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class="Paragraph" style="margin-bottom: 0">Kodak Origins

Published : 6th March 2004


>...where does the word "Kodak" actually come from?

As I recall it, George Eastman was looking for a name that was distinctive, sounded like a real word or some sort of Latin root, but was in fact a made-up term. The stories have gone from some sort of inspiration from Kodiak in what is now Alaska to an onomatopoeia (sounds-like) expression of the mechanism of the original Kodak camera's shutter mechanism. Kodak continued this tradition with many of its products with such items as Dektol developer and Ektanar lenses. Other companies followed suit which is why Nikon makes Nikkor lenses.

I think that Kodak was actually ahead of its time in that now companies commonly make up words for themselves or products such as car models so that they can trademark the term. I truly hate the ones that purposefully misspell common words so that they may then trademark them as proper names (i.e. Krazy Glu or Krispy Kreme).

Mitch Gross
NYC DP



(To honour Geoff's welcome request for fact based content)

"It was in 1888 that the word "Kodak" was first registered as a trademark…. …But the plain truth is that Eastman invented it out of thin air."

Quotes from the Kodak site mentioned below indicate that he (George Eastman) explained that : "I devised the name myself. The letter "K" had been a favourite with me - it seems a strong, incisive sort of letter. It became a question of trying out a great number of combinations of letters that made words starting and ending with 'K.' The word 'Kodak' is the result."

The remainder of this article, plus additional quotes & information that relate to this subject can be found at the following web site...

http://www.kodak.com/US/en/corp/aboutKodak/kodakHistory/

eastman.shtml

Steven Bradford
Seattle



Ok now explain how they decide which stocks are "Eastman" and which are "Kodak"?

Used to be Eastman was the negative, and Kodak the projection-contrast reversal - (ECO reversal was "Eastman") - but the projection contrast of Kodak Ektachrome became Eastman stocks in their VNF reincarnations ...plus notice that Plus-X and Tri-X were "re-assigned" to Eastman but in the new versions they've become Kodak again; 5285, following the old logic, is Kodak, but then Vision stocks are also Kodak....

Are these choices made by the numerologists of the Stock Number Committee or by some higher-level Ministry in Rochester ?

Sam Wells



Sam Wells writes:

>Ok now explain how they decide which stocks are "Eastman" and which are >"Kodak"?

>Are these choices made by the numerologists of the Stock Number >Committee or by some higher-level Ministry in Rochester ?

Does the name Jules Brulatour mean anything to you?

Brian Heller
IA 600 DP



Brian Heller writes . .

>Does the name Jules Brulatour mean anything to you?

OK, he's the agent George Eastman appointed to sell film stock from the back door to the "independents" starting up in Hollywood, thereby breaking the grip of the MPPC (the "combine").

Do go on . . . .

Dominic Case
Atlab Australia



Phil Rhodes writes:

>Where does the word "Kodak" actually come from?

I believe legend has it that George Eastman's mother used to play anagrams with him. "Kodak" was a word that just came up one day at random, when Eastman was looking for a name for his new company, and he pounced on it with a great "Eureka!"

If I didn't get that right, I think I got it *almost* right.

Dan Drasin
Producer/DP
Marin County, CA



Dominic Case writes :

>OK, he's (Jules Brulatour) the agent George Eastman appointed to sell >film stock from the back door to the "independents" starting up in >Hollywood, thereby breaking the grip of the MPPC (the "combine").

I think you may be confusing Brulatour with W.J. German or maybe I am. It's been a while. There may be some myth here, but I believe it is essentially correct.

Brulatour was a friend of George Eastman who backed Eastman financially. Eastman asked Brulatour what he would like in return. Brulatour said he would like to have the marketing concession for professional motion picture films. Eastman readily agreed, since at that time there was no real professional mp market. Brulatour however was convinced there would be.

Brulatour kept the name Eastman, amateur movie products were marketed under the name Kodak.

Brulatour did have an unusual purchasing requirement for film. Cash only. For everyone. Major studios kept money on deposit and drew down on their accounts as they needed film. Brulatour would notify them when they had to add more $ to their accounts.

I believe the W'J German Co. was set up to handle sales to smaller producers.

Brian "Standing by for corrections" Heller
LA 600 DP



Phil Rhodes writes :

>where does the word "Kodak" actually come from?


Dan Drasin replied :

>I believe legend has it that George Eastman's mother used to play >anagrams with him. "Kodak" was a word that just came up one day at >random, when Eastman was looking for a name for his new company.

Yes. Here are some links to the "History of Kodak" :

http://www.kodak.com/US/en/corp/aboutKodak/kodakHistory/

kodakHistory.shtml

http://www.vintageviews.org/vv-tl/biographies/biography.html#georgeeastman

"He and his mother devised the name Kodak with an anagram set. He said that there were three principal concepts he used in creating the name : it must be short, you can not mispronounce it, and it could not resemble anything or be associated with anything but Kodak."

John Pytlak
EI Customer Technical Services
Research Labs
Eastman Kodak Company
Rochester, New York 14650-1922 USA
http://www.kodak.com/go/motion



>it must be short, you can not mispronounce it, and it could not resemble >anything or be associated with anything but Kodak

So pervasive is Kodak's influence worldwide that here in the Philippines, the name has become a verb in our native tongue ("Kodak-an mo ako!" means "Take a photo of me!")

Talk about association... I guess Eastman's naming strategy worked. (Except that the Kodak lawyers probably have regular fits over trademark issues.

Paolo Dy



>you can not mispronounce it

Is this where Gevaert went wrong?

Dominic Case
Atlab Australia