George Eastman

George W Eastman (1854 - 1932)

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George W Eastman
Born in Waterville, Oneida, New York, United Statesmap
Ancestors ancestors
Died in Rochester, Monroe, New York, United Statesmap
Profile last modified 17 Sep 2019 | Created 2 Mar 2012 | Last significant change: 17 Sep 2019
18:33: Duane Bode answered a question about George W Eastman (1854-1932) [Thank Duane for this]
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George Eastman is Notable.

Contents

Biography

George Eastman was an inventor, photographer, entrepreneur, and philanthropist who founded the Eastman Kodak Company.[1]

Family

George W. Eastman was born July 12, 1854 in Waterville, New York to George Washington Eastman and Maria Kilbourn.[2][3][4][5][6][7][8][9] George's father died when he was young, so he was primarily raised by his mother, Maria.[5][3] The two lived together until her death.[4][5] George's early years were spent in Waterville, but the family had moved to Rochester by 1865, sometime between the time the census was taken in 1860 and George Sr.'s death.[10][11]

Maria was the head of the household in 1870-75 in Rochester, with her two children, Emma and George at home.[5] Maria was keeping house and George was working as a clerk in an office. In 1880, George was working as a bookkeeper in Rochester.[4][12] George helped to support his mother as well as his sister, who suffered the after-effects of polio.[11] He was living in the home of his mother, Maria, along with her sister, Eliza Kilbourn, two boarders-Cornelia and Eliza Tompkins, and a servant, Maggie Matts. By 1900, it was simply George, Maria, and their household staff.[13][6]

George lived alone after his mother died, in Rochester, aside from his household staff.[1][14][15][16]

Despite his company's name being synonymous with images, there are not many pictures of George, considering his fame. He wasn't fond of the limelight and kept to himself.[11]

Images of an Entrepreneur

George never finished his formal schooling, leaving at age 14 to help support his mother and sisters.[11] While working in an insurance office, he studied accounting at home, in order to better help his family's financial situation. After a few years, he was working at a bank and was able to save enough for a trip to Santo Domingo. In order to document his trip, he purchased the equipment necessary to photograph his vacation. The entire outfit was a "packhorse load" and it cost him to have someone teach him how to use it. George didn't take the trip, but his obsession with photography and how to make it easier for everyone to use began.[11]

By 1879, sleepless nights and experimentation led to a camera that could hold his specialized gelatin coated plates and in numbers, rather than only one. He sailed for London, the center for photographic innovation at the time, and applied for a patent there and back in the States. In 1880, he opened his offices in a building in Rochester. On January 1, 1881, with an investment by Henry Strong, George opened Eastman Dry Plate Company. By 1884, no longer working at the bank but now devoting all his time to running his own ventures and research, the Eastman Dry Plate Company gained 14 share holders, and by 1889, the Eastman Company.[11]

The Eastman Kodak Company was born in 1892. He focused on guiding principles: 1) customer priority, 2) mass production at low cost, 3) worldwide sales, 4) priority on advertising. He worked to make photography no longer a special occasion, but an everyday affair. One way he accomplished was the move from film on plates to film on paper rolls. In its original iteration the Kodak camera held 100 print exposures and had to be returned in entirety to the company in order to have the images processed and new film loaded into the camera for the customer. George wrote the advertising for his products himself, like his slogan, "You press the button, we do the rest." The name Kodak itself was George's own creation, derived from his favorite letter, "K".[11]

In addition to his innovation in the photography world, his business and employment practices were also innovative. He cared that his employees made wages enough to live on and that they shared in the company's good fortune, giving them wage dividends. He also made sure he offered retirement and insurance plans. His philanthropic tendencies extended beyond his company to the world around him. He donated to MIT anonymously as "Mr. Smith", as well as Hampton Institute, University of Rochester, and Tuskegee Institute. Understanding how much health care affected the success of children, he established several children's dental clinics in cities around the world. He also established the Eastman School of Music, the Eastman Theatre, and the Rochester Philharmonic Orchestra, supporting his love of music. In addition, he was an avid art lover and had a large private collection in home.[11]

