Today marks George Eastman’s 163rd birthday, and the George Eastman Museum and Eastman Kodak Co. both have special projects in celebration of his legacy.
The museum is revealing never-before-seen footage of Eastman in both his business and personal life. One video depicts Eastman opening a card from his colleagues around the world on his 76th birthday. Other home videos show Eastman on vacation. There is also a short clip of him speaking, which is the only known recording of his voice, officials said.
Videos will be shown in the screening room on the second floor of the museum, and there will be new footage periodically as it becomes available.
Kodak employees are also recognizing their founder today with a book drive that coincides with their Print for Good program. The book drive takes place all month long, and Kodak and Eastman Business Park employees are donating new or gently used books. This program supports literacy in local low-income neighborhoods and schools.
“In middle-class communities, there is an estimated 15 books per child. However, in underdeveloped or impoverished areas, there’s only about one book per 300 children,” said Brad Kruchten, president of the print systems division and senior vice president of Kodak, in a statement. “An investment in literacy is an investment in the future; and every dollar that’s spent on adult literacy provides society with a return of $7.14, enabling individuals to help themselves, their families and their communities. We feel that print is and will continue to be a critical piece of that solution.”
The goal of Print for Good is to point the print industry into a socially conscious direction that encourages sustainability, according to officials. The donations from the book drive will go to the Urban League of Rochester and the Scott Spino Foundation.
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