Summary

Black and white silver gelatin photograph taken by Wolfgang Sievers of two commemorative plaques in the ground floor reception area in the newly constructed Kodak Australasia Pty Ltd factory complex in Coburg, 1964.

The reception area is located in building 8 which housed the Kodak Australasia Pty Ltd Head Offices and Sales and Marketing Division. The top plaque features the profile of the Kodak founder, George Eastman with the following text: 'GEORGE EASTMAN, July 12 1854 - March 14 1939, INVENTOR - INDUSTRIALIST - BENEFACTOR'.

The bottom plaque is a dedication plaque with the following text: 'TO ALL OF THE MEN AND WOMEN OF KODAK AUSTRALASIA PTY. LTD. TO COMMEMORATE THE OPENING OF YOUR NEW FACTORY AND OFFICES IN COBURG. IN RECOGNITION OF YOUR OUTSTANDING ACCOMPLISHMENTS IN THE FIELD OF PHOTOGRAPHY. IN APPRECIATION OF YOUR DEVOTION TO THE COMPANY AND AS A TOKEN OF WARM FRIENDSHIP FROM YOUR COLLEAGUES IN AMERICA. EASTMAN KODAK COMPANY. APRIL 14, 1961.'

The still uncompleted Coburg factory complex was officially opened on 14 April 1961 by the Prime Minister, Robert G. Menzies with Dr. A Chapman, President of Eastman Kodak Company, in attendance. The complex was the national headquarters of Kodak Australasia Pty Ltd and its manufacture of silver halide photographic products. It replaced the Abbotsford factory where Kodak had been operating since 1908. The Abbotsford premises eventually closed in 1966.

Wolfgang Sievers is widely recognised as one of Australia's most significant architectural and industrial photographers. He pioneered a modernist photographic style influenced by the Bauhaus, and his work celebrates industry and the worker. Sievers was commissioned to document the newly constructed Kodak Coburg plant. He subsequently took several hundred black & white and colour images that highlighted the modern architectural and industrial design features of the complex.

Kodak manufactured and distributed a wide range of photographic products to Australasia, such as film, paper, chemicals, cameras and miscellaneous equipment. Its client base included amateur and professional photographers, as well as specialist medical and graphic art professionals who used photography, x-ray and other imaging techniques.

This photograph is part of the Kodak collection of products, promotional materials, photographs and working life artefacts collected from Kodak Australasia in 2005, when the Melbourne manufacturing plant at Coburg closed down.

Description of Content

Image of two commemorative plaques on a marble inlaid wall. The top plaque is smaller and features the profile of the founder of Kodak, George Eastman with text. The bottom plaque is larger and is a dedication plaque for the opening of the Kodak Australasia Pty Ltd factory in Coburg in April 1961. the plaque is addressed to the workers of the Australian plant from the American parent company, Eastman Kodak Company.

Physical Description

Black and white, silver gelatin photograph printed on light weight paper, portrait format.

More Information

  • Collection Names

    Kodak Heritage Collection, Wolfgang Sievers Collection

  • Collecting Areas

    Images & Image Making, Working Life & Trades

  • Acquisition Information

    Donation from Kodak (Australasia) Pty Ltd, Ms. Kate Metcalf - Kodak (Australasia) Pty Ltd, 2005

  • Acknowledgement

    Courtesy of Kodak (Australasia) Pty Ltd.

  • Place & Date Depicted

    Australia, 1964
    The latest possible date has been established for a group of internal and external, black and white and colour photographs of the Kodak factory complex in Coburg, from the invoice sent to Kodak by Sievers itemizing the commissioned photographs with a serial number 3562.The invoice is dated 28th August 1964 [see HT 20552]. A note in the invoice mentions the postponement of some external images until landscaping had been completed suggesting a later date, possibly 1965 [circa 1965, serial number 3613].

  • Organisation Depicted

    Kodak (Australia) Pty Ltd, Coburg, Greater Melbourne, Victoria, Australia, 1964
    The latest possible date has been established for a group of internal and external, black and white and colour photographs of the Kodak factory complex in Coburg, from the invoice sent to Kodak by Sievers itemizing the commissioned photographs with a serial number 3562.The invoice is dated 28th August 1964 [see HT 20552]. A note in the invoice mentions the postponement of some external images until landscaping had been completed suggesting a later date, possibly 1965 [circa 1965, serial number 3613].

  • Format

    Photograph, Black & White

  • Inscriptions

    Card insert, typed, black ink: 'ADMINISTRATION BUILDING - NO.8/ ENTRANCE FOYER/ GEORGE EASTMAN AND EASTMAN KODAK PLAQUES' Back, stamp, purple ink: 'WOLFGANG SIEVERS / Photographer / 9 COLLINS ST. MELBOURNE C. 1. / TELEPHONE 63-4023' Back, handwritten, pencil: 'EC-3562 AK'

  • Brand Names

    Kodak (Photographic Products)

  • Classification

    Manufacturing & industry, Photographic products, Factory interior views

  • Category

    History & Technology

  • Discipline

    Technology

  • Type of item

    Image

  • 2D format

    193 mm (Width), 243 mm (Height)

  • References

    Beale, N, The History of Kodak in Australia, Coburg, no date. [Link 1] “A Brief Process Based Site History, Kodak (Australasia) Pty Ltd, Coburg Plant” Kodak (Australasia) Pty Ltd, 2007 Pamphlet, "Milestones in the History of Kodak (Australasia) Pty. Ltd", Kodak (Australasia) Pty. Ltd., 1985 Leggio, Angeletta "A History of Australia's Kodak Manufacturing Plant", Topics in Photographic Preservation, Volume Twelve, 2007 Ennis, Helen "Intersections: Photography, History and the National Library of Australia", National Library of Australia, Canberra, 2004

  • Keywords

    Buildings, Factories, Interior Views, Manufacturing Plants, Photography, Making History - Kodak Collection