Legacy

George died March 14, 1932 in Rochester, New York, of a self-inflicted gun-shot wound, leaving a note explaining, "My work is done. Why wait?".[11][17][18] He was frustrated by a slowly debilitating hardening of the cells in his lower spinal cord, which was making him less and less active, both in his work and leisure.[11] A memorial stands at the Eastman Business Park in his honor.[17]

Sources

  1. 1.0 1.1 "United States Census, 1910," database with images, FamilySearch (https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/1:1:M5MF-H88 : accessed 29 August 2019), George Eastman, Rochester Ward 6, Monroe, New York, United States; citing enumeration district (ED) ED 77, sheet 6B, family 123, NARA microfilm publication T624 (Washington D.C.: National Archives and Records Administration, 1982), roll 990; FHL microfilm 1,375,003.
  2. "New York State Census, 1855," database with images, FamilySearch (https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/1:1:K67G-F24 : 13 March 2018), George Eastman in household of George Eastman, E.D. 1, Sangerfield, Oneida, New York, United States; citing p. , line #18, family #66, county clerk offices, New York; FHL microfilm 1,435,054.
  3. 3.0 3.1 "United States Passport Applications, 1795-1925," database with images, FamilySearch (https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/1:1:QV5B-HQ6C : 16 March 2018), George Eastman, 1920; citing Passport Application, New York, United States, source certificate #2405, Passport Applications, January 2, 1906 - March 31, 1925, 1122, NARA microfilm publications M1490 and M1372 (Washington D.C.: National Archives and Records Administration, n.d.).
  4. 4.0 4.1 4.2 "United States Census, 1880," database with images, FamilySearch (https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/1:1:MZDJ-H91 : 17 August 2017), George Eastman in entry for Maria Eastman, 1880; citing enumeration district ED 93, sheet 37B, NARA microfilm publication T9 (Washington D.C.: National Archives and Records Administration, n.d), roll 0863; FHL microfilm 1,254,863.
  5. 5.0 5.1 5.2 5.3 "United States Census, 1870", database with images, FamilySearch (https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/1:1:M8JH-5M2 : 13 June 2019), George W Eastman in entry for Mariah Eastman, 1870.
  6. 6.0 6.1 "United States Census, 1900," database with images, FamilySearch (https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/1:1:MSJQ-6CD : accessed 29 August 2019), George Eastman, Election District 3 Rochester City Ward 6, Monroe, New York, United States; citing enumeration district (ED) 54, sheet 10A, family 186, NARA microfilm publication T623 (Washington, D.C.: National Archives and Records Administration, 1972.); FHL microfilm 1,241,074.
  7. "United States Passport Applications, 1795-1925," database with images, FamilySearch (https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/1:1:Q24F-HK93 : 16 March 2018), George Eastman, 1889; citing Passport Application, New York, United States, source certificate #, Passport Applications, 1795-1905., 336, NARA microfilm publications M1490 and M1372 (Washington D.C.: National Archives and Records Administration, n.d.).
  8. "United States Passport Applications, 1795-1925," database with images, FamilySearch (https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/1:1:QV5B-9K9K : 16 March 2018), George Eastman, 1921; citing Passport Application, New York, United States, source certificate #44904, Passport Applications, January 2, 1906 - March 31, 1925, 1635, NARA microfilm publications M1490 and M1372 (Washington D.C.: National Archives and Records Administration, n.d.).
  9. "United States Census, 1860", database with images, FamilySearch (https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/1:1:MCQV-HB2 : 12 December 2017), Georgia Eastman in entry for Geo W Eastman, 1860.
  10. "New York State Census, 1865," database with images, FamilySearch (https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/1:1:QVNN-5RYR : 10 March 2018), George Eastman in household of Maria Eastman, Ward 01, Rochester, Monroe, New York, United States; citing Census, p. 10, citing multiple county Clerks; Warren and Lewis County Board of Supervisors; multiple counties in New York; Utica and East Hampton Public Libraries, New York.
  11. 11.0 11.1 11.2 11.3 11.4 11.5 11.6 11.7 11.8 11.9 "George Eastman", kodak.com. Accessed 29 Aug 2019
  12. "New York State Census, 1875," database with images, FamilySearch (https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/1:1:VTZY-JSW : 11 March 2018), George Eastman in household of Maria Eastman, Rochester, Monroe, New York, United States; citing p. 5, line 6, State Library, Albany; FHL microfilm 833,779.
  13. Ancestry.com. New York, State Census, 1892 [database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: Ancestry.com Operations, Inc., 2012. Ancestry Record 3212 #1041186
  14. "United States Census, 1930," database with images, FamilySearch (https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/1:1:X78Q-QDQ : accessed 29 August 2019), George Eastman, Rochester, Monroe, New York, United States; citing enumeration district (ED) ED 24, sheet 12A, line 46, family 296, NARA microfilm publication T626 (Washington D.C.: National Archives and Records Administration, 2002), roll 1449; FHL microfilm 2,341,184.
