22 June 2009

In Memoriam

I'm breaking one of my rules because I can't bear to headline this entry with a picture.

As if it weren't bad enough that American Airlines has just announced the demise of the "nerd bird" nonstop flights between Austin and San Jose (when people ask where I'm from I tell them that I live on the nerd bird and vote in Austin) - today comes word of an even more momentous loss.

Kodachrome is no more. It was the world's oldest film in continuous production (invented in 1935 by Kodak's Leopold Godowski and Leopold Mannes - "God and Man") and the most stable color film in existence.

In my closet are 100 Kodak Carousel trays of the Kodachrome slides my grandfather took in 40 years' travel around the world. I have pictures of the Sydney Opera house, unfinished. Of temples in Southeast Asian countries an American can't visit anymore. Of my grandmother in a middle East that now seems like a fairy tale.

All those slides look as good today as they did on the long-ago days the mailman brought them back to Annapolis from the lab.

Kodachrome gave us the nice bright colors; it gave us the greens of summer. It made all the world like a sunny day.

Oh yeah.

Thanks, Kodachrome. You gave us 4 years more than the requisite threescore and ten, and those of us who knew you will never forget.


Blogger Dave Kearns said...

I hear Alaska Air will pick up the "nerd bird" run. Thing Southwest with reserved seats!

June 22, 2009 11:59 PM  
Blogger WeeDram said...

As soon as I get back to Rochester, I will be protesting at 353 State Street.

I understand "lifecycle", but when a product runs for 74 years (they could not wait another year???), it defies the rules of product lifecycle. By taking the easy way out -- pouring R&D into E6, refuse to attck and solve the problems of making K14 feasible in more labs, not fewer, not working on "K16" ... Kodak engineered the death of Kodachrome. Hell, there was even a Kodachrome 400 developed that reportedly blew K200 out of the water. But it never came to market.

June 28, 2009 3:01 PM  

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