Wednesday, 13 November 2013

George Eastman

He liked to have a colleague such as Strong or Walker far from Rochester so he could organize his technical thoughts in weekly letters. These long, interpolated memos essentially to himself provide a fascinating glimpse of Eastman talking aloud, letting his mind have free play. Here he is on a tangent in a letter to Walker, mulling over the problem if static discharges from film in cold weather. 

One day, reflecting upon the theory that the discharge was caused by two surfaces, one of which was positive and the other negative, it occurred to me that if one of the surfaces was metallic there could be no generation. The idea of making one of the surfaces metallic naturally followed. A little further reflection, however, staggered me, because it seemed that the emulsion must be metallic, but I knew that it would spark as badly almost as any dope. I finally decided that every metallic particle in the emulsion must be insulated by the surrounding gelatine. 

His theorizing led to directions for Reichenbach, which in turn led to "a perfect cure." The final result was triumphantly pragmatic. 


One of the things about G. E. which fascinated me most was his attitude toward music. It was unique and, for this reason, not easily understood even by those who knew him well. The simplest explanation is to say that George Eastman needed music. I know many people who like music, who enjoy music, who even like it very much. I have met very few people for whom music was a genuine need.

Mr. Eastman needed music. He needed it like other men need water to drink and food to eat. It seemed to give him spiritual nourishment, to feed a deep hunger within him.

You, in England, are too cautious and afraid of making mistakes. We in the States make our mistakes and straighten them out before you even begin to make them.

To think that what I started so long ago should develop in so many different ways. All I had in mind was to make enough money so that my mother would never have to work again.

The explanation of George Eastman's interest in music is much simpler. He needed it personally. He believed in its importance in the lives of people. He was willing to give millions of dollars to found the Eastman School in support of his belief. He was willing to invest millions more in the building of the Eastman Theatre "for the enrichment of community life."

But here is the key. How was the life of the community to be enriched? The answer is clear. It is to be enriched through music! Here indeed is the epic of the man who needed music, a man for whom music was a spiritual necessity, a man who believed that the entire community might be enriched by the art which had brought so much to him. Here, then, is his monument, the beautiful Eastman School of Music and Theatre, for the enrichment of community life. Long may they endure.

Although, as I have said, President Rhees did most of the questioning, Mr. Eastman entered the discussion briefly from time to time. He disclaimed any knowledge of either education or music but his questions were models of clarity and incisiveness. His ability to search out the heart of a problem with a minimum of words was both impressive and a little frightening.

Eastman is such a big factor in Rochester that people do not argue with him but accept what he says as law. I doubt whether his own friends dare to advise him honestly when they think he has made a mistake.

I would build a perfectly plain brick barn if I could thereby bring music to the largest number. 

As with the Kodak camera, the "largest" was also the magic number to Eastman. 



Reich departs. 
Feb 1892 Monroe comes in 
Jun 1892 Monroe is fired. Film deteriorates.
Butler replaces but is fired.
20 sep 1892 film stops
20 nov 1892 starts 
Eastman experiments. 
1893 Forbes mentor hired.
1893 to 1894 customer dissatisfied
Forbes is fired.
Dec 1893 hires Stuber
He fires 3 emulator before he found the right one. He is similar to my recruitment style. 

For the first time he ran up against his own limitations. He simply could not run the company and at the same time works with test tubes.

Eastman watched the results like a hawk. No detail was too small for his attention. And because of the rapid turnover in emulsion makers, only Eastman provided continuity.

He believed that the first photographic company to market a flexible but tough, transparent but inert substitute for glass would have an enormous advantage over the hundreds of small plate companies struggling to survive in the 1880s.

As Reichenbach gradually took over Eastman's role as experimenter, the boss turned his energies to advertising and promotion. He wrote all the copy himself. He decided where the ads were placed, and he personally chose and trained all demonstrators who were sent into the field.

When we started out with our scheme of film photography, we expected that everybody who used glass plates would take up films, but we found that the number which did so was relatively small, and in order to make a large business we would have to reach the general public.

At first I wanted to make photography simpler merely for my own convenience but soon I thought of the possibilities of commercial production.

) I want to learn to play Turkish march as soon as possible. I don't want to take 5 years to get my grade 5 and play it. I want to start playing now.

Schedule 141113
- an app to read the midi file
- display a line for my left hand
- follow on korg
- repeat 10 times
- do it for right hand
- do it for both hand
- read line 2

- see the 4 pages. Set the progress.

Total 4 pages only

- it comes to my mind that there is no app to practice ABRSM piano exam. It is a worldwide market. 
- I rather it be free and keep earning ads or subscription than a one time payment. 

In order to make a large business, I have to create useful app for ABRSM and Trinity.

What once had been the province of artists and scientists would become a gigantic business based on the heady proposition that Everyman could become a photographer.

If we can get out improved goods every year nobody will be able to follow us and compete with us.

The irig selling in apple means more people are buying and learning keyboard. It used to be only the rich who can learn music. It costs $10000 and 5 years just to learn to the stage where one can play Turkish march.



I never smile until I was forty. I may have grinned buy I never smiled. Since then I've tried to win back something of the fun that other men had when they were boys.

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