Kodak’s Moment

Kodak Highball Tumblers (LEO Design)

On this day in 1888, George Eastman registered the brand name “Kodak” and, soon after, introduced the Kodak Camera.  Holding enough film for about 100 photos (each 2.5″ round), the Kodak Camera is largely responsible for popularizing the hobby of amateur photography.  The name, “Kodak,” was created by Eastman and his mother, using letter tiles.  Eastman wanted his company name to posses three qualities: it must be short, easy to pronounce, and be unlike any other existing corporate name.  Furthermore, “K” was Eastman’s favorite letter (“it seems a strong, incisive sort of letter,” he said).  For nearly 100 years, Kodak held a monopoly on the American camera film market. The term “Kodak Moment” was a well-known, oft-used phrase by the 1980’s, at which point Fuji Film established a competitive toe hold in the American film market. Alas, competition from Fuji was only the first of Kodak’s problems; more critical was the age of digital photography, soon to come.

Shown above, a set of six glass tumblers from the 1960’s or 1970’s bearing Kodak’s famous name and colors.




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