One of the most famous names in photography, Kodak, clicks its shutter for almost the last time today as the 131-year-old company files for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection. As someone brought up on film cameras, I have always thought the name of Kodak to be a comforting constant.
Here in Britain photographers had two main choices of film, Kodak or Ilford. Professional guys, as I know from my days in journalism, tended to prefer film from the British company, Ilford, which would have been a similar age to Kodak, founded in 1897. Sadly, Ilford—which occupied a large site in the eponymous east London suburb—went bust in 2004 despite my patronage.
In the early days, Kodak entered the lower end of the digital camera market and, no doubt, felt itself to be in an ideal position become a big player in the new medium. But as is usually the case with disruptive technology, the newcomers, in this case the upstart electronics companies, won the war.