Guests at the Presentation of Kodacolor at the Home of Mr. George Eastman, Rochester, N.Y.
00:00 Introduction by Kathleen Connor, Curator, George Eastman Legacy Collection
01:56 Guests at the Presentation of Kodacolor at the Home of Mr. George Eastman, Rochester, N.Y.
Guests at the Presentation of Kodacolor at the Home of Mr. George Eastman, Rochester, N.Y. (US 1928)
Participants: Appearances by George Eastman, Thomas A. Edison, Gen. John J. Pershing, J. J. Bausch, Adolph Ochs, J. E. Sloane, Dr. C. E. K. Mees, Michael Pupin, Sir James Irvine, Ogden Reid
Production company: Eastman Kodak Company
Release date: 30 July 1928
Original format: 35mm and 16mm
Color: Replication of original Kodacolor
Length (in feet): 774 ft.
Length (in reels): 1
Running time: 13 min.
Restored by Film Technology
Digitized by Eastman Film Preservation Services
The musical accompaniment for this online presentation features a selection of George Eastman's favorite music performed on his original Aeolian pipe organ by Joe Blackburn.
In 1928, George Eastman introduced Eastman Kodak Company’s new 16mm Kodacolor lenticular film stock at a lavish, celebrity-filled party hosted at his home. In addition to a presentation of the test films already shot by his team of technicians, the party itself was filmed, the footage rushed to the Kodak labs for processing and then the final print was screened for the guests at the conclusion of the gala. Thomas Edison, General John J. Pershing, J. J. Bausch, Kodak executives, and other notables were able to see themselves up on the screen as they appeared just hours before.
The lenticular color process embedded modules in the emulsion of black-and-white film stock, which when projected through a tricolor filter produced a color image on the screen. This additive color system used a reversal development process, and consequently, without the rare color filter attachment the prints can only be shown in black and white.
Kodak was developing Kodacolor for both the 35mm and 16mm formats; hence this film was shot using both film stocks. Kodak research engineers J. G. Capstaff, O. E. Miller, and L. S. Wilder wrote of their experiments projecting 35mm lenticular color in the Journal of the Society of Motion Picture Engineers (1937, vol. 28, no. 1, p. 123–135). They noted: “In the projection of lenticular color-films a large portion of the incident light is lost by absorption in the tricolor filters.” To compensate for this reduction of light, commercial 35mm film projectors would have required modifications to their apertures, shutter blades, and light sources. To successfully screen 35mm lenticular color prints, optimum screening conditions would have had to be maintained at all times and would have required projection screens free of all dirt to enhance reflectivity, improved optical quality of commercial reflectors, creation of a “new type of arc source . . . having still higher intrinsic brightness,” and reducing the size of commercial theater screens. In the end, the modifications needed for widespread 35mm lenticular projection in theaters proved impractical. (While Kodak was still working on this, they were also partnering with another company trying to bring lifelike color to films: Technicolor. That partnership endured for the next forty years, as Technicolor rose to become the dominant color process in commercial filmmaking.) Kodacolor evolved into Kodachrome, a much simpler and more vibrant film stock, and lenticular color ceased to be a viable alternative in the 16mm market.
In 2006, Ralph Sargent, Allen Stark, and Dick May of Film Technology re-created color materials for these titles. The restored prints replicate the original colors as closely as possible using contemporary film stocks and the advantages of newer photochemical technologies.