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George Eastman: Founder Of Kodak And The Photography Business

1763 words - 7 pages

George Eastman was born on July 12, 1854 in Waterville, New York, a town inhabited by only a few hundred people. George was the third child, first boy, born to George Washington Eastman and Maria Kilbourn and was born into a small, "one-story frame house… [which] was the only one of its type in the community, easily recognizable because of the diminutive colonial porch and the attic windows which appeared to be squeezed under the eaves" (5).When George was six years old, his family left Waterville and moved to a city in the Genesee Valley; unfortunately, however, his father died two years later. When he reached the age of fourteen, George made the decision to leave high school in order to support his mother and sisters because of the fear of poverty. His first job was as a messenger boy at a local insurance company and later became an office boy for a different insurance firm. Yet he was still not able to make the proper amount of money to support his family. As a result, he decided to study accounting at home in hopes of finding a better job with higher pay. Finally, in 1874, he became a junior clerk and tripled his salary.George became intrigued with photography when he was twenty-four years of age but found the process of it awkward; however he managed to find a way to make this process simpler and, in result, created a business out of it. He was a very successful business man and has "helped to bring photography to the mainstream" (58). He spent most of his life working at this company and in 1888 he registered the trademark "Kodak" which is still commonly used in today's society. George never had a wife or children to go home to; instead, he dedicated his life to his passion.In 1930, he began to have very intense pains due to an irreversible spinal disease. George became very depressed in his final two years, just as his mother had when she was suffering from the same disease. On March 14, 1932, Eastman ended his own life.The book George Eastman: Founder of Kodak and the Photography Business was written by Carl W. Ackerman. George was recommended to write an autobiography by an economist from Columbia University. However, he could never seem to find the proper amount of time to write as he was already occupied with many other projects. This led him to turn to Carl W. Ackerman for his assistance in writing his biography. Because this study was written during George Eastman's lifetime, Ackerman was able to interview those who knew and worked with George in order to assess him in the different aspects of his life.George Eastman's detailed ancestry and youth is featured in this book. It goes all the way back to a more brief description of his grandparents' lives and how they had immigrated to the USA from England in the 1600's. This particular description works up to George's father's life and the fact that he went to Rochester, founding Eastman's Commercial College.This biography lays out detailed information regarding George Eastman's...

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