Jun 8, 2011

What's in a Name

George Eastman, a high school dropout and the founder of Kodak loved the letter "K."  He tested several combinations of words starting and ending with "K" while trying to come up with a name for his camera and film company name. Kodak was registered as a trademark in 1888 and the Eastman Kodak company was founded in 1892. Eastman believed the right name would be memorable, would not resemble anything else, and could not be mispronounced. He decided it must have the letter "K" because he believed the letter was strong and incisive. It was the first company to put its name and look into a symbol.

He started out making glass photographic plates and moved into paper film, then to make a camera, "As convenient as a pencil" so he could sell the film. The original building where he started is still part of the world headquarters in Rochester, New York. A maze of buildings, spanning blocks, that are all connected to each other. I became lost in those buildings more than a few times while consulting with Kodak.