Thursday, June 04, 2020


"The year after I graduated from high school, Kodak commanded 90% of film sales and 85% of camera sales in the United States. When I was in Photo School, it had 145,000 employees worldwide and was described as "the bluest of the blue chips," blue chip being a term for a dependable investment.
Kodak's peak year was 1996, believe it or not.

Kodak, according to Wikipedia, doesn't even have six thousand employees worldwide anymore. And their film business, such as it is these days, is actually a separate British company called "Kodak Alaris", created when the rapid collapse of the film titan and resulting bankruptcy triggered a multibillion dollar claim from the UK Kodak Pension Plan.

Kodak was even at the forefront of digital imaging*, but managed to fumble an early lead because nobody envisioned just how quickly the film market would collapse. Digital was definitely second fiddle to the film cash cow in Rochester, right up until said cash cow abruptly died.

*Remember the clunky lungfish that was the Apple QuickTake 100 back in '94, with its pixellated 640x480 images? That was made by Kodak.