Kodak loses its snap

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Allison Schiff, web editor, Direct Marketing News
Allison Schiff, web editor, Direct Marketing News

There are some brands that are so ubiquitous their names actually enter the lexicon. Kleenex, Band-Aid, Wite-Out. Xerox can even be used as a verb, as can Google, of course. In my mind, Kodak is a kind of synonym for photography. But the scoop from Rochester is that the iconic brand will no longer be producing digital cameras, pocket video cameras and digital picture frames. The beleaguered company made its announcement on Feb. 9: We're pulling down the shutter on that arm of the business.

According to the Associated Press, which called Kodak's revelation “the end of an era,” the decision is the result of the company's inability to cope with the digital revolution. When film shifted to digital technology, Kodak shifted to bankruptcy. Eastman Kodak and its U.S.-based subsidiaries filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection on Jan. 19.

Kodak says it's going to phase its digital photography products out, after which it'll focus on printing, both photo and desktop inkjet. Though the company isn't saying how this will impact its workers or how many jobs would be lost as a result, the move should be saving Kodak in excess of $100 million a year.

It's been a long run. The Eastman Kodak Company first came on the scene in 1880. (For you history buffs out there, that was also the year the first cash register was patented and the year the first streetlight was installed in Wabash, Indiana. Thank you, Wikipedia.)

In 1899, a Kodak camera looked like this:

In 1941, a Kodak camera looked like this:


In 1980, a Kodak camera looked like this:


In 2011, a Kodak camera looked like this:

And by the end of 2012, a Kodak camera will look like this.

Farewell Kodak cameras.

(Photo credits: www.historiccamera.com)

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