Eastman Kodak Company History

343 State Street
Rochester, New York 14650

Telephone: (716) 724-4000
Fax: (716) 724-1089

Public Company
Incorporated: 1901
Employees: 80,650
Sales: $14.09 billion (1999)
Stock Exchanges: New York Pacific Boston Cincinnati Detroit Midwest Philadelphia
Ticker Symbol: EK
NAIC: 325992 Photographic Film, Paper, Plate, and Chemical Manufacturing; 333315 Photographic and Photocopying Equipment Manufacturing; 325411 Medicinal and Botanical Manufacturing; 325414 Biological Product (Except Diagnostic) Manufacturing; 334119 Other Computer Peripheral Equipment Manufacturing; 334510 Electromedical and Electrotherapeutic Apparatus Manufacturing; 511210 Software Publishers

Company Perspectives:

On February 2, 2000, exactly 100 years from the day George Eastman introduced the Brownie camera, a group of Kodak researchers, inventors and business strategists met at the company's Rochester headquarters to speculate on what the next 100 years might bring to their industry. All agreed that the true power of imaging has barely been tapped--and that the advances of this century will vindicate Eastman's dream of making communicating with pictures as easy as 'using a pencil.' Key Dates:

Key Dates:

George Eastman begins manufacturing dry plates for sale to photographers.
Eastman and Henry A. Strong form partnership, Eastman Dry Plate Company.
Company is reorganized as a corporation under the name Eastman Dry Plate and Film Company.
Snapshot photography is born through the introduction of the Kodak portable camera.
Name changes to Eastman Company.
Name changes to Eastman Kodak Company of New York.
The Folding Pocket Kodak Camera is introduced.
The Brownie camera makes its debut.
Company is reorganized and incorporated in New Jersey as Eastman Kodak Company.
One of the first U.S. industrial research centers is set up in Rochester, New York.
Tennessee Eastman Company, forerunner of Eastman Chemical, is created.
Company introduces motion picture camera, film, and projector for the consumer market.
George Eastman commits suicide at the age of 77.
Kodachrome film, the first commercially successful color film for amateurs, debuts.
Low-priced Brownie eight-millimeter movie camera is introduced.
Eastman Chemical Products, Inc. is created as a new subsidiary.
Highly successful line of Kodak Carousel slide projectors is introduced.
The revolutionary Instamatic camera makes its debut.
Company introduces the super-eight format Instamatic movie camera.
The pocket Instamatic camera is launched.
Company enters the copier market with the debut of the Kodak Ektaprint 100 Copier-Duplicator.
Kodak enters the market for instant cameras; Polaroid files patent-infringement suit against Kodak.
Company expands its health imaging operations with the launch of the Ektachem 400 blood analyzer.
Company launches 'disc photography,' an ultimately unsuccessful innovation.
Lines of videotapes and floppy discs are introduced.
Floppy disc maker Verbatim Corporation is acquired.
A federal appeals court orders Kodak's exit from the instant camera market; a line of alkaline batteries under the Supralife brand is launched; Eastman Pharmaceuticals Division is established.
Sterling Drug Inc., maker of prescription and OTC drugs, is acquired.
Verbatim is sold to Mitsubishi Kasei Corporation.
Polaroid's suit against Kodak is settled, with the latter paying the former $925 million.
The Kodak Photo CD player hits the market.
George Fisher becomes the first outsider to head the company; Eastman Chemical is spun off to shareholders.
The company's pharmaceutical arm, Sterling Winthrop, its diagnostics products division, and several other nonimaging units are divested.
The WTO rules against Kodak in its dispute with Fuji Photo Film over access to the Japanese market; major restructuring is initiated.
Kodak Picture Maker debuts; company acquires the DryView laser imaging system from Imation.
The office imaging unit is sold.

Company History:

Further Reading:

