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George Eastman
Birth: Jul. 12, 1854
Waterville
Oneida County
New York, USA
Death: Mar. 14, 1932
Rochester
Monroe County
New York, USA

American inventor and philanthropist, best known for revolutionizing photography by putting the first simple camera into the hands of consumers. In so doing, he made what had been a cumbersome and complicated process easy to use and accessible to nearly everyone. He was born George Eastman in 1854 in Waterville, New York and was home-schooled. He became interested in photography through a boarder in his home, and in 1877 abandoned his early career as a bank clerk to work in the field. His specialty was preparing and applying the complex emulsions (liquid silver-salt coatings) used at that time in developing nearly all photographic plates. However, inspired by an article in a British almanac, Eastman dreamed of creating a "dry plate" developing process: dry film would make the developing process incomparably simpler, and could be contained within much smaller and lighter cameras. Within two years, Eastman had built a "Method and Apparatus for Coating Plates" (patent #226,503, granted 1879) which made dry-plate photography a reality. Further innovations followed. In 1885, Eastman began marketing the world's first commercial film: based on transparent and flexible celluloid, it could be cut into narrow strips and used while wound into a roll on a spindle. In 1888, Eastman introduced his "Kodak" to the market: a compact box camera with enough film for 100 exposures, priced at $25. "You press the button, we do the rest" promised George Eastman in 1888 with this advertising slogan for his Kodak camera. After exposure, the whole camera was returned to the company in Rochester, New York, where the film was developed, prints were made; new film was inserted, and then returned to the customer. Whatever improvements have been made since then, all non-digital hand-held cameras used today evolved from that first Kodak. Among his other innovations, George Eastman developed an improved film for Edison's motion-picture camera that first came into use in 1891. In 1900, the Brownie camera, designed for Eastman by Frank Brownell, was introduced at a retail price of one dollar. With consumer-loaded film available at 20 exposures for 15 cents, this made photography even more convenient and affordable. In 1925, Eastman gave up the day-to-day management of Kodak, becoming Chairman of the Board. He thereafter concentrated on philanthropic activities. During his lifetime, he gave away an estimated $100 million, mostly to the University of Rochester and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (under the name of "Mr. Smith"). In 1932, he ended his own life by gunshot, leaving a note that said "My work is done. Why wait?" (bio by: Edward Parsons) 
 
Family links: 
 Parents:
  George Washington Eastman (1815 - 1862)
  Maria Kilbourn Eastman (1821 - 1907)
 
 Sibling:
  Emma Kate Eastman (1850 - 1870)*
  George Eastman (1854 - 1932)
 
*Calculated relationship

Cause of death: Suicide
 
Burial:
Kodak Park
Rochester
Monroe County
New York, USA
 
Maintained by: Find A Grave
Record added: Jan 01, 2001
Find A Grave Memorial# 2184
George Eastman
Added by: Edward Parsons
 
George Eastman
Added by: Alan Brownsten
 
George Eastman
Added by: Alan Brownsten
 
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- Pamela Howlett
 Added: Oct. 18, 2014

- justkate
 Added: Sep. 16, 2014
George Eastman: Sir, you will be remembered as an American innovator and entrepreneur who founded the Eastman Kodak Company and invented roll film, helping to bring photography to the mainstream, thanks for the creative inventing, you will be missed, reme...(Read more)
- MFPS
 Added: Jul. 13, 2014
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