Unformatted text preview: George Eastman By: Julia Nguyen Room: B3 George Eastman was an entrepreneur, a philanthropist, and the pioneer of popular
photography and motion picture film. He founded the Eastman Kodak company and
became known for the use of roll film, helping to bring photography to the mainstream.
George Eastman was born in 1854 in Waterville, New York. In 1860, his family moved
to Rochester, but two years later, the George’s father (George Washington Eastman)
kicked the bucket, leaving his family with few economic resources. When he was 14 years of age, George left school to support his mother, Maria Kilbourn Eastman, and two
older sisters, Ellen and Kate. He first worked at a nearby insurance company and then as
a junior clerk in the Rochester Savings Bank.
When George was 23, a coworker suggested that he take a camera on an upcoming
vacation. George wore a photographic outfit, and even though he never made the journey,
he became fully engaged in photography. However, the weight and cost of the equipment
required to take and develop photographs soon led him to look for improvements. He
soon spent three years in his mother’s kitchen experimenting with gelatin emulsions, and
by 1880, he had created and patented the dry-plate coating machine.
In 1881, with the help of Rochester businessman Henry Strong, George formed the
Eastman Dry Plate Company. With a great amount of change, his company created
easy-to-use cameras that made photography more accessible to everyone. He developed a flexible film that was an important contribution to the launch of the motion picture
In the late 1920s, Eastman was diagnosed with a irremediable spinal disease, and
on March 14, 1932, he ended his own life. Bibliography
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- Fall '08