  • Astor, Will, 'Huge Pioneer-Kodak Project Marks Progress,' Rochester Business Journal, September 25, 1992.
  • Bounds, Wendy, 'George Fisher Pushes Kodak into Digital Era,' Wall Street Journal, June 9, 1995, p. B1.
  • Brayer, Elizabeth, George Eastman: A Biography, Baltimore: Johns Hopkins University Press, 1996.
  • Buell, Barbara, and Rebecca Aikman, 'Kodak Is Trying to Break Out of Its Shell,' Business Week, June 10, 1985, pp. 92+.
  • Burgess, John, 'Firms Plan Multimedia Consortium,' Washington Post, October 1, 1992.
  • Chakravarty, Subrata N., 'How an Outsider's Vision Saved Kodak,' Forbes, January 13, 1997, pp. 45--47.
  • Chakravarty, Subrata N., and Ruth Simon, 'Has the World Passed Kodak By?,' Forbes, November 5, 1984.
  • Collins, Douglas, The Story of Kodak, New York: Abrams, 1990.
  • Desmond, Edward W., 'What's Ailing Kodak? Fuji,' Fortune, October 27, 1997, pp. 185+.
  • Deutsch, Claudia H., 'More Paths to Profits: Kodak Hopes Demand for Digital Images Will Sell Film,' New York Times, December 2, 1996, p. D1.
  • Dvorak, John C., 'Razors with No Blades,' Forbes, October 18, 1999, p. 168.
  • Grant, Linda, 'Can Fisher Focus Kodak?,' Fortune, January 13, 1997, pp. 76+.
  • ------, 'A New Picture at Kodak,' U.S. News and World Report, September 19, 1994, pp. 58--60.
  • ------, 'Why Kodak Still Isn't Fixed,' Fortune, May 11, 1998, pp. 179--81.
  • Hammonds, Keith H., 'Kodak May Wish It Never Went to the Drugstore,' Business Week, December 4, 1989, pp. 72+.
  • Helm, Leslie, 'Has Kodak Set Itself Up for a Fall?,' Business Week, February 22, 1988, pp. 134+.
  • ------, 'Why Kodak Is Starting to Click Again,' Business Week, February 23, 1987, pp. 134+.
  • Johnson, Greg, 'Kodak Device Places Images of Film on Disc,' Los Angeles Times, July 31, 1992.
    Journey into Imagination: The Kodak Story, Rochester, N.Y.: Eastman Kodak Company, 1988.
  • Klein, Alec, 'Kodak Expects Digital Imaging to Be 45% of Revenue by 2005,' Wall Street Journal, June 15, 2000, p. B14.
  • ------, 'Kodak Losing U.S. Market Share to Fuji,' Wall Street Journal, May 28, 1999, p. A3.
  • ------, 'Shutter Snaps on Fisher's Leadership at Kodak,' Wall Street Journal, June 10, 1999, p. B1.
  • 'Kodak Fights Back: Everybody Wants a Piece of Its Markets,' Business Week, February 1, 1982, pp. 48+.
  • Leib, Jeffrey, 'Kodak Colorado Peddles Injection-Molding Expertise,' Denver Post, March 6, 1992.
  • Maremont, Mark, 'Kodak's New Focus: An Inside Look at George Fisher's Strategy,' Business Week, January 30, 1995, pp. 62--68.
  • Maremont, Mark, and Elizabeth Lesly, 'Getting the Picture: Kodak Finally Heeds the Shareholders,' Business Week, February 1, 1993, pp. 24--26.
  • ------, 'The Revolution That Wasn't at Eastman Kodak,' Business Week, May 10, 1993, pp. 24--25.
  • Maremont, Mark, and Gary McWilliams, 'Kodak: Shoot the Works,' Business Week, November 15, 1993, pp. 30--32.
  • McGinn, Daniel, 'A Star Image Blurs,' Newsweek, April 6, 1998, pp. 36--38.
  • Moore, Thomas, and Lee Smith, 'Embattled Kodak Enters the Electronic Age,' Fortune, August 22, 1983, pp. 120+.
  • Nulty, Peter, 'Digital Imaging Had Better Boom Before Kodak Film Busts,' Fortune, May 1, 1995, pp. 80--83.
  • ------, 'Kodak Grabs for Growth Again,' Fortune, May 16, 1994, pp. 76--78.
  • Perdue, Wes, 'Eastman Kodak and BioScan Inc. Form Alliance,' Business Wire, August 10, 1992.
  • Santoli, Michael, 'Kodak's New Colors,' Barron's, August 24, 1998, pp. 25--26, 28--29.
  • Smith, Emily T., 'Picture This: Kodak Wants to Be a Biotech Giant, Too,' Business Week, May 26, 1986, pp. 88+.
  • Smith, Geoffrey, 'Film Vs. Digital: Can Kodak Build a Bridge?,' Business Week, August 2, 1999, p. 66.
  • Smith, Geoffrey, et al., 'Can George Fisher Fix Kodak?,' Business Week, October 20, 1997, pp. 116--20, 124, 128.
  • Smith, Geoffrey, Brad Wolverton, and Ann Therese Palmer, 'A Dark Kodak Moment,' Business Week, August 4, 1997, pp. 30--31.
  • Swasy, Alecia, Changing Focus: Kodak and the Battle to Save a Great American Company, New York: Times Business, 1997.
  • Taylor, Alex, III, 'Kodak Scrambles to Refocus,' Fortune, March 3, 1986, pp. 113+.
  • Treece, James B., Barbara Buell, and Jane Sasseen, 'How Kodak Is Trying to Move Mount Fuji,' Business Week, December 2, 1985, pp. 62+.
  • Webb, Chanoine, 'The Picture Just Keeps Getting Darker at Kodak,' Fortune, June 21, 1999, p. 206.
  • Weber, Jonathan, 'Top High-Tech Firms Team Up on `Multimedia,' Los Angeles Times, October 7, 1992.

Source: International Directory of Company Histories, Vol. 36. St. James Press, 2001.