History of the Kodak Camera

The name Kodak camera originally came from the Eastman Kodak Company. Henry A. Strong and George Eastman founded Kodak in 1884. Originally, they incorporated the company in New Jersey.

Later on, George Eastman in 1888 placed a new address in Rochester, New York.

history of the kodak camera
history of the kodak camera

Currently, the headquarters are also located in the latter address. This American company played an important role in the photography industry.

With their quality film production accessories, they were able to create a name among people. And today we’re about to find out how mystyrious the history of the Kodak camera is!

Why Kodak Cameras were so popular?

If you ask to name a camera that changed amateur photography significantly, the Kodak #1 is an inevitable name. It was a box camera invented by George Eastman. He also marketed this product and initially sold copies for $25.

This might seem to be cheap these days. But I was quite expensive at that time. However, it was still affordable for many people.

Each camera comes loaded with a 100-exposure roll of film. So you can take 100 captures with a single load. Once you’re done with the roll, the company helps to reload it taking it into their factory.

why kodak cameras were so popular
why kodak cameras were so popular

The ease of use and film processing responsibility by the company made it way more popular among many ordinary people with no prior experience with photography. This also includes men, women, children, and basically people of all walks of life.

People who were intentionally photographic-minded liked and were deeply involved with their mind-grabbing slogan “You press the button, we do the rest.” It was so easy with a Kodak camera to capture photos without worrying further.

Why Did Kodak Fail?                                  

When filming components weren’t easily available and useable by everyone, Kodak made a revolution and impacted the society largely. The ease of portability gained interest quite fast.

why did kodak fail
why did kodak fail

However, a few failed strategies killed this fame. This showed a negative turn in the graph. They filed for chapter 11 bankruptcy protection in court. But why this giant company failed? Let’s try to find the answer…

In the early time, Kodak camera prices were cheaper. But they made a large chunk of their profit by selling the consumables. However, with the invention of digital cameras replacing the need for printing sheets and films, their strategy shut down really fast.

So they started losing profits on the manufacturing factories, machines, labors, marketing costs, and conjugated small partners. The overall system was just collapsed. And that’s how a highly profitable business turned to file for bankruptcy.

How Kodak Struggled Financially?

While everything seemed to begin perfectly, the company had to face a financial crisis in the late 1990s. This verily impacted the production and a revolution towards the journey. A part of the company was sold to a British organization in 2012 due to the resulting bankruptcy.

The new conjugated name stood as Kodak Alaris by this share.

They filed for bankruptcy protection in the Bankruptcy Court for the Southern District of New York. At that time, the production of digital picture frames, cameras, and pocket video cameras was shut down.

As an alternative, Kodak focused on the digital imaging market. So the intention was to bring in commercial scanners, photographic films in the market. This was an effort to get out of the fold of bankruptcy.

And luckily, the company gained financial support in 2013.

It was made as a result of the filing made in the court. Another major financial support was by selling the patents to many famous tech brands.

They proceeded with patent litigation as a way to generate revenues for the company. Some of those include Samsung, Google, Facebook, Microsoft, and Amazon among others.

Finally, within that year, it was able to emerge out of bankruptcy. However, that causes some of their patents to exit.

Benefits of Kodak Digital Cameras

benefits of kodak digital cameras
benefits of kodak digital cameras

One of the great advantages of Kodak digital cameras is that you can store around 14 million pixels. This is a large capacity not easily seen on other brands. Like any other digital camera, they are easily portable.

You can share photo files with computer devices. And there’s no need for films to store a copy. Again, before the rectangular printouts, images from a Kodak camera were printed in rounded format. The size was like a golf ball placed on your palm.

FAQs on Kodak Camera History

What led to the downfall of Kodak?

The main reason that led Kodak to downfall was the ignorance of the innovation of digital cameras. They could have changed the strategy and try to adapt to the new technology which was at that time the main competitor of Kodak.

This might still have caused some profit loses, but not a complete downfall, hopefully. But they instead engaged in a verbal spat that didn’t return anything good at all!

Did Kodak recover their financial crisis?

Yes, they were able to emerge from bankruptcy by the financial support that came from the filing in the court. Some of the patents were sold to giant tech companies to make some profit as well.

Why was Kodak so successful?

The “razor and blades” business strategy helped them to grow incredibly until the innovation of digital cameras was released. They sold cameras for a cheaper price. However, the consumable accessories were sold at an expensive rate.


Kodak camera history is so influential in analog photography. They impacted and made innovative changes from the early time when people started to know about photography. The company supplied camera films and other imaging services.

They made the way so much easier even for people with no prior experience in photography. From exposure film roll loading to image processing, everything was done by Kodak. So, people just clicked the image and done!