Soon thereafter, it became a household word.
Around the same time, Eastman was granted a U.S. patent for his pioneering roll-film still camera. A version was soon named and being sold as the Kodak “Brownie.”
The Brownie was a very big deal at the time, because it was the first camera that could easily be used and afforded by almost anyone. It was light and small, and it was the first relatively simple point-and-shoot camera.
Eastman also coined the name “Kodak” itself. He apparently made it up out of thin air with the help of his mother. He wanted some word that was short, unlike any other word or product name and easily pronounceable in all languages. And, for some reason,“K” was his favorite letter.
When he registered the trademark for the name on September 4, 1888, he probably couldn’t have guessed how famous it would become.
The Kodak company later implanted the now ubiquitous phrase “Kodak moment” into our language, through an ad campaign that began in 1993.
At that time, execs at Kodak probably couldn’t have guessed that digital cameras would soon change photography in a way as revolutionary as the Brownie did a century ago.
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