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  • Envelope of Velox special velvet developing paper, single weight, semigloss surface for use with average negatives. c. 1920. Manufactured by Eastman Kodak Company and Nepera Chemical Company in Rochester, N.Y. 12 sheets, 2 1/2 x 4 1/4" (6.4 x 10.8 cm). Collection Alison Rossiter

    Rochester, New York, is best known as the home and headquarters of Eastman Kodak, the photographic chemistry, paper, and plate/film giant founded in 1878 by George Eastman and Henry Strong. Early on, Eastman set himself up in Rochester to sensitize dry plates on a commercial scale, using a Coating mechanism of his own invention. After 1882 the company was devoted to photographic paper, and in the years that followed it expanded into all areas of the photographic industry. By 1930 it was operating twelve manufacturing plants worldwide, in countries including the United States, Australia, Canada, England, France, Germany, and Hungary, and it owned or controlled companies operating 244 establishments in 170 cities in 52 countries. In addition to its dominant position in the United States, Eastman Kodak was reported to be the largest photographic company in Great Britain, France, Australia, Canada, and several South American countries. Such global spread and depth during the economically challenging years of the 1930s were not only distinctive in the photographic industry but extraordinary for any industry at this time. Rochester was also the base of operations for several other important early twentieth-century photography companies, including Haloid (which became Xerox) and Defender Photo Supply, both of which were eventually subsumed by Eastman Kodak. Kodak stopped producing gelatin silver paper in 2005.

    —Lee Ann Daffner


  • 1885–2013
    Eastman Kodak Company

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