Summary

Photographic print from a digital file, featuring a portrait of Alice & Thomas Baker in an outdoor setting, circa 1910s, towards the end of Baker's career.

Thomas and Alice Baker moved to Melbourne in 1881 where Baker studied medicine at the University of Melbourne. However, he did not finish the degree. Instead, taking advantage of his chemistry expertise, he experimented with making photographic 'dry plates' and in 1884 he established the Austral Plate Company to commercially manufacture these plates. Baker was one of the earliest Australian manufacturers of dry plates, which were developed in the late 1870s. Baker went on to form Baker & Rouse Pty Ltd and later Kodak Australasia Pty Ltd, after a successful merger with Eastman Kodak Company in the USA.

Alice was a significant part of Baker's early business ventures and would travel with Baker on his international trips, including to Eastman Kodak in Rochester in the early days of the merger. Baker continued to lead the factory to great success until his death. Kodak has been a significant manufacturer and distributor of photographic products in Australia, and an important educator in regard to the practice of photography.

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

Portrait of a woman and a man in an outdoor setting. The woman ( left) is wearing a hat with a veil and a long frock coat over a dress and a lace blouse. She is wearing gloves and is holding a piece of paper. The man (right) is wearing a three-piece suit with a bow tie and a felt hat. He has a goatee beard and moustache. He is also holding a piece of paper. They both have a pin on their lapels with two ribbons.

Physical Description

Digital photographic print on medium weight paper, portrait format.

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