TIMELINE OF COLOR PHOTOGRAPHY related to the
Leopold Godowsky Jr. Color Photography Awards
Please see below for a complete list of consulted sources.
(This page was created on the occasion of the 2005 Awards)
Johann Rudolf Geigy-Gemuseus (by 1901, becomes a company, J.R. Geigy Limited) begins trading chemicals and dyes in Basel, Switzerland.
In Scotland, James Clerk Maxwell experiments with an additive color process to produce positive images, using three glass plate negatives exposed through red-, green-, and blue-colored water filters. From these negatives, positives are made and projected on top of each other, through the same color filtration, to produce an image. This is a complex procedure and the viewing method is not ideal.
In France, Louis Ducos du Hauron announces a subtractive color process to produce color prints, using three glass plate negatives exposed through red, green, and blue filters. From these negatives, colored positives are made by applying complimentary colored cyan, magenta, and yellow dyes. This is a complex procedure and the exposure times are very long.
Eastman Dry Plate Company, a partnership between George Eastman and Henry A. Strong, is established in Rochester, NY.
Auguste Lumière and his sons found a company that produces photographic dry plates.
Ciba, a chemical company in Basel, Switzerland, is founded.
The Eastman Dry Plate Company becomes Eastman Dry Plate and Film Company and makes film available in rolls instead of glass plates.
Eastman Dry Plate and Film Company markets its first camera, the No. 1 Kodak, which is preloaded with Eastman American film, and has to be returned (camera and film) to Rochester for development.
In New Jersey, Thomas Edison patents the Kinetoscope, the first motion picture viewer, with which an individual could watch a positive moving image though a peephole in the top of the unit.
In France, Gabriel Lippmann creates color photographs using the interference principle (based on silver chloride’s optical reaction to light waves), but is unable to make the images permanent.
Eastman Kodak Company of New York is established.
In the United States, Frederick Eugene Ives announces the three-color separation process, and camera for such purpose, for creating separations for color photo engravings.
In France, Auguste and Louis Jean Lumière patent the Lumière Cinématographe motion picture film projector, which has the capacity to project motion pictures, an improvement over Edison’s invention because it allows for many people to view moving images at the same time.
The Lumières patent Autochrome, an additive color photography process that uses colored starch in glass plate film emulsion to filter light. Marketed by 1907, this is the first commercial success for color photography, but exposure times are lengthy and image quality (sharpness and distribution of color) needs improvement.
The Agfa Film Company is founded in Germany.
Lumière and Sons Company merges with J. Jougla and is renamed The Industrial Photographic Union.
Dr. C.E. Kenneth Mees directs the newly established Kodak Research Laboratories, until he retires in 1955.
In Germany, Rudolph Fischer patents a subtractive color process using couplers, color producing substances, embedded in three film layers sensitive to red, green, and blue colored light. This is a major development in color photography, but produces unsatisfactory image quality (inaccurate color) because the couplers do not stay in their respective film layers.
Kodak develops a panchromatic film emulsion, sensitive to red, green, and blue light.
Lewis L. Strauss, a partner in the banking firm of Kuhn, Loeb, & Company (later the Chairman of the US Atomic Energy Commission during the Eisenhower administration), meets young musicians and photography enthusiasts, Leopold Godowsky, Jr. and Leopold Mannes, and grants them loans to set up a laboratory for research into color photography.
Kodak introduces Kodacolor 16mm amateur motion picture film, a positive black-and-white film that reproduces color by using identical red-, green-, and blue-striped filters over the camera and projector lenses.
The Industrial Photographic Union is renamed Société Lumière.
Leopold Godowsky, Jr. and Leopold Mannes sign contracts to become researchers in their own laboratory at Kodak, and move to Rochester, NY, the following year.
Lumière releases Filmcolor, a sheet film (an improvement on the original glass-plate format) version of the Autochrome process. Subsequently, Lumicolor, a roll film, is released.
George Eastman, founder of Eastman Kodak Company, dies at age 77.
In Belgium, Bela Gaspar introduces the silver dye-bleach color process, which is first used as Gasparacolor, a motion picture film.
Fuji Photo Film Co., Ltd. is founded in Japan.
At Kodak Research Laboratories, Leopold Godowsky, Jr. and Leopold Mannes, building upon past color photography research, create a film with three different color-sensitive emulsion layers, and which incorporates dye couplers in the processing chemicals. This eliminates the previous problem of dyes migrating between layers. Godowsky’s and Mannes’ invention is Kodachrome film.
