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Profile of the Day: George Eastman

On this day in 1854, American inventor and philanthropist George Eastman was born.

Image: George Eastman / Library of Congress

Eastman was born on July 12, 1854 in Waterville, New York and was the youngest of three children born to George Washington Eastman and Maria Kilbourn. His father started a small business school, Eastman Commercial College, in Rochester, New York. When Eastman was 8, his father died suddenly and by 14, he left school to help support his family. He held a series of jobs before landing a position as a bookkeeper at the Rochester Savings Bank.

When Eastman was 23, a colleague suggested he take a camera to document an upcoming trip to Santo Domingo. Taking up the suggestion, Eastman signed up for photography lessons and purchased the heavy equipment necessary. Although he never made the trip, Eastman developed a fascination for photography and began researching a way to make photography easier and less cumbersome.

As the founder of the Eastman Kodak Company and inventor of roll film, Eastman helped bring photography to the mainstream by making it accessible to the general public. By 1927, Eastman Kodak became the largest U.S. company in its industry.

View George Eastman’s Geni Profile

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The post Profile of the Day: George Eastman first appeared on The Geni Blog.


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