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Saturday, January 21, 2012

The Son of a 'Kodak Man' Remembers the Good Times and Bad - DailyFinance

Posted 7:15AM 01/21/12

The tent pole of Rochester, N.Y.'s economy for a hundred years -- Eastman Kodak -- has filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy. Once, it was one of the world's most recognized brands, the Kodak yellow film box gracing shelves at every little roadside kiosk where you might stop to gas up on a family vacation or a finding-yourself college trek.

No longer. The film expired long ago, and now it's like the turntable and vinyl -- something for a micro-niche of specialists and fans of retro technology.

But for me and many others, Kodak's mindshare hasn't faded. It's personal. I was born and raised in Rochester; Kodak fed, clothed, housed, and educated me and my three siblings. Great Yellow Mother, indeed.

I lived the kid's Kodak dream. My dad, a 30-plus-year employee, surprised me with a Brownie (actual flashbulbs!) and then the first Instamatic (drop-in cartridges!). We had a Carousel slide projector and Super 8 movie gear. And all our film was developed at Kodak itself -- in just a couple of days! Can you imagine?

As a kid, I'd call my father at work sometimes, and he'd answer, "This is Jacobs." It sounded so professional, and he looked it, too... not a hair out of place, and always with two new suits a year from Bruce Macfarlane at The National's men's department. His picture was on his business card. Printed on Kodak shiny photo paper, of course.

The Son of a 'Kodak Man' Remembers the Good Times and Bad - DailyFinance

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