19 January 2012
Last updated at 13:20
The Kodak, invented by George Eastman (1854-1932), is perhaps the most significant commercial camera ever produced. The important feature of the Kodak was not the camera itself but the new photographic system marketed to support it.
After the film had been exposed, the camera was posted to the factory where the film was developed and printed, the negatives and a set of prints then being returned to the owner together with fresh film.
In 1897 Kodak introduced their folding pocket camera, the first of what was to become a very popular range of folding rollfilm cameras. Over 300,000 No 3A Autographics were produced by Kodak between 1914 and 1934. The Autographic Kodak Junior included a stylus with which the user could 'write' onto the film backing paper.
In 1900 George Eastman marketed the original Brownie to be an inexpensive camera for the mass market priced at $1(5 shillings in UK). The Brownie made photography accessible to the masses. Virginia Schau, an amateur photographer using a Kodak Brownie, won the Pulitzer Prize in 1954 for this photo.
The Brownie camera went on to become a best-seller in America. In 1935 Kodak also introduced Kodachrome, the first 35mm colour film.
The company's greatest profit margins came from the sale of film, chemicals and paper.
In 1975 Kodak engineer Steven Sasson spent 10 largely uninterrupted months in a research lab creating the first digital camera.
However, despite being one of the original inventors of digital photography, the 133-year-old firm has struggled to keep up with competitors who were quicker to adapt to the digital era and has filed for bankruptcy protection.
Announcing the move to seek bankruptcy protection, Antonio Perez, Kodak's chairman and chief executive, said: "The board of directors and the entire senior management team unanimously believe that this is a necessary step and the right thing to do for the future of Kodak."