Feedback from readers of the 2nd Edition:
Sales of the 2nd edition have been much greater than I expected. Word has spread quickly in the photographic academic, curatorial, and film preservation communities. Books have been bought by the most prestigious of these organizations. I won't provide their specific names without their permission. However, it includes the top academic institutions in the US, multiple US Government custodians of information, World famous art galleries and museums in US, Germany, Canada, UK, Ireland, France, Belgium, Netherlands, Austria, Switzerland, Portugal, Spain, and Australia. I am humbled by the list.
I got back to California from Texas and took much of the evening to browse through your book.
Magnificent! What a resource. I was technical visitor to Kodak Park in 1999.
Thank you so much for taking the time and trouble to produce such a volume!
David M. Concord, CA. June 2020
I have just received today your new version of "Making Kodak Film" ...It is actually an augmented version ! Thank you very much for this beautiful book.
Philippe. Lourdes, France
Robert, I received the book yesterday and I must say it's simply great ! it's a real pleasure to discover all the detail and the historical elements. I might come back to you after I lecture with questions. KN, France
I have received my signed book and quickly scanned through the chapters. What a wonderful treatise this is! Not only technically brimming with information I always wanted to know, but the history is even more amazing. I can't wait to get into the details within these pages.
Great work deserves great praise!
Thanks for your monumental effort putting this all together.
Steve A. from Fountain Valley, CA
Robert, I received your heavy 2nd edition book a few days ago and had a first read in it. I must say, this is really state-of-the-art work you did. Congratulations and also many thanks, this book will be very precious to me. I believe people nowadays would say this book is a 'must read'. And every person that is into film (-making, -student, -lab, -artist, -professional) should have this and read this. Only then we al understand what enormous achievement Kodak reached in the past +100 years, and what great work you did by writing this all down in understandable language with good images.
Frank B. Photographic professional, The Netherlands
Received your new book. Amazing! So much history and information. A stunning accomplishment. Thank you for taking the time and energy. Our world is a better place because of you and your care of photographic history.
Steve, owner of a world class traditional photographic laboratory, New York
I received my copy of your latest book safely and I must congratulate you on completing a massive task- the history of Kodak film!! It is a complete history of what was a great company and many very technical world class products...
Thanks for the opportunity to contribute to your work...
J. M., Director & General Manager, Manufacturing Division.Kodak Australasia Pty Ltd. retired
The thousands of purchasers of Robert Shanebrook's "Making Kodak Film" will be pleased to know that an expanded second edition is now available. Expanded is too modest a word; exploded might be better. The 94 pages of the first edition are now 470! Any possible questions a reader of the first edition might have had will be answered in the second. Shanebrook writes eloquently about everything from the factual chemistry of emulsions to the emotional value of snapshots.
Turning back the clock over a hundred year to a time way before color photography, Shanebrook details the making of film in the early days of snapshot photography. Using written reminiscences of workers from those times and interviews with surviving Kodakers, he gives us a clear window into some of the best kept industrial secrets in the world. All this and more. This is a feast for anyone interested in the marvelous, hidden technology of silver halide photography.
MLS, Retired Kodak technical photographic expert
I received your book "Making Kodak Film - Expanded Second Edition". The book was well packed, and arrived safely and quickly. It is a marvelous book! Right off the bat I read your introduction, and then I looked through the book quickly to get a general idea of its layout. Since then I have been reading the parts with special interest to me. There is so much information in this book that it will take me quite a while to read it. Thank you for writing this book, Mr. Shanebrook. I know that it turned into a much bigger project than you ever imagined, and took much more time and effort than you had planned, but it is a wonderful book to read, and it will be an excellent reference book for me for the future. DV
Your book arrived and I’ve had an enjoyable time recalling my rewarding days at Kodak Park with so many friends I worked with. It is an outstanding description of how we worked. Thank you. JM
A surprising and gratifying comment I have received from several people is a "thank you" after they have read the book. The thank yous from Kodak people is their gratitude for documenting the accomplishments of so many un-named people at Kodak. From others they appreciate sharing the information that is not available from any other source.
