On October 3, 2022, I was honored to speak at the American Chemical Society (ACS) Symposium establishing a National Historic Chemical Landmark: “George Eastman, Kodak, and the Birth of Consumer Photography”. I was asked to describe the process of manufacturing photographic film.
ACS bills me as "film manufacturing guru Bob Shanebrook".
In November 2021 I was interviewed. It is on YouTube: https://youtu.be/8u27vaWvhOs
Bob Shanebrook graduated from Rochester Institute of Technology and worked at Eastman Kodak Company for 35 years before retiring in 2003. At Kodak he worked as an industrial photographer, researcher, product development engineer, manufacturing manager, company spokesman for Professional Films, and for more than twenty years was a Worldwide Product-Line Manager for Kodak Professional Films.
In 1969 he worked on the Apollo Lunar Surface Close-Up Camera that was flown on Apollo 11 to 15. He also worked supporting the USA's Reconnaissance Satellites Gambit-Cubed and Manned Orbiting Laboratory. He has knowledge of US film-return satellite imaging systems.
He then worked Kodak Apparatus Division Research Laboratory where he worked on image evaluation, liquid crystals for imaging, and other electronic imaging devices. He moved to Kodak Photographic Technology Division to design heat-processable films, microfilms, x-ray films, and camera films that became T-Max Films.
Beginning in 1981, he became engaged in nearly all aspects of Kodak's black-and-white and professional film business. As Worldwide Product-Line Manager he was heavily involved in designing, manufacturing, and commercializing photographic products including:
Polyprint RC Paper
Polycontrast III RC Paper
Elite Fine-Art Paper
T-Max 100, T-Max 400, and T-Max p3200 Films and T-Max Developer, T-Max RS Developer
Technical Pan Film 120 and sheets Technidol Developers
Ektachrome Films: 100, 100 Plus, 64, 200, 64T, DUP film
Process E-6 chemicals and Q-Lab Process Monitoring Service
Kodachrome 200 Film and Kodachrome 64 in 120-size
Process K-14 chemicals and Kodachrome Professional Film Processing Laboratories
Ektapress Films: PJA, PJB, PJC, PJM
Professional Internegative Film
Kodak Pro 100, 100T, 400, and 400MC Films
Ektacolor Pro-Gold 160 and Pro-Gold 400 Films
Miyabi Professional Film for Japan
Profoto, Pro Image, Image 100, Ultima Films
Portra Professional Films: 160NC, 160VC, 400NC, 400VC, 800, 100T, 400BW
Endura Metallic Paper
2002 Reformulation of:
T-Max 100, Tri-X 400, Tri-X 320 and 400, High speed Infrared, Plus-X Films
His technical photographic papers have been published by Association for Information and Image Management, Radiological Society of North America, Society for Imaging Science and Technology, and American Chemical Society.
He was instructed by and later worked on photographic projects with John Sexton and Ansel Adams.
At Kodak he won the Everest Award for Product Excellence and the Outstanding Innovation Award for film technology advancements.
He was on the Board of Directors of the Friends of Photography, Carmel and San Francisco, California.
Bob consults in the fields of silver halide technology and photographic history at George Eastman Museum, Rochester, NY. and commercial clients.
On behalf of the American National Standards Institute (ANSI) he is a voting delegate to International Standards Organization: Photography Technical Committee.
He and his wife of over 50 years Lynne live and sail on Irondequoit Bay, near Rochester, NY. They have adult children, Stefanie and Adam and four grandchildren.
He can be contacted at: makingKODAKfilm@yahoo.com
© 2022 Robert Shanebrook
There are two types of “filmmakers” - those who translate their visions onto film and those who design and manufacture the physical product. Robert L. Shanebrook, one of the world’s foremost experts in making film products, delves into the world of film technology. His book provides an accurate, in-depth view of how film is made in a state-of-the-art factory. Anyone interested in photography and those wanting an education on the making of film will find his research fascinating.
Bob Shanebrook managed many of the professional photographic film products during his 35-year career at Kodak, including research, manufacturing, marketing, and Kodak's business. In a real way, this is the creator telling the story of creation as pertains to the making of film.
Quoted regarding Kodak Film Manufacturing:
French TV "Capital"
German National TV
New York Times
Wall Street Journal
Canadian Broadcasting Corp.
National Public Radio
British Journal of Photography
Photographica World and many others.
Making KODAK Film, expanded 2nd edition