Archive for the 'Technology' Category

Kodak Camera at 125: Eastman’s First Film Patent

Posted by on Oct 14 2014 | Exhibitions, George Eastman, Other, Technology

On October 14, 1884, George Eastman received his first “film” patent (#306,594) for Negative Paper. While this was a paper film (not very related to the transparent product most people think of today) and not very successful, it eventually lead to improved versions incorporated into the first Kodak camera introduced in 1888 – a milestone in the history of photography.

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Over the years, Eastman acquired many patents related to both film manufacturing and film and the apparatus to use them including #317,050 dated May 5, 1885 for the Eastman Walker roll holder and more importantly #388,850 patented Sept 5, 1888 for the Kodak.

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Our current exhibition Kodak Camera at 125 showcases the new system of photography that Eastman introduced to the world with the Kodak camera in 1888 and the innovative parts used to build the device. We encourage you to visit to see objects from our collection that show the evolution of his cameras and the snapshots each has captured.

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Daguerre Introduced Photography 175 Years Ago

Posted by on Aug 19 2014 | Photography, Technology

It has been 175 since Louis Daguerre introduced photography to the world. The Giroux daguerreotype apparatus is photography’s first camera manufactured in quantity.

On June 22, 1839, L.-J.-M. Daguerre and Isidore Niépce (the son of Daguerre’s deceased partner, Joseph Nicéphore Niépce) signed a contract with Alphonse Giroux (a relative of Daguerre’s wife) granting him the rights to sell the materials and equipment required to produce daguerreotype images.

Scientist and politician François Arago publicly announced the new daguerreotype process in a speech to the French Academy of Art and Sciences on August 19, 1839, and the first advertisement promoting the process appeared in the August 21 issue of La Gazette de France.

Within three short weeks, Giroux met with popular success both in and outside of France; the first export of his company’s cameras arrived in Berlin, Germany, on September 6, 1839.

Giroux daguerreotype camera, 1839. Alphonse Giroux, Paris France. Gift of Eastman Kodak Company, ex-collection Gabriel Cromer.

Giroux daguerreotype camera, 1839. Alphonse Giroux, Paris, France. Gift of Eastman Kodak Company, ex-collection Gabriel Cromer.

Click here to learn more about Daguerre and the Daguerreotype photographic process.

For more about the history of photographic technology, check out the book Camera: A History of Photography from Daguerreotype to Digital.

 

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Who’s Talking Gender?

Posted by on Jul 17 2013 | Other, Photography, Technology

Nickolas Muray (American, b. Hungary, 1892-1965) Douglas Fairbanks, Jr. & Joan Crawford ca. 1930 Gelatin silver print Gift of Mrs. Nickolas Muray

Nickolas Muray (American, b. Hungary, 1892-1965) Douglas Fairbanks, Jr. & Joan Crawford ca. 1930 Gelatin silver print Gift of Mrs. Nickolas Muray

The Gender Show is open now (through October) – an exhibition that urges dialogue, discourse, and contemplation. While we’re letting the photographs in the exhibit do most of the talking, we also want to see who else is exploring and challenging gender. We’ll be keeping track of some headlines and interesting topics here so keep checking back! Please leave a comment for any suggestions.

[7.17]Meet the world’s third gender

[7.11]If you were born a woman, how would you be different? Teary eyed Dustin Hoffman’s response and regret
[6.28]Paychex adding written policy against gender-identity bias after prodding by state comptroller
[6.24]White womens bodies as selfie objectified tools of dissent via Hyperallergic
[6.17] Elite Units in U.S. Military to Admit Women via NY Times
[6.17] Deciphering the genetic code of the cancer via BBC
[6.17] A “dismal week” for Australian feminists: Many men find gender debates too threatening to handle
[6.16] How 8 Gay Families Are Celebrating Father’s Day This Year via Huff Post
[
6.12] Why Dad’s Don’t Take Paternity Leave  via WSJ
[6.12] Manly Manicures  via NY Times
[6.11] Why Siri’s Voice Is Now A Man (And A Woman) via Huff Post

 

More images from the show available here.

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Mystery nitrate negatives – we need your help!

Posted by on Jul 02 2013 | Behind The Scenes, Exploring the Archive, House & Gardens, Technology

via guest contributor and Eastman House volunteer, Kate Wallace

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While cleaning out the nitrate holding room at the museum, boxes of safety film and nitrate negatives were discovered that appear to have been donated to the museum in the late 1940’s when the museum was getting ready to open to the public.

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The boxes contain negatives that document various aspects of Kodak’s progress and activities from the late 1930s through the 1940s. Interesting handwritten notes describe many of the pictures that range from details such as a “small crack in the wall of a basement” to “condition of a safety boot.”

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There are portraits of employees who won awards for their initiatives to improve the company, along with parts of machines or tools from all different branches such as optics, film processing, and even some war time preparation and production.

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Not every negative matches up with a note, however, and many of the images are unidentifiable without knowledge of the film and processes used during this period. Any help in determining what some of these photographs are depicting, or what the machines pictured may have been used for would allow us to continue this documentation that began so many years ago.

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We are posting these five images in this post to start. If you can help send us a message, or leave a comment below. Thanks!

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Google is in the house

Posted by on Jun 17 2013 | Exploring the Archive, House & Gardens, Motion Pictures, Photography, Technology

This month Google adds more than 1,000 new destinations to experience via street view. It looks like we are one of the first destinations locally (Rochester, N.Y.) to open our doors beyond the street.

the technology vault

This is exciting to us for a few reasons – the first, visitors onsite will now have the opportunity to use their mobile’s to know where they are throughout the house and museum. Secondly, for those that may never come to Eastman House it is an opportunity to invite all to come on in and learn a little bit more about us.
Lastly, we realize as an institution another important aspect for Eastman House is what is going on behind the scenes – our schools (Photographic Preservation and Collections Management & The L. Jeffrey Selznick School of Film Preservation) and students working in the collections, our conservation labs and photo processes and finally, the vaults. We are pleased to reveal our technology vault three floors underground (are we the first museum to do so?)

So feel free to take a drive and look around – make sure to check out the gardens too!

Having also partnered with Google’s Art Project (the cultural institute), we became the first photography museum to open its collections to the world. More information here, here and here.

Eastman House holds nearly 500,000 photographs representing every major process and the work of more than 14,000 photographers. In addition to the photographs, the collection holds important examples of the photograph’s role in our culture over time – including photojournalism, advertising, etc.  The Motion Picture Collection is one of the major moving image archives in the U.S.

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Eastman House is – and always has been – an independent nonprofit institution. We rely on the support of donors, locally and internationally so we can continue to tell the story of photography and motion pictures.

Our new director Bruce Barnes relays our situation honestly, “Frankly, it is a challenge to fund a non-profit institution of our scope in a metropolitan area of one million. George Eastman House has always been an independent, non-profit institution, but the prevailing economic environment has made fundraising more difficult – creating a shortfall at a critical time“.

Thanks for your consideration and above all else take a look!

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