Newspaper article News Sentinel

Key Events in the History of Eastman Kodak Co

Newspaper article News Sentinel

Key Events in the History of Eastman Kodak Co

Article excerpt

Kodak postpones an auction of its imaging patent portfolios, though negotiations continue as it looks to sell the patents as it tries to emerge from bankruptcy protection. Here are key events in the history of Eastman Kodak Co.:

1880 -- George Eastman begins commercial production of dry plates for photography in a rented loft of a building in Rochester, N.Y.

1888 -- The name "Kodak" is born and the Kodak camera is marketed with the slogan, "You press the button, we do the rest."

1889 -- The Eastman Co. is formed, taking over the assets of the Eastman Dry Plate and Film Co.

1892 -- The company becomes Eastman Kodak Company of New York.

1900 -- The first Brownie camera is introduced. Selling for $1 and using film that costs 15 cents a roll, it brings hobby photography within financial reach.

1929 -- The company introduces its first motion picture film.

1935 -- Kodachrome film is introduced and becomes the first commercially successful amateur color film.

1951 -- The low-priced Brownie 8mm movie camera is introduced, followed by Brownie movie projector in 1952.

1962 -- The company's U.S. consolidated sales exceed $1 billion for the first time. Its work force tops 75,000.

1963 -- Kodak introduces a line of easy-to-use Instamatic cameras with cartridge-loading film (selling more than 50 million by 1970).

1972 -- Five pocket-size Instamatic cameras that use smaller cartridges are launched. More than 25 million cameras sell in less than three years.

1975 -- Kodak invents the world's first digital camera. The toaster-size prototype captures black-and-white images at a resolution of 10,000 pixels (.01 megapixels).

1981 -- Company sales surpass the $10 billion revenue mark. The next year, hometown payroll peaks at 60,400.

1984 -- Kodak enters the video market with the Kodavision Series 2000 8mm video system and introduces Kodak videotape cassettes in 8mm, Beta and VHS formats, along with a line of floppy disks for computers.

1988 -- Global payroll peaks at 145,300.

1992 -- Kodak launches a writeable CD that its first customer, MCI, used for producing telephone bills for corporate accounts.

2003 -- Launch of Kodak Easyshare printer dock 6000, which produces durable, borderless 4-by-6-inch prints.

2004 -- Kodak begins digital makeover, the same year it gets ejected from the 30-stock Dow Jones industrial average. It cuts tens of thousands of jobs as it closes factories and changes businesses.

2008 -- Kodak begins mining its patent portfolio, which generates nearly $2 billion in fees over three years.

2010 -- Kodak sues Apple Inc. and Research in Motion Ltd. before the U.S. International Trade Commission, claiming the smartphone makers are infringing its 2001 patent for technology that lets a camera preview low-resolution versions of a moving image while recording still images at higher resolutions. Global employment falls to 18,800.

July 20, 2011 -- Kodak begins shopping around its 1,100 digital- imaging patents.

Sept. 27 -- Moody's Investors Services downgrades all of its debt ratings for Kodak, citing ongoing weakness in the company's core business operations and the likelihood that flagging demand will hamper results indefinitely.

Oct. 3 -- Kodak confirms it has hires Jones Day, a law firm that lists bankruptcies and restructuring among its specialties.

Oct. 16 -- Kodak says Imax Co is licensing thousands of patents covering laser projection technology, giving Kodak millions of dollars in revenue. The Kodak patents will allow Imax to provide high-quality digital content for theater screens larger than 80 feet and domed theaters for the first time. …

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