Kodak Moments

187px-Kodak_logo_1987.svg“You press the button … we do the rest.”

That was the promise made in 1888 by the Eastman Kodak company when they introduced their first camera. Here’s how they described it:

“It’s the easy-to-use camera for everyone. There’s no control for the exposure time (how long the shutter is open) or aperture (how much light is allowed into the camera) – you simply point the camera and click (push the button to take the photograph). The whole camera with 100 pictures must be sent back to KODAK after exposure (the photographs have been taken) and is returned with the finished circular (round, like a circle) photos and a freshly loaded (new) film.”

When Kodak introduced the first point-and-click (automatic) camera, they promised to provide everything the everyday photographer needed: camera, film, developing the film (making the picture visible), and printing the picture on photographic paper.

l-dev8to047s0h4sSoon after they introduced their first camera, advertisements like this “Kodak as you go” advertisement turned the word “Kodak” into a verb and encouraged people to take their Kodak cameras wherever they went. Kodak ads (advertisements) had one very simple message: Kodak cameras, film, and processing (preparing the photographs) make it easy to photograph life’s important moments (times, events) so they will never be forgotten. These moments came to be known as Kodak Moments.

Kodak Moments were an important part of Kodak’s advertising for many years. They advertised heavily (a lot) in magazines that were popular in the middle of the 20th century – like Saturday Evening Post and Life. And when television appeared, they ran (broadcast) ads like Turn Around in 1960 and Daddy’s Little Girl in 1989.

Many people have filled walls, albums (books of photos), and boxes with Kodak Moments – Christmases, birthdays, baby and wedding showers (parties for someone having a baby or getting married), weddings, and vacations.

The phrase “Kodak Moments” has became a common way to refer to moments of strong feelings or special memories, even if photographs aren’t taken to help remember them. And, in contrast, someone might say, “What a Kodak Moment!” when they mean the opposite, perhaps as an unkind joke or to show that they are a little angry. This what we call sarcasm.

For many years, Kodak continued to make Kodak Moments possible with new, easy-to-use cameras, new kinds of film, and all the services needed to help everyone make photographs of their important personal moments. Unfortunately, Kodak’s moment (period of time) didn’t last. They couldn’t compete with digital and smartphone cameras and, since 2012, no longer do most of the things that made Kodak Moments possible.

~ Warren Ediger, ESL coach/tutor and creator of the Successful English web site.

Photo of Kodak logo from Wikipedia Commons;
photo of Kodak advertisement from Vintage Ad Browser.

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18 Responses to Kodak Moments

  1. Dan says:

    How are you Warren? I am good. Hey everyone!

    Man! those two ads are cheesy, especially the “Daddy’s little girl”. And the first one, It’s so bad I could not even get to the end of it.
    Interesting to see how the ads change during the years.

    I know, I am repetitive, but this post makes me think at my -people/kids reacts videos- period on You Tube.
    I did enjoy watching at kids’ reactions to relatively old technologies like the walkman or VCR. Those things were huge.

    Interesting, but odd the use of “Kodak moment”. I am not sure we ever used that here in Italy. I have never heard anyone using that.
    We used more the term “Polaroid moment” but that is out of use since the Polaroid is gone into oblivion as well.

    Thanks, bye.

  2. Alaa says:

    My name is Alaa from Egypt.
    This is my first time to send to the plog or any sites..
    I like the topic , It was very interesting to show how the world and the technology changed all over the years.
    and also I like the phrase that Kodak used in its advertising ” You press the button … we do the rest.”
    I think sometimes we don’t need a camera or a photo to remember our special moments
    it just kept in our mind..
    when I had a breakup with my fiancee , I just delete all our photos but still our memories kept in my mind..
    I am sorry for saying personal issues here..
    but I am happy to speak with you ..
    hope my English does not have alot of mistakes , I don’t practise it very well 😀
    But All podcast’s team do a great job , many thanks & Good luck 🙂

  3. peter says:

    I couldn’t be more wrong!
    I have Always used “Kodak moment” as a funny way of saying “such a crappy situation. ”
    You know ,trying to lighten the mood!!

    I had no inkling that it actually means ” capturing good moments.”
    Funny ,things u don’t know.
    The thing is most people, at least people I know ,use the negative connotation of it ,in a good way.;)
    Well, I don’t know how it works.
    I mean using an expression both in negative and positive sense. I guess ,it all depends on how to say it.

    Anyway , I stick to the negative usage of it.
    It is more fun!!

