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One Hundred Years Ago: George Eastman in 1920 display now on view at the George Eastman Museum

Legacy Collection Archivist Jesse Peers will host a talk on March 7 at noon to reveal what was happening in George Eastman’s life in 1920

Rochester, N.Y., February 28, 2020—One hundred years ago, George Eastman was entering what would be his final full decade—and his most productive as well. The George Eastman Museum has recently opened One Hundred Years Ago: George Eastman in 1920, a display exploring aspects of Eastman's life through artifacts. Objects on view include an album of photographs from the construction of the Eastman Theatre, newspaper articles, the first issues of Kodak Magazine, and souvenirs from his trip to Japan. On a touchscreen tablet, visitors can also see snapshots taken by Eastman himself during that trip.

George Eastman in 1920
Saturday, March 7, 12 p.m., Dryden

In this annual lecture on George Eastman’s life one hundred years ago, Legacy Collection Archivist Jesse Peers will explore what George Eastman and the Eastman Kodak Company were up to in 1920. Free to members; incl. w/museum admission. Talk only: $6 general, $3 students.

With World War I over and Eastman Kodak Company’s global expansion well underway, Eastman focused on making Kodak a leader in industrial relations and making Rochester a better place to live for his employees. He spent 1920 giving shape to the Eastman Theatre, Eastman School of Music, the University of Rochester Medical School and overseeing Rochester’s first tonsillectomy marathon. Kodak grew its operations that year by establishing the Tennessee Eastman Corporation which lives on today as Eastman Chemical. Kodak also founded the Kodak Employees Association to handle the new welfare fund, along with Eastman Savings and Loan to help Kodak employees purchase homes.

Aside from business and philanthropy, Eastman traveled regularly in 1920. He took his only trip to Asia after being invited on a delegation to Japan to better industrial relations between the United States and Japan. He also spent time camping throughout British Columbia for the second time in the late summer of 1920; visited Oak Lodge, his rustic hunting retreat in North Carolina twice; and ended 1920 by taking one of his many trips to New York City.

One Hundred Years Ago: George Eastman in 1920 will be on display through the end of the year in the Sitting Room, located on the 2nd floor of the historic mansion.

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