Kodak Bankrupt? Unbelieveable!

My heart sank when I heard the news. Not because I am a relative of George Eastman, founder, or have any ties with Kodak, but what I read seemed to me to be the death of an American Icon. After one hundred and thirty one years of business, Kodak was claiming Chapter 11. They say that Chapter 11 gives a company the chance to reorganize. In the camera industry, Kodak has always been a giant in my eyes.  This was the enterprise that invented roll film, no matter that it only produced black and white photos.

My love affair with Kodak began with the Brownie 127 that my dad kept tucked away

Here's an old Kodak Brownie camera, like the one our family had.

from us kids. (Today toddlers have digital cameras they’ve already learned to operate.) It was just a box camera with a simple lens and a small shutter, and  millions were sold. It was easy to operate and inexpensive, costing only $1.00 and with the Brownie came Kodak’s promise that “You push the button, we’ll do the rest.”

I think that all of the photos taken when I, my two brothers and sister were kids was taken by the Kodak Brownie. I don’t recall the camera being brought out for many  occasions, hardly when a new baby was born, but maybe at Easter time when we were dressed with new Spring outfits and ready for church. One photo, on the front porch steps shows me, my brothers, and baby sister, held by my mother. From the looks of the outfits it must have been Easter! Dad was out front of the gang with his head looking into the Brownie camera. Another photo, undoubtedly taken with a Brownie, was of myself standing by the front steps (I don’t know what it was about steps) of my grandparents’ cottage at Harvey’s Lake. They had bought me a bathing suit, and there I stand dressed in it and a bathing cap, those ugly things everyone wore then. Something

Yes, that's me, posing for a "Brownie" snapshot!

else completed the outfit, an inflatable tube around my waist so I wouldn’t drown. Now Kodak is drowning!

When our own family was young, we enjoyed a variety of cameras, and sorry to say they were not always Kodak. I remember a used, German make, one that had a fast shutter. With this one, my husband tried taking photos of trains in motion. Our next choice was the amazing Polaroid camera, with it we immediately saw what we took and had no need to make a trip to the drug store and wait for developing. First the Polaroid film was black and white and although people thought it couldn’t be done, a man by the name of Edwin H. Land  invented color film which could be developed right inside the camera. We still have a few Polaroid photos that have not faded. Then we made the switch to color slide cameras, and stayed with them for many years. We used one of these to document a vacation only to find when the back of the camera was opened the film had not moved from one side to the other. That meant no pictures! Projecting slides up on the wall for a room full of viewers to watch was great. However, we now have hundreds of  slides we wish were converted to digital. Many cameras have ‘bit the dust’ at our house, and many are collecting dust on shelves. Our favorite now is not a Kodak, but a Cannon digital, single lens reflex. Maybe our choice of cameras today is one reason why Kodak is having difficulty making ends meet. Surely nothing will ever outshine the capabilities of this camera. Only time will tell.

In an increasingly digital world, what will become of Kodak? It has struggled to remain relevant and has aspired to be a digital printing specialist. There appears to be ongoing patent wars as Kodak tries to sell its digital imaging patents, used in Smart Phones. One of its greatest opponents is Apple.

Competition makes the world go-round and helps keep prices down but it also makes it hard for some businesses to survive. As for me, I hope Kodak does.

9 thoughts on “Kodak Bankrupt? Unbelieveable!

  1. Everything changes, even Kodak!! Nothing is forever, only our salvation, we must learn to enjoy the moment and know that moment can change in a moment! We are sorry for Kodak, ma
    ybe they will survive chapter 11.

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  2. Hello Shirley, I enjoyed your blog about cameras. With today’s new digital cameras, taking great pictures is something that nearly anyone can do. I still have a cupboard filled with three Canon AE-1 film cameras and all of the lenses and flashes for these cameras, but I also have three digital cameras, as well. I even purchased a digital Canon SLR camera that can use my old Canon AE1 lenses, by adding an adapter; and this works very well! I took several traditional photography classes while in college. My advanced photography class was the last class at the college that got to use a traditional darkroom with chemicals and print paper. Now all of the college photography classes are centered around the use of digital equipment. Digital photography is more economical as it cuts out film developing and the waste of printing bad photographs. People do not have to purchase rolls of film either. It is also more eco-friendly, as there are no chemicals used in the development of printed pictures. It is also more cost effective for businesses and for the consumer. The digital photography revolution has not only affected companies such as kodak, but it is has also taken away business from professional photographers, as well. Many people are now opting to take their own photographs , rather than going to a professional photographer. I have a friend who has a studio and is a professional photographer; and her business is hurting.Yes, Kodak and Polaroid have been around for a long long time. I would like to see Kodak cameras remain in the stores, too. It seems that many different companies have joined the digital photography revolution. More choices and more options are always good for the consumer. I don’t have one, but I know of several people who have Kodak easy share cameras; and they like the pictures that they take with them. Photography has certainly gone through many changes over the years. The quality of a finished picture has improved, and so has the easy of taking a good photograph.God has certainly given us many beautiful and interesting things to photograph. Kodak is like “an old friend”. They opened the doors to photography, and it would be nice to see them around for years to come.

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  3. hi shirley.. i remember that camera and having our pictures taken with it..i have a copy of the easter picture you talked about..but i love the one of you in your bathing suit at the cottage..i used to love to go their..sorry to hear about kodak..i not helping any.. i usally buy the disposal ones..i guess i should support kodak more..love you ada mae

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  4. Looking at pictures from the past, taken with a brownie, kind of made you wonder. Did I really look that bad, or was it some little creature inside the square box that switched beauty into something bordering on ugly? I can still see my mom with the camera, asking me to pose.

    I’m so thankful that when God looks into my heart, He no longer sees the sinful “ugly”, but a beautiful “blood bought, whiter than snow” creation of His own.

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  5. Jeff and I were just talking about this! It is sweet to see a picture of you!! I love looking at photos, I think that is why I love taking them. Memories are revived in ones mind that may otherwise be forgotten. My memory is not good so I have taken many photo over the past 10 years. Now I like taking them for others, simple joys!!

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