Goodbye, Kodachrome

Red BoxFrom the Luminous Landscape site:

[…] George Eastman stumbled onto one of the most durable of industrial products, one that remained viable and modern for 100 years, always improving, and in the process working its way into every corner of modern society.Toward the end, when the company closed down coating lines and destroyed large buildings to get them off the tax rolls, employees and retirees would come to witness the demolition. When the destruction ended, some could be seen openly weeping, as if part of their souls had been taken down. They remembered when the company was strong and good to them.

On some level, an unconscious level for sure, the name Kodak, and the company’s products, are attached to our history, both large and small, from images of space to the snapshots of a newborn baby. Kodak was there for all these events, and this accounts for the odd feeling of grief we feel over its bankruptcy.

I think it must be a rare thing to have such feelings for a business enterprise. But great enterprises, like great people, eventually meet their end, and life goes on, for better or worse, without them. Still, it does seem a great loss.

© 2012 by Michael Chiusano; February, 2012. Michael Chiusano is a retired advertising photographer who took his own studio through a film-to-digital transition. He now works on personal shooting projects, teaches classes about photography history, and hangs out with his two grown children. michael.chiusano@comcast.net www.chiusanodigital.com

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Photo: New York City, photo by John Tranter on Kodak 120 Film.