Summary

Colour photograph taken by Wolfgang Sievers of an exterior view from the south-east of Building 7 Testing (later called Film & Paper Technical Services), in the newly constructed Kodak Australasia Pty Ltd factory complex in Coburg, 1964.

The photograph was chosen to feature in an album prepared for the Kodak parent company at Rochester, in New York State, USA.

This photograph of Building 7 Testing features the east facade of the building with its full length walls incorporating the windows. This architectural theme was emphasised with all glass walls and strong vertical mullions in later office and laboratory buildings. A relatively small two-storey section protruded out from the building line and served as the ground floor entrance with management offices above with an all glass feature wall.

The Testing Department (later called Film & Paper Technical Services Department) provided a service to Manufacturing and Marketing by measuring and reporting on the quality of manufactured films, papers and chemicals. Samples of sensitized materials were taken out from pilot runs, and during and after manufacture. These were measured for photographic speed, contrast, colour balance and for many other attributes, to ensure that all quality specifications were being met. Further testing of some samples involved physical performance, storage conditions and general handling which products would likely have to endure over their lifetime in the hands of customers and professional users. More than a thousand samples were tested every day. While most of this testing was destructive, it complemented the non-destructive inspections made in the production departments. This department also monitored and reported on the quality of all chemical preparations made in the Photochemicals operation at the Burnley plant (after 1974 at Coburg).

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

Photograph of the exterior of a dual level building. In the foreground is a manicured lawn area. The building features an entrance area with glass doors, positioned centre of structure with an overhanging storey featuring a grid of windows. The wings of the building on view show rows of windows but many are blocked out or have screening. In the background to the right there is a pipeline construction.

Physical Description

Colour photograph printed on light weight paper, landscape format.

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