Pop Culture

1954 – Kodak

Mid-century advertising from Kodak.

As we go through the alphabet of American brands that were dominate in the mid-century and still exist today, we come to the letter K. First up in the K category is Kodak. As the story goes, the letter K appealed to founder George Eastman and he came up with the brand name “Kodak” because the simple word both began and ended with a K. Kodak was the dominant brand for photography in the 20th century. Like most brands that flourished during this time, affordability was the key to its success. The price of camera and film made the miracle of photography accessible to most Americans who wished to document images of family and fun.

This ad for Kodachrome film and the Pony camera was published in the June 1954 edition of Holiday magazine.

Kodak Pony Camera and Kodachrome Film – Holiday magazine June 1954

The ad talked of the Pony 135 camera which sold for $34.75. Also featured was the Signet 35 selling for $87.50 or the Bantam RF which included a case and flash holder for $75. The suggested method of ordering slides that could be projected onto a screen was a popular method for amateur photographers to share their works in the mid-century and beyond.


Mid-century women’s magazines were the outlet for a 1963 Kodak ad campaign that featured cute kids in iconic moments. They all had the same tagline.

Moments like this won’t wait for dad. Always keep your camera handy.

Kodak ad – Brownie Super 27 camera – Good Housekeeping April 1963
Kodak Automatic 8 Movie Camera Ad – Good Housekeeping May 1963
Brownie Super 27 Outfit Ad – Good Housekeeping July 1963
Kodak Automatic 8 Movie Camera – Good Housekeeping August 1963

Like other mid-century technology brands whose glory days have come and gone, Kodak is just a skeleton of what it once was. Its products are still sold, but with a nod to nostalgia such as these products found on Amazon.

Logos

Logo from 1954 ad
Current Logo

More Products from Kodak

Kodak also produced machines made for business such as the Kodak Verifax copy machine found in this ad from the February 1957 edition of Today’s Secretary magazine. Imagine this. Before copy machines, secretaries would need to retype business correspondence.

Kodak Verifax copier – Today’s Secretary February 1957

Eastman Textiles

George Eastman also entered the textile business as is shown in this posting for Eastman Chemical Products.

More Information

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kodak

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