Saturday, June 26, 2010

My Day At George Eastman House

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"Kodachrome, America's Story Teller"
The George Eastman House in Rochester, NY is a place I have wanted to go many years. On Saturday June 26, 2010 I went. George Eastman was the Founder of Eastman Kodak (aka Kodak) and was a Steve Jobs of his day (late 19th and early 20th Century). Eastman, and his company Kodak, invented modern photography. He lived in Rochester, NY; the city is still the home of Kodak. According to Wikipedia:

George Eastman (July 12, 1854 – March 14, 1932) founded the Eastman Kodak Company and invented roll film, helping to bring photography to the mainstream. Roll film was also the basis for the invention of motion picture film in 1888...

As much as I love trains, I love photography more.

Eastman is such an interesting guy. A contemporary of people like Thomas Edison and Teddy Roosevelt, Eastman never married, he had no kids. The central female figure in his life was his mother. Wikipedia goes on to say:

In his final two years, Eastman was in intense pain, caused by a degenerative disorder affecting his spine. He had trouble standing and his walking became a slow shuffle. Today it might be diagnosed as spinal stenosis, a narrowing of the spinal canal caused by calcification in the vertebrae. Eastman grew depressed, as he had seen his mother spend the last two years of her life in a wheelchair from the same condition. On March 14, 1932, Eastman committed suicide with a single gunshot to the heart, leaving a note which read, "My work is done. Why wait?"

I took two tours of the place and had a nice long conversation with a senior security officer also named George. It was a great way to wrap up my visit to this area. Tomorrow I am off to meet Susie and we are going to Vermont together. More photos of George Eastman house are here.

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