Feedback from readers of the First Edition:
"the book arrived today and it 's very beautiful! Thank you so much for documenting these milestones of photo history!" Olaf, Germany
"This will certainly help explain the voodoo art that I was part of in making film at Kodak. Excellent book, nice job!" Jim M. Kodak Emulsion Blender for 22 years.
View Camera Magazine: "Lifts the silver curtain of secrecy that kept Kodak’s recipes and methods restricted to those few insiders who really needed to know." Michael More
"... the most informative book on technical aspects of photography that I have seen in a long time. Thanks for your passion about film!" Robert L., Melrose Park, IL
“At first glance I was shocked! You realize that in the not too distant past you would have been shot for even considering such a volume. But after reading it with great interest, and though some would argue about the equipment photographs being of aid to any competitors, I congratulate you on a superb result.” Wendel Cook former General Manager of Kodak Park.
"In my childhood I became entranced by photography and discovered how true it is that a “sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic.” As I grew in years and in experience, that sense of magic ought to have diminished and given way to knowledge - but instead, it held on defiantly. Now Robert Shanebrook’s book, “Making Kodak Film” rips all the shrouds off a vast treasure trove of mysterious, arcane and heretofore secret knowledge, and this should have finally dispelled film’s aura of magic. And yet, like the bumble bee that the experts say should not be able to fly, the magic that is film not only prevails unvanquished, but is greatly enhanced. "
Jonathan Erland, Winner of Scientific and Engineering Award from The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, (The Oscars).
"My fellow cinematographer wants one too, so I am ordering another." NYC cinematographer.
Midwest Book Review: "... a fascinating study of this staple of modern technology."
The book explains in detail and with great number of illustrations the manufacture of support as well as the emulsion making process and coating emulsion layers on the film support. The film is initially made in great coils of about 137.16 cm wide and a length between 1,5 and 3 kilometers. Rolls are cut to the size as needed to create the end item. The book closes with a visit to “Kodak Park” of Rochester, a great industrial plant built to manufacture of film, as well as diverse appendices. This view completes the present panorama of the manufacture of films Kodak. Foto-Vídeo Actualidad, Spain.
"The whole process is described in such a way that even experts can learn from the book. It is a rare documentation that all photographic experts, photo historians and lovers of photography will find to be indispensable." www.fotointern.ch
"The book is excellent, a must-have for devotees of film. The colour pictures are superb and in just skimming the text, I can see it is a really detailed work." Dr. Jeffrey L. T. von G.
"It is very well complied and contains a lot of information about the production of sensitized materials at Kodak. Perfect job, Bob! Thank you! " Wolfgang S. Sr. Manager in the photographic material manufacturing business, Germany
“When people ask ‘How did photography work?’ this book brings photography out of the closet with an approach of pictorial simplicity that nevertheless leaves the reader in no doubt about the achievements of 120 years of proprietary technology development”. Dr Keith Purves, retired, Film Manufacturing Manager, Kodak Ltd.
“I worked at Kodak in Harrow, England, from 1961 to 1999 as an Instrument Engineer on Coating Machines 1, 4, and 5 (or Tracks as they are called in Harrow) and later as a Shift Technologist in Tracks 4 and 5. Your book is exactly what I hoped it would be – a very complete and correct account of photographic film production. The contents are well researched and clearly presented.” Alan M, UK.
“I worked all my 42 years of employment with Kodak Ltd at Harrow and many plants worldwide, finishing in Xiamen in 2002. Your book reminds me of what an exciting and technically advanced business we were involved in, and has brought back many memories of challenging engineering projects and the wonderful people .
