Kodak slides

BBC: Kodak files for bankruptcy protection
Eastman Kodak, the company that invented the hand-held camera, has filed for bankruptcy protection.

A classic Kodachrome slideSad day. How are the mighty fallen, and all that. I know Kodak is a major multinational company, but I have a very soft spot for it. Never forget that it was Kodak who brought photography to the masses: You press the button, we do the rest—the company's motto said it all.

I have an awful lot of treasured memories saved for posterity, thanks to Kodak. I'm sure you do to. Their Kodachrome slide film, which was discontinued in 2009, was promoted as much for its archival quality as for its image quality. It wasn't hype: when I look through my old slides, decades after I took them, the Kodachrome shots, which form the vast majority, are as good as the day I got them back through the post (yes, kids, we used to have to send our photos away to be ‘developed’); many of my slides taken on rival brands' film are now faded, or have distorted colours. Kodak knew what they were doing, when it came to film.

But, apart from registering a few important patents, Kodak totally blew it when it came to digital: they didn't see the rampaging elephant approaching over the hill until it was too late. I hate it when business people use Darwinian analogies, but, in this case, it seems unavoidable: Kodak failed to adapt to a changing ecosystem, and died.

For nostalgia's sake, I hope the Kodak brand somehow lives on—albeit in greatly diminished form.

Richard Carter

A fat, bearded chap with a Charles Darwin fixation.


  1. Do you think it likely to affect Kodak Easyshare?
    All of my treasured photos are stored there.
    Better start making back-up copies to disc!

  2. I would, if I were you. I would always have my own backups... If Flickr were ever to go to the wall, I would have a huge mess to sort out with old Gruts posts, but I do at least have all my original photos safely backed up.

  3. My father worked for Ilford films on their rival to the Kodak colour process. It was technically an excellent product, apparently but appears to have been let down by some appalling management.

    He used to bring some of the development film home at weekends to shoot as a test. This apparently explains why many of my childhood photos feature me with a purple face or green hair.

    Not unlike an Oopma Lumpa in fact (hint).

  4. We have looked and looked for the Oompa Lumpa photo, without success. Believe me, I am as keen to see it as you are. It is definitely around somewhere.

Leave a comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *