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Eastman Kodak: 1905

Eastman Kodak: 1905

Circa 1905. "Eastman Kodak Co., State Street factory and main office. Rochester, New York." Future home of the late lamented Kodachrome. 8x10 inch dry plate glass negative, Detroit Publishing Company. View full size.


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Kodak moment

Wonderful photo. I work at Kodak's State Street facility as a contractor. I'm very interested in local history and specifically the history of Kodak and its buildings. In my job I get to access parts of the Kodak facility which most people don't see and although a lot of the historic aspects are gone, details still remain and to an amateur historian it's wonderful to be able to walk the halls where history was made. To clear up the employment question, there are currently around 7600 direct hire employees at Kodak in the Rochester facilities plus many hundreds more contract workers. This photo shows the State Street frontage prior to the construction of the iconic Tower in 1912, which would be seen in more recent photos rising behind the far left side of the six story building in the foreground. All have now been replaced by more modern structures (the last constructed around 1948). It's sad to see the buildings which have been lost to time, but Kodak had to be progressive and modern and as buildings became outdated and even structurally unsound, they had no choice but to rebuild.

kodak is a disgrace

what you fail to realize is that kodak used to employe over 60,000 people in rochester, now they employe less than 4000, most of which are in management positions. my father was a 3rd generation kodak worker who was recently laid off after 35 years of faithful service. that company was his life and they hung him out to dry. those 20,000 are mostly in mexico, since kodak china went belly up, and those job openings are all temp. jobs. kodak wants to keep downsizing until they can sell the kodak name to someone like fuji, who is the biggest film and imaging business. george eastman would be ashamed of what his empire has become.

[What nonsense. George Eastman was intelligent man and a believer in scientific progress, so he'd hardly be surprised (much less "ashamed") that his business would encounter difficulties once its main product became obsolete. Corporations don't last forever; most are lucky to number their years in decades. This one has lasted a more than a century -- a long and distinguished history. - Dave]

Kodak in Rochester today

I've lived in Rochester my entire life and remember Kodak in when it was the largest employer in the city. According to an article in the Rochester Business Journal Kodak now employs about 7400 people in the area.

Sadly these buildings are long gone and the location is now a parking lot for Kodak Tower which was built around 1913. This photo is looking south down State Street at Platt Street.

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All of it gone

I checked google street view, and I don't see any of the buildings from this picture. Is it fair to assume all of it is lost?

Love the picture though!

Love Ornate

Someone please tell mt that the wonderful little building next door (that housed the moving company) is still standing. If you look closely, you can see a person going into the store. Also, the street cleaner bucket on wheels looks just like the one in the old Rocky and Bullwinkle Show.

Kodak is alive and well

A year ago I went out to Kodak in Rochester for training on their computer to plate and workflow systems. I assure you there is still a huge number of Kodak employees in Rochester. The George Eastman house was an experience of a lifetime. I want to go back and experience the world's largest collection of photographic images.

RIP Kodachrome

I assume that Shorpy readers will have heard the news that Dwayne's Photos, the sole remaining Kodachrome processor, used up the last batch of chemicals produced by Kodak just before Dec 31, 2010 to process all remaining submissions of Kodachrome. Now I'll never know what's on the half-roll of Super-8 stuck in my camera when the motor jammed 35 years ago.


I like the human details in these photos. The fellow leaning out the window. The bikes left at the curb.

Notice the bicycles

No locks! I reiterate, NO LOCKS!

Good Ole Fred

He'll take anything you have and move it or store it for you. I'm guessing he has a bigger building elsewhere!

A Kodak moment

This picture wipes me out. The plainness of the buildings is their beauty. A few modes of transportation going on, except for a car. A trolley, bicycle, horse and wagon/carriage. I wonder if people named their horses back then. Notice the man looking out the window, 4th floor, right building. I wonder what he was thinking about.

Human Resources

This past summer I struck up a conversation with another diner in a restaurant. He was from Rochester, so the conversation drifted to Eastman Kodak. He asked me to guess how many employees Kodak had that were still in Rochester, I said 100. His answer, six. I thought about it later and couldn't figure out what those 6 people were doing. Licensing the Kodak name? Administering the pension system? Anybody know?

[Eastman Kodak has over 20,000 employees and annual revenues of around $8 billion. Its headquarters are still in Rochester, so I'd bet that more than six people work there! - Dave]

I think you're right Dave, I just went on their Website and they appear to have about 20 Job openings in Rochester.

In the wagon:

Barrels of Dektol and D-76.

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