Kodak Park, Home of Eastman Kodak Co., Rochester NY

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Kodak Park back.jpg

Dublin Core



Following the success of George Eastman's introduction of affordable cameras, the company's manufacturing infrastructure expanded rapidly. Postcard announces Rochester company as the "largest industry of its kind in the world." At its height in the mid-1960s, Kodak Park was comprised of 1,300 acres on a parcel four miles long, and housed 140 manufacturing buildings. At this location Kodak manufactured film, photographic paper, processing chemicals, magnetic tape, and some 4,000 other "research chemicals." 20,000 employees worked there, so the company's description of Kodak Park as "virtually a city within a city" was justified.

As a consequence of its chemical production, Kodak Park also had an outsized ecological footprint--one that became increasingly public by the 1980s in the wake of Love Canal. Dioxin, methylene chloride, and many other hazardous wastes led to its status as (by far) the largest polluter in Western New York. Between 1974 and 2007, Kodak secretly operated a small nuclear reactor; in 2013 it was revealed that the company had buried radioactive waste at the western edge of this complex. The two large smokestacks at the photo's center were part of a coal-fired electrical plant that burned perhaps 600,000 tons of coal per year generting up to 200 megawatts--the equivalent of a city of 200,000. In 2018, one of only three such plants in New York state, converted to natural gas (also a fossil fuel).

Several buildings were demolished, the plot of land was renamed Eastman Business Park, and its chemical reckoning continues.

Works Consulted: Eastman Kodak, The Kodak Park Works: Where Kodak Film, Papers, and Chemicals are Made (1964)







Still Image Item Type Metadata

Original Format


Physical Dimensions

3.5 x 5 in.