3, 2013 Kodak announces that it has emerged from Chapter 11 Bankruptcy Protection as a company focused on serving commercial customers.
- October 17, 2013 Kodak brings European headquarter and the entire EAMER Technology Centre under one roof in Eysins, Switzerland. The relocation brings the company's European headquarters and Inkjet demo facilities, which were based in Gland, Switzerland, and the Kodak EAMER Technology and Solutions Centre, which was based in La Hulpe, Belgium, together.
- March 12, 2014 Kodak names Jeffrey J. Clarke as its new Chief Executive Officer.
- July 30, 2014 Kodak is negotiating with movie studios for an annual movie film order guarantee to preserve the last source of movie film manufacturing in the United States.
- In December 2014, Kodak announced to release its first Android smartphone which is made by Bullitt and will be displayed at CES 2015.