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Eastman Museum Acquires Rare Early Kodak Film

Jul 11, 2016

Credit Eastman Museum

There's word of another historic acquisition at the George Eastman Museum. The museum recently purchased the only known box of Kodak film for use in the Kodak camera that was introduced by the Eastman Dry Plate and Film Company in 1888, as well as one of only three known boxes of Kodak Transparent Film, introduced in 1889 for use in the Kodak camera.

The unopened boxes of film complete the Eastman Museum's holdings related to the original Kodak camera, adding to its examples of the camera, case, shipping box and sample images.

Museum Director Bruce Barnes says the two rolls of film are not only among the most significant objects in the museum's technology collection, they are also extremely important to the evolution of photography.

Introduced in 1888, the Kodak camera sold for $25, including factory-loaded film to take one hundred 2½-inch-diameter circular pictures. After the photographs were taken, the still-loaded camera was returned to Rochester,  and for a fee of $10, the film was developed, prints made, and a new roll of film inserted before the camera was sent back to its owner.

The company adopted the slogan “You press the button, we do the rest”—penned by George Eastman.