Kodak is ancient by tech company standards. It was founded by George Eastman in 1889, who devised the name Kodak with the help of his mother using an Anagrams set. Eastman harboured a fondness for the letter K and is quoted as saying, "it seems a strong, incisive sort of letter". Three principal concepts were used by Eastman in the creation of the name -- it should be short, one cannot mispronounce it and it could not resemble anything or be associated with anything but Kodak.
From its earliest days, Kodak followed a 'razor-blade strategy', selling simple and inexpensive cameras and making profit from pricier paper, chemicals and films. One such cheap camera from 1900, the Brownie box, introduced the idea of capturing a spontaneous snapshot of everyday life, commonly dubbed 'a Kodak moment'.
For much of the 20th century, Kodak was the dominant manufacturer of photographic film, but unlike rival company Fujifilm, it did not enjoy a smooth transition to the digital market. After a bumpy ride, it filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection in January 2012.
In recent years, the American company's had success with its ESP and Hero printer ranges. With a reorganisation plan due by February 2013, and having exited the camera-making business, here's hoping there's life in this iconic company yet.
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