    U know ,I can’t believe the journey cameras have taken from the moment forward,all the way from professional ,mechanical cameras to digital ones.
    Back then ,in early days of camera shooting and all,people broke out sweat taking just one shot with all the heavy gear they had to carry around. Nowadays ,on the other hand ,we barely lift a finger.
    we don’t need to even carry a camera around. Our beloved versatile smart phones do all the legwork for us. All we need to do is to feel like it.
    U r in the mood. you see a beautiful moment ranging from a blossom on a tweak , or a dewy leaf ,to a happy moment in a happy feast; you take ur phone out and capture the moment in your phone for good.A high digital ,best quality picture in variety of moods and colours is just all a finger touch away.
    Popping a roll in with 30/35 shots max , then take the roll to a camera shop and wait weeks for them to develop ,polished , crop out,and airbrushed are all a thing of past !
    No mister!
    U take a shot ,save it ,and enjoy it all in one minute tops.
    You Can capture every moment of every day with your phones and carry thousands of pictures with you right into ur pocket.
    It is amazing isn’t it.
    Man ,today’s high-tech world spoiled us to a fault.
    I prefer quit shorting picture than going through all the hassle that our forefathers going through to preserve happy moments.
    My dad still has a large stack of his kids’ baby books.they make a heavy large box every time they move. Man ,talk about lower back pain:))))

    U know I take candid pics everyday,mostly funny moments,and some are hilarious !!!

    I better take off

  4. Aecio Flavio Perim says:

    Hello, Alaa. Welcome to the team. We know you have a lot to teach us. Thanks.

  5. peter says:

    Hi Warren ,
    Your post put me in the mood.
    My father owns this mechanical camera all packed in the shed across his yard.
    It is ,oh boy ,24-5 years old camera with a complete set of accessories including different lenses for different weather conditions ranging from overcast to foggy.it has 5 or 6 sets from bright light to dim.
    You know ,one those classic camera with a adjustable protruded diagram that blinds you when the built-in flash goes off:))))

    Anyway,back in the day , dad bought it in one his trip to U.S.

    It is not intuitive by all accounts. Man ,you must learn your way around the camera. In fact ,it has a small manual with tediously detailed instructions as to how to work the camera.

    It is a vintage ,a classic ,that I can tell u.
    It is still in mint condition as my father barely used it. It has been sitting in the shed for God knows how long.
    It is overcast today and we are supposed to get rain. The best day you could pick to learn how to capture moments with a mechanical camera ,right ? :))
    Well,you know what they say ,” There is a first time for everything.” :))

    I gotta get going

  6. Alaa says:

    Hello Aecio Flavio Perim (Thanks to God I just have to copy & paste yr name cause I don’t know how to pronounce it 😀 )
    Thanks alot for welcoming me in the team..
    I am just beginning my English learning journey.. I hope that I will not quit soon 😀
    About teaching , I am a pharmacist , I could teach you pharmacology if you like that, but my advice to not 😀
    or I could teach you about my lovely country Egypt , You know the pyramids & the ancient Egyptians.. may be MR\ warren
    or Dr\Jeff Do next blog about that, (Good thinker , am I ?) 😀
    Thank you again
    and thank you Dan & Peter .. I always see yr comments on each plog.. very funny .. Keep forward guys 😉

  7. lili:) says:

    Thank you Dear Warren for this interesting article.

    It’s the first time I learn of this expression “Kodak Moment”. In fact Peter was right in saying that he used “Kodak Moment” as a funny way of saying “such a crappy situation”.

    I did some research on the expression and I found that the “wiktionary.org” says that “THIS is your Kodak moment. Kodak moment, in this case, does not mean a moment to capture on film; rather, it means the time in history when an upstart technology changed the game; e.g., digital photography emerged and Kodak chose to ignore it until it was too late”.

    Meanings for words and expressions can change so much within such a short time. I bet Kodak would never have imagined people use its name this way. How annoying!

    Anyway, I don’t understand why some of my friends liked to ask me to look at all those pictures in their family album. I preferred to spend time on talking to them whereas they wanted to show off their rich and famous or beautiful relatives, or how pretty they were when they were young. But, what for?!

    In fact I couldn’t bear to see the old photos of myself when I was little. So sad in those days!

    However, I must say I love looking at the photos of my own children when they were little. Those were the happiest days of my life.

    Anyway, I guess Warren you enjoy taking pictures of everything. Did you try to enter into photos competitions? One of my friend’s ex-husband was a famous photographer and he really was different from us ordinary people.

    Many thanks again.

    Best Regards


  8. lili:) says:

    Hi Dan

    Thank you for remembering me saying I had to deal with my “middle-aged spread”.

    While listening to “ESL Podcast 1137 – Using Battery Power”, Jeff mentioned “spare tyre”, and it reminded me to answer your question.

    In case our friends here don’t know what we are talking about, let me explain.

    “Middle-aged Spread” is, according to SIMON KEEGAN , MICHELLE O’CONNOR in their article in mirror.co.uk (9 Nov. 2014), a “Spare tyre, muffin top, love handles……….. Women are most susceptible to it at 38 and men at 44.”

    One of the reasons why it’s called a “spare tyre” is, it’s there to save your life if you ever fall ill in old age and can’t replenish nutrients etc through normal diet, your body will take nutrient from the “spare tyre” to keep you alive.

    In any case, I was very skinny as a little child, started to look healthier when I was old enough to do lots of exercise and ate quite a lot because food was very cheap and healthy in Hong Kong.

    Fast forward for about half a century, I started to worry about getting a middle-aged spread about two years ago. People around me loved eating and I was eating all the time whenever there was a gathering. Because I grew up in an era that believed in not to waste food, I normally continued eating when other people stopped.

    Luckily, because I started to pay attention to that, I exercise and eat almost like a vegetarian (plus fish and seafood