Where the Brand Name “Kodak” Came From

The name “Kodak” was devised by George Eastman, founder of Eastman Kodak, and his mother, while playing with an anagram set.  They were looking for a name that adhered to three principles: short; cannot be mispronounced; and should not resemble anything or be associated with anything else except for the business that would eventually be called by that name.


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  • There is a lot more in the the name Kodak, and Eastmen’s choice of it. He imagined that the “o” could represent the lens of a camera, and the “dak” the sound of the shutter. THEN he made sure that it wasn’t a rude word in all the languages he could check. This combination of imagination and realism, is an object lesson in why he was successful.
    (Many companies, subsequently, have fallen into the rude word trap, including Rolls Royce, with the Silver Mist – look it up in German!)

    If you are interested, look up the story of how Kodachrome was developed. Independently of Eastmen, originally, by two teenage musicians, Mannes and Godowsky.