How Did George Eastman Contribute To Photography

Improved Essays
George Eastman experienced many hardships throughout his life. His father, George Washington Eastman, moved the family from Waterville, New York, to Rochester to start the Eastman Commercial College (George Eastman). Tragedy struck two years after they moved, Eastman’s father died and the college went bankrupt. This horrible turn of events left George to take care of his mother, Maria Kilbourn, and two sisters (About George Eastman). One of which had polio (Hofkes). At age fourteen, he dropped out of school and got a job at an insurance company, gradually working his way up the ranks to earn more money. Eventually, he moved companies to the Rochester Savings Banks to become a junior clerk (George Eastman). Concurrently, his mother began to …show more content…
George became interested in photography when a coworker suggested he take a camera on a vacation to Santo Domingo in 1877. George never made the trip, but consequently this sparked his interest in photography. “ He would toil at the bank all day, six days a week, then spend his evenings… experimenting tirelessly with various photo emulsions” (Zinsmeister). This accidental discovery of an interest led him to revolutionize the photographic world. George Eastman’s developments and invention in the photographic process, along with his many contributions to educational foundations lead him to be the most influential inventor in the history of photography. When Eastman started to experiment with photography, the wet plate process was the most commonly used method for taking photographs. The first wet plate process was introduced in 1851, while the current wet plate process was invented in 1856 by John Dillwyn Llewelyn and was called the Oxymel process. His process reduced the light sensitivity of the plates (Mike), which made taking pictures easier. The wet plate process included,“ heavy glass plates covered with a mixture of silver and other chemicals” (Eastman Kodak Company). Thus causing the photographer to have to put the chemicals on the plate, take the picture, and develop it all while on

Related Documents