  15. "New York State Census, 1905," database with images, FamilySearch (https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/1:1:MKM7-V1M : 19 July 2018), George Eastman, Rochester, Ward 06, E.D. 03, Monroe, New York; citing p. , line 1, various county clerk offices, New York; FHL microfilm 833,786.
  16. "United States Census, 1920," database with images, FamilySearch (https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/1:1:MJG9-712 : accessed 29 August 2019), George Eastmans, Rochester Ward 6, Monroe, New York, United States; citing ED 81, sheet 7A, line 47, family 156, NARA microfilm publication T625 (Washington D.C.: National Archives and Records Administration, 1992), roll 1121; FHL microfilm 1,821,121.
  17. 17.0 17.1 Find A Grave, database and images (https://www.findagrave.com : accessed 29 August 2019), memorial page for George Eastman (12 Jul 1854–14 Mar 1932), Find A Grave: Memorial #2184, citing Eastman Business Park, Rochester, Monroe County, New York, USA ; Maintained by Find A Grave .
  18. Ancestry.com. New York, Death Index, 1852-1956 [database on-line]. Lehi, UT, USA: Ancestry.com Operations, Inc., 2017.New York Department of Health; Albany, NY; NY State Death Index Ancestry Record 61535 #3412079
  • "United States Passport Applications, 1795-1925," database with images, FamilySearch (https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/1:1:Q24F-NZFJ : 16 March 2018), George Eastman, 1896; citing Passport Application, New York, United States, source certificate #, Passport Applications, 1795-1905., 473, NARA microfilm publications M1490 and M1372 (Washington D.C.: National Archives and Records Administration, n.d.).
  • "United States Passport Applications, 1795-1925," database with images, FamilySearch (https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/1:1:QV5Y-GK61 : 16 March 2018), George Eastman, 1913; citing Passport Application, New York, United States, source certificate #86448, Passport Applications, January 2, 1906 - March 31, 1925, 175, NARA microfilm publications M1490 and M1372 (Washington D.C.: National Archives and Records Administration, n.d.).
  • "United States Passport Applications, 1795-1925," database with images, FamilySearch (https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/1:1:QVJP-MTSP : 16 March 2018), George Eastman, 1916; citing Passport Application, New York, United States, source certificate #28798, Passport Applications, January 2, 1906 - March 31, 1925, Roll 314, NARA microfilm publications M1490 and M1372 (Washington D.C.: National Archives and Records Administration, n.d.).
  • "United States Passport Applications, 1795-1925," database with images, FamilySearch (https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/1:1:QVJP-7XY9 : 16 March 2018), George Eastman, 1915; citing Passport Application, New York, United States, source certificate #57995, Passport Applications, January 2, 1906 - March 31, 1925, 247, NARA microfilm publications M1490 and M1372 (Washington D.C.: National Archives and Records Administration, n.d.).
  • Ancestry.com. New York, Passenger and Crew Lists (including Castle Garden and Ellis Island), 1820-1957 [database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: Ancestry.com Operations, Inc., 2010. Year: 1926; Arrival: New York, New York; Microfilm Serial: T715, 1897-1957; Microfilm Roll: Roll 3952; Line: 21; Page Number: 17 Ancestry Record 7488 #2003012638
  • Ancestry.com. New York, Passenger and Crew Lists (including Castle Garden and Ellis Island), 1820-1957 [database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: Ancestry.com Operations, Inc., 2010. Year: 1928; Arrival: New York, New York; Microfilm Serial: T715, 1897-1957; Microfilm Roll: Roll 4282; Line: 14; Page Number: 9 Ancestry Record 7488 #2004761414
  • Ancestry.com. New York, Passenger and Crew Lists (including Castle Garden and Ellis Island), 1820-1957 [database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: Ancestry.com Operations, Inc., 2010. Year: 1909; Arrival: New York, New York; Microfilm Serial: T715, 1897-1957; Microfilm Roll: Roll 1205; Line: 18; Page Number: 8 Ancestry Record 7488 #4036909376
  • Ancestry.com. New York, Passenger and Crew Lists (including Castle Garden and Ellis Island), 1820-1957 [database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: Ancestry.com Operations, Inc., 2010. Year: 1921; Arrival: New York, New York; Microfilm Serial: T715, 1897-1957; Microfilm Roll: Roll 2998; Line: 7; Page Number: 26 Ancestry Record 7488 #4025675328
  • Ancestry.com. New York, Passenger and Crew Lists (including Castle Garden and Ellis Island), 1820-1957 [database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: Ancestry.com Operations, Inc., 2010. Year: 1892; Arrival: New York, New York; Microfilm Serial: M237, 1820-1897; Microfilm Roll: Roll 596; Line: 6 Ancestry Record 7488 #4002183265
  • Ancestry.com. New York, Passenger and Crew Lists (including Castle Garden and Ellis Island), 1820-1957 [database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: Ancestry.com Operations, Inc., 2010. Year: 1913; Arrival: New York, New York; Microfilm Serial: T715, 1897-1957; Microfilm Roll: Roll 2153; Line: 21; Page Number: 9 Ancestry Record 7488 #4037855153
  • Ancestry.com. New York, Passenger and Crew Lists (including Castle Garden and Ellis Island), 1820-1957 [database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: Ancestry.com Operations, Inc., 2010. Year: 1881; Arrival: New York, New York; Microfilm Serial: M237, 1820-1897; Microfilm Roll: Roll 440; Line: 19; List Number: 1099 Ancestry Record 7488 #11391374
  • Eastman.org


