Kodak Building 56 dissolves

Kodak Building 56

Kodak Building 56

Toronto. In the early hours yesterday another Kodak building disappeared forever as a demolition company in Rochester quietly imploded the structure which once housed 18 acetate roll coating machines.

In my youth, Kodak was a  huge force in photography with world-wide facilities. In fact, well into the late 1990s, Kodak remained a powerful organization. As the new century unfolded, Kodak began to stumble and fall. In early 2012 the hallmark of the photographic industry declared bankruptcy and an end to the era of chemical photography.

Back in 1990, Douglas Collins had written a coffee table size book “The Story of Kodak“. Only the final chapter on the future of photography discussed electronic or still video photography as it was called. In the late 1980s when the book’s contents were written, consensus was that tradition film would co-exist with the much poorer quality electronic technology well into the 21st century – people wanted prints for memories rather than fleeting TV images.

Robert Shanebrook, a writer, got up early to record the implosion. According to the EXIF data, Shanebrook snapped this shot at 6:57am with a Nikon D5000. In the accompanying text, he stated, “Viewing was easy  but  I  saw  very  few  people.  There was no  public  event but it is hard to hide the collapse of such a large building. “. Bob Lansdale passed on to me three stills by Robert Shanebrook, courtesy of Nick Graver.

An hour and a half later, I had an email from Russ Forfar which included this link to a BBC video showing the implosion of building 56.  My thanks to both Bob Lansdale and Russ Forfar for bringing this event to my attention.

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