George Eastman & the first Kodak

By: Kayla Chambers


  • He was a high school dropout, judged "not especially gifted" when measured against the academic standards of the day.
  • He was the youngest of three children.
  • His parents were Maria Kilbourn & George Washington Eastman.
  • Tragedy struck when his father died, the college failed, & the family became financially distressed.
  • He was poor, & supported his widowed mother, & his two sisters.
  • One of his sisters were handicapped.
  • His first job was at the age of 14 as an messenger for an insurance firm, $3 a week.
  • A year later, his second job was as an office boy at another insurance firm where he was filing policies, & even wrote policies, $5 a week.
  • He studied accounting at home evenings & in 1874, after 5 years in the insurance firm, he became junior clerk at Rochester Savings Rank where his salary tripled to more than $15 a week.
  • Eastman died by his own hand (suicide) March 14, 1932 at the age of 77.
  • He was modest, unassuming inventor, a marketer, a global visionary, philanthropist & a champion of inclusion (state of being included).

The Amazing First Kodak Camera

What did the first Kodak Camera look like?

  • The Kodak camera was a small box camera
  • Dry
  • Transparent
  • Flexible
  • Had photographic film (or rolled photography film)
  • The Kodak camera could use new film

Why is the Kodak Camera Significant?

It is very significant in history of amateur photography was the introduction of the #1 Kodak camera in 1888. Invented & marketed by George Eastman (1854~1932), a former bank clerk from Rochester, New York, the Kodak was a simple box camera that came loaded with a 100~exposure roll of film. It was the first "box" camera to become widely adopted by the public & the design became the archetype for box cameras.
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