“Having been involved in nearly all the processes that you describe, I am amazed at the way you have captured the story of this intricate process and presented it in such a clear and comprehensive way. What a journey from George Eastman's early production to the massive machines and complexity of chemistry that we were to end with. Many congratulations to you. I can't begin to imagine the work and research that went into drawing all of this into one volume.
“I will certainly try to spread the word about the book and am very pleased that a copy has come my way.” John, Nottingham, England.
“I received my copy about a week ago. It looks great. Well done!” John, retired Kodak film emulsion coating engineer.
“Thank you so much for taking the time to write and photograph the magic at Kodak. This is a rare insight into the complexity of getting something that seems simple.” Roman, Ottawa.
“I went through your book very carefully reading it several times and I only spotted one typo and a very small one at that! Page 90, 3rd-last line, should be 3xxx 16mm x 4 mil ESTAR. (Delete one "x"). A.M. Retired Motion Picture Expert
Congratulations on a great book, which I have really enjoyed reading.
“Thank you so much! The Conservation Department and the Photography Collection at U of Texas, Austin, are so pleased to include your book in their holdings, and consider it an important reference for better understanding of the materials we are charged with preserving.” Barbara, Texas.
“I noticed the high quality in the presentation of the book. Inside, color photographs and diagrams are complemented with easy to read descriptions of the process. In addition, many photographs of equipment have added labels explaining significant parts of the machine. This is a unique document that heralds some of the amazing science behind photographic products.” David, Australia.
“This book is great and very detailed. Thanks again for the great research. I’m sure it was a lot of work putting the book together.” Andre.
“You did a great job pulling all this information together. Congratulations to you! One of Kodak’s foremost film designers.” J. Paquette.
“For those of us who already use Kodak film, your book gives us a deeper appreciation to love it even more.
I am so happy with the tone of your writing. Given the market glut of digital, I was afraid the book was going to be a eulogy, but instead got a peak behind the curtain of living film production. Your introduction alone was worth the price of the book as it made me realize the complexities of manufacturing that little roll of film I often took for granted.
“Having read your book, photography has become a new experience for me. Now when I pop a roll of Kodak film into my Leica MP, I not only feel proud knowing I'm using the best method for my madness but also a bit humble in recognition of and gratitude for the dedicated Kodak staff who continue to create such a great product.”
“Awareness is always a good thing. Thanks for shedding the light.” Joe W., photographer, Manhattan
“I really like it. Thanks for making this available.” Gary, photographer, Garland, Texas.
“Congratulations on a great publication.” Rob, Kodak Australia film expert.
“As you say in one of the last pages, it is incredible that a process of this complexity worked. I prepare my own emulsions for a number of old processes, so I know how difficult (or impossible) it is to get a defect-free layer, not to speak of any repeatability in thickness, sensibility and so on. Thanks for taking the time to write this!” Tom, Madrid, Spain.
“Wow! A superb book for film junkies! The pictures are great and the text wonderful. The quality of the book is great, coated paper with full-color illustrations. Good work!!!” Jeffrey, photographer, NJ.
“I'm going to read it from the front to the back and back again to the front. Thanks for a great book.” Jacco de Kraker, The Netherlands.
Who would enjoy reading Making KODAK Film?
Current and former Kodak Employees
“Making KODAK Film” is of great interest to Kodak employees and retirees. Now for the first time an overview of the film manufacturing process is explained in simple language. This allows Kodakers to gain a greater understanding of how their efforts contributed to the quality of Kodak films. It also provides an opportunity to explain their role at Kodak to family members and friends.
Photographic conservators and archivists
For those with the important responsibility of preserving motion pictures and photographs, “Making KODAK Film” provides a unique explanation of how the films are made. Determining and implementing the protocols needed to preserve these critical materials is facilitated by thoroughly understanding how the materials are created.
Cinematographers and very serious film photographers
Cinematographers and photographers understand how their skills improve the quality of their photographs. The book provides photographers with an understanding of the operations required to provide films that they need and gives them a better understanding of film, the tool that is essential in making film images.