Kodak introduces Ciné-Kodak Kodachrome Safety film, for 16mm motion pictures, which is sharp and color-accurate. Its only drawback is that it is difficult to develop; only Kodak labs process it.
Agfa introduces Agfacolor-Neu transparency film, which has color couplers within the film that do not transfer between layers.
Kodak introduces Kodachrome 35mm still film and 8mm home movie film, with an ASA of 10.
Kodak introduces the Ciné-Kodak camera, which uses film in magazines instead of rolls, for making 16mm home movies.
Kodak introduces the 16mm Sound Kodascope Special Projector for films with sound.
Kodak introduces the Kodaslide Projector, the first slide projector for showing 2 x 2” glass-mounted slides.
The Polaroid Corporation is founded by Edwin Herbert Land in Massachusetts.
Kodak introduces 35mm glass slide mounts.
Kodak introduces 35mm cardboard Kodaslide mounts and the Ready-Mount service, which mounts slides after they are processed and returns them to the consumer.
Kodak introduces Kodaslide Projector Model 2, for home use.
Agfa introduces Agfacolor, the first negative motion picture film.
In Oregon, William Gruber invents the View-Master, and collaborates with Harold Graves, President of Sawyer’s Photographic Services, to market it. Introduced at the New York World’s Fair, it uses Kodachrome slide images, which appear in three dimensions through the viewer.
Kodak introduces a color printing service for Minicolor prints from Kodachrome slides and Kotavachrome prints from Kodachrome sheet film transparencies.
Kodak introduces Kodacolor color negative film, for making color prints. This film is entirely different from the Kodacolor movie film introduced earlier.
Kodak installs its first of many Colorama Display transparencies (18 x 60 feet) in Grand Central Station, New York City. The series continues to be on display until 1990.
Kodak sells Kodachrome and Kodacolor films without processing included in the purchase price, which allows other labs to process its film.
Kodak introduces the Cavalcade Projector, Model 500, a completely automatic color slide projector.
Kodak introduces Ektachrome color slide film, the fastest color film at this time.
Shinshu Seiki Co., Ltd. is founded in Japan.
Kodak introduces ASA 25 Kodachrome II film, with improved color, greater light sensitivity, and finer grain than original Kodachrome.
Kodak introduces the Kodak Carousel Projector, which uses a round tray to accommodate 80 slides.
Ciba acquires Société Lumière.
Polaroid introduces Polacolor Type 48, the first instant color film.
Ciba introduces the Cibachrome silver dye-bleach process for making prints from color transparencies.
The Kodak Pavilion at the New York World’s Fair exhibits the largest outdoor color prints ever displayed.
Leopold Mannes dies at age 64.
Fuji Photo Film USA, Inc. is established in New York, NY.
Kodak develops the Super 8 film format for home movies and releases cartridge-loaded Kodachrome II film for Super 8 cameras.
Scitex Corporation, Ltd. is founded in Israel.
Shinshu Seiki Co., Ltd. introduces the EP-101, the smallest digital mini-printer, and the first in what will become the Epson line of printers.
Ciba acquires Ilford.
J.R. Geigy Ltd., merges with Ciba to form Ciba‑Geigy, Ltd. in Switzerland.
Kodak introduces Ektachrome 160 Movie Film (Type A), light sensitive enough for shooting in existing light.
Polaroid’s Big Shot Land camera, which only takes flash color portraits, is released.
Polaroid introduces the SX-70 Land Camera, the first single-lens reflex camera for instant color prints.
Kodak releases Kodachrome-X film, in a newly available 110-size cartridge.
Paul Simon releases a song called “Kodachrome” on his There Goes Rhymin’ Simon album.
Kodachrome ASA 25 and 64 slide films, with improved color, are introduced.
Kodachrome 40 films (Type A) for 8mm, 16mm, and Super 8 motion pictures are introduced.
Polaroid announces Polacolor 2 (Type 108) color film, which peels apart and produces a color negative and instant color print.
Fujifilm introduces the first ASA 400 color negative film, Fujicolor FII400.
1977 Polaroid Corporation introduces the 20x24” camera and 20x24 Polacolor film, which produces 20x24” instant color prints.
George Eastman and Edwin Herbert Land are inducted into the National Inventors Hall of Fame.
Kodak introduces Ektachrome 400 slide film, the fastest transparency film at the time.
Polaroid introduces Polavision, an instant color motion picture system, which produces 2 ½ minute self-developing films.
Eastman Kodak Company turns 100.
