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Eastman's Untold Legacy: Original Patents
George Eastman helped bring photography mainstream. A pretty large feat considering Eastman didn't have any formal education in business or marketing. By day George Eastman worked as a banker. By night he was experimenting with ways to improve the camera. The George Eastman House has a collection of Eastman's original patents. These ideas turned a hobby into a company named Kodak. Eastman got his first patent in 1880 for a plate coating machine. It was an easier way to get prints on to film. Soon after George Eastman went into the photographic business full time. "There were lots of idea that The Kodak Company came up with in the early years that they didn't take to market," said Kathy Connor, Curator of The George Eastman House & Legacy Collection. There are 32 original patents being preserved at The George Eastman House. "It basically shows how Mr. Eastman was tinkering constantly with photography," said Connor. Each takes you into George Eastman's mind with drawings and descriptions of how he wanted a product to work. "When you actually look through these patents some of them have very minute differences from one to another," said Connor. In 1888 George Eastman received a patent for the first roll film camera. Once his company took off Eastman hired others to do the research and development. These patents are proof that George Eastman really was the "Father of Popular Photography."
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