Dave McDowell must have had an air of mystery about him during his decades as an engineer at Eastman Kodak.

His neighbors, his friends, and even his family had no idea what he was working on, and Dave couldn't tell them, even though they had a lot of questions.

"Constantly, constantly," he recalled. "It was fun at parties sometimes; you would know the other people that were cleared, or had a pretty good idea of who they were, and you would talk in sort of coded words, 'Where are you working? I'm over at Lincoln Plant, Unit 7.' "

Eastman House's technical marvel known as its camera collection (Technology Collection) is being honored next Monday, June 15 by the American Society of Mechanical Engineers (ASME). The vast collection includes a daguerreotype camera signed by Daguerre, an original 1888 Kodak, Ansel Adams’s first cameras, a Technicolor camera that filmed MGM classics, the NASA Lunar Orbiter, the Speed Graphic camera that captured the
flag-raising at Iwo Jima. We dive into the collection, and discuss the history it has caputred with:

  • Todd Gustavson, Curator of the Technology Collection at George Eastman House
  • Joseph Lawson, President of the Rochester Section of ASME
  • Jon Kriegel, History & Heritage Committee, Rochester Section of ASME
  • Brad Paxton, a member of Technology Collection Acquisitions Committee at George Eastman House