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DNA Connections
It may be possible to confirm family relationships with George by comparing test results with other carriers of his ancestors' Y-chromosome or mitochondrial DNA. Y-chromosome DNA test-takers in his direct paternal line on WikiTree:

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Images: 5
George Eastman
George Eastman

George Eastman commemorative issue, 1954
George Eastman commemorative issue, 1954

George Eastman Passport Photo
George Eastman Passport Photo

What We Are
What We Are

George W. Eastman
George W. Eastman

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On 22 Jul 2019 at 18:47 GMT Abby (Brown) Glann wrote:

Hi there profile managers! We'll be featuring George's profile September 4th as our Example Profile of the Week. Feel free to do some sprucing up between now and then. I'll stop by closer to the date to make sure everything's ready to go.

Thanks! Abby

On 11 Jul 2014 at 19:26 GMT Bob Fields wrote:

Eastman-632 and Eastman-342 appear to represent the same person because: Same name, birth/death dates and locations. Should be categorized as part of
Notables
George Eastman is notable.
Join: Notables Project
Discuss: notables
project. A picture upload would also be very nice, See http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/George_Eastman.




George is 18 degrees from Tanya Lowry, 15 degrees from Charles Tiffany and 15 degrees from Henry VIII of England on our single family tree. Login to find your connection.