Summary

Black and white, silver gelatin photograph of an exterior of the Kodak Australasia factory at Abbotsford after a fire in the Silver Nitrate building, 1956.

The Abbotsford factory was initially the site of the Austral Plate Company, created by Thomas Baker, a pharmaceutical chemist, in 1884. After Baker went into partnership with accountant, John Rouse, to develop the photographic manufacturing company, Baker and Rouse Pty Ltd, they proposed a merger with Eastman Kodak in 1907. In 1908, Australian Kodak Limited was formed and evolved to become what is known today as Kodak Australasia. The Abbotsford site remained the base for the operations of Kodak Australasia until the late 1950s.

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

Aerial view of the roof of a burning building, with smoke coming from the roof. There is a fireman on the roof, positioned on the left edge of the roof and holding the end of a hose. To the right, on the ground there are two firemen in the lower right hand corner holding a hose near a ladder leaning against the roof. There are holes blown out in the roof and debris scattered over the corrugated aluminium.

Physical Description

Black and white, silver gelatin photograph, printed on light weight paper, landscape format with a white border.

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