Fujifilm introduces A-250 color negative motion picture film, the fastest at this time.
Kodak introduces disc cameras and film.
Kodak releases Kodacolor VR 100 film, with new T-grain emulsion technology.
Shinshu Seiki Co., Ltd. changes its name to Epson Corporation.
Leopold Godowsky Jr. dies at age 82.
Creo is founded in British Columbia, Canada.
Epson Corporation introduces the SQ-2000, t he first commercial Epson inkjet printer.
Kodak introduces videotape cassettes in 8mm, Beta, and VHS formats.
Fujifilm introduces the first ASA 1600 color negative film, Fujicolor HR1600.
Fujifilm introduces Fujicolor AX color motion picture film, the fastest at this time.
Iris Graphics, Inc. is founded in Bedford, MA.
Daiwa Kogyo Ltd. merges with Epson Corporation to become Seiko Epson Corporation.
Polaroid introduces a line of color transparency films, called Polaroid Professional Chrome.
Agfa introduces Agfachrome CT100 color slide film.
Kodak announces Kodachrome 200 Professional film, with new T-grain technology.
Iris Graphics, Inc. introduces its 3000 series of digital color inkjet large format proofers, which print with a varying dot size to achieve a high perceived print resolution.
Kodak introduces the Kodak Fling, its first one-time use camera, loaded with Kodacolor 110 film.
Fuji introduces its first one-time use camera.
PhotoMac photo editing software, the first 24-bit professional photography imaging software available for personal use on a Macintosh computer, is introduced.
The Polaroid Corporation turns 50.
Kodak releases the Ektapress Gold series of color negative films, made specifically for the photojournalist market.
Kodak introduces the Kodak XL 7700 digital continuous tone printer.
Kodak introduces the Kodak Weekend, an all-weather, one-time use camera.
Kodak introduces the Kodak Fun Saver, a panoramic one-time use camera.
Scitex Corporation acquires Iris Graphics, Inc.
Kodak announces the development of a Photo CD system for viewing photographic images on televisions.
Adobe Photoshop 1.0 for the Macintosh computer is released.
1991 Kodak launches the DCS-100 1.3 megapixel camera, the first commercially available digital SLR camera (based on a Nikon F3 body).
Edwin Herbert Land, founder of The Polaroid Corporation, dies at age 81.
Canon, Fuji, Kodak, Minolta, and Nikon jointly begin to develop the Advanced Photographic System (APS).
Cibachrome prints are now known as Ilfochrome prints.
Nikon releases the Coolscan, a 35mm film scanner.
Adobe Photoshop 1.0 for MS-DOS/Windows computers is released.
Seiko Epson introduces the Epson Stylus Color, the first high-image quality, color inkjet printer.
The Polaroid SprintScan 35, a slide and negative scanner, is introduced.
The Advanced Photographic System (APS) of cameras and film is released.
Polaroid introduces its first digital camera, the PDC 2000.
Founded in 1995, Imacon of Denmark releases the FlexTight Precision I scanner.
Seiko Epson introduces the Epson Stylus Photo inkjet printer, with six colored inks and Micro Piezo imaging technology.
Polaroid introduces the i-Zone Pocket camera and sticker film.
Nikon announces the D1 2.7 megapixel camera, its first commercially viable digital SLR.
Creo acquires the prepress divisions of Scitex Corporation, Ltd., to form CreoScitex, which is shortened to Creo by 2002.
Seiko Epson introduces the Epson Stylus Pro 9500 large format color inkjet printer, with newly-developed ColorFast inks which improve image longevity.
Polaroid introduces the digital I-Zone Combo camera, which produces instant and digital photographs.
The Polaroid SprintScan 45 Ultra multi-format film scanner is introduced.
The world's first wireless camera phone, the J-SH04, is introduced for commercial consumption (made by Sharp Corporation and released by J-Phone).
Kodak introduces the Kodak 8500 digital photo printer, a photo-quality, thermal desktop printer.
Seiko Epson introduces the Epson Stylus Photo 950/960 inkjet printer, which has the highest resolution at the time of 2,880 dpi.
Kodak takes Kodachrome 25 off the market.
Canon launches the EOS 1Ds 11 megapixel camera, the first digital 35mm SLR with full-frame sensor.
Kodak announces it will no longer sell reloadable 35mm cameras in North America and Western Europe by 2005.
Flickr photo-sharing website is launched by husband and wife team, Stewart Butterfield and Caterina Fake.
October 22, 2004
The very last slide projector rolls off the Kodak assembly line and is donated to the Smithsonian Institution at a ceremony at the George Eastman House in Rochester, NY, on November 18. Two others from the last production run are donated to the George Eastman House.
Epson releases the Epson Stylus Pro 9800 44-inch professional wide-format printer, with new 8-color UltraChrome K3 ink technology and a resolution of 2880 x 1440 dpi.
Kodak acquires Creo.
May 9, 2005
Kodak takes Kodachrome Super 8 film off the market. Laboratory development of this film is available until 2007.
May 14, 2005
Leopold Godowsky, Jr. and Leopold Mannes are inducted into the National Inventors Hall of Fame for inventing Kodachrome film. Their patent number was 1,997,493.
This timeline was compiled by Jennifer Uhrhane in 2005 and adapted from the following sources:
“A Brief History of the Lumière Family,” “The Cinématographe,” “Lumière's Autochromes,” Lumière Institute website, http://www.institut-lumiere.org/english/frames.html.
“A Brief Timeline of Polaroid,” wall text from the 2002 PRC exhibition, American Perspectives: Photographs from the Polaroid Collection, adapted from Innovation/Imagination: 50 Years of Polaroid Photography (New York: Abrams, 1999) and Polaroid Access, Fifty Years (Access Press, 1989).
“Agfa History: 130 Years of Experience,” Agfa website, http://www.agfa.com/en/co/about_us/our_company/history/index.jsp
“Brand History,” The Polaroid Corporation website, http://www.polaroid.com.
“Canon EOS-1Ds 11 megapixel full-frame CMOS,” Digital Photography Review website, http://www.dpreview.com/news/0209/02092404canoneos1ds.asp.
“Digital single-lens reflex camera,” Wikipedia, The Free Encyclopedia website, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Digital_single-lens_reflex_camera#cite_note-24.
“Epson Milestones,” The Epson Company website, http://www.epson.co.jp/e/company/milestones.htm.
“Fujifilm Firsts,” Fujifilm website, http://www.fujifilmusa.com/about/corporate_profile/discover_fujifilm/index.html
Hall of Fame Inventor Profiles for George Eastman, Leopold Godowsky, Jr., Edwin H. Land, and Leopold Mannes, National Inventors Hall of Fame website, http://www.invent.org.
“History,” Ciba Specialty Chemicalswebsite, http://www.cibasc.com/index/cmp-index/cmp-about/cmp-abo-history.htm.
“History,” Creo website, now http://www.fundinguniverse.com/company-histories/Creo-Inc-Company-History.html
Hodges, Laurent. “Color it Kodachrome,” American Heritage of Invention & Technology 3, no. 1 (Summer 1987).
Horenstein, Henry, and Russell Hart, Color Photography: A Working Manual, Boston: Little, Brown, 1995.
“How We Did It: Stewart Butterfield and Caterina Fake, Co-founders, Flickr,” Inc. Magazine website, http://www.inc.com/magazine/20061201/hidi-butterfield-fake.html .
“Ilford Centennial Series Calendar 2003,” Ilford website
Jeffrey, Noel. “Proof or Consequences—Digital Proofing Systems in the Printing Industry,” American Printer, November 1995.
“Kodachrome Film Celebrates its Golden Anniversary,” “They Whistled While They Worked,” and “Kodachrome Film 1935–1985: A Colorful Chronology” (Kodak Tech Bits no. 2, 1985).
“ Kodachrome Slide Dating Guide,” Historic Photo Archive website, http://historicphotoarchive.com/f2/kodachrome.html.
“Kodak: History of Kodak: Milestones 1878–Present,” Kodak website, http://www.kodak.com/US/en/corp/kodakHistory/1878_1929.shtml.
Lafo, Rachel Rosenfield, and Gillian Nagler, eds., Photography in Boston, 1955-1985, Lincoln, MA: DeCordova Museum and Sculpture Park, 2000.
Nicholas, Darryl C. “A Photographic Time Line” (Shutterbug, January 1999).
“Say ‘Cheese' To Your Cell: A History Of The Camera Phone,” PC Today website, http://www.pctoday.com/editorial/article.asp?article=articles%2F2009%2Ft0706%2F08t06%2F08t06.asp.
Staubach, Horst W. “40 Years of Kodachrome,” translated by Rolf Fricke, Popular Photography (September 1976).
Various Epson press releases.
Various Kodak corporate communications and corporate information departmental publications.
“ View-Master,” The National Toy Hall of Fame at Strong Museum website, http://www.strongmuseum.org/NTHoF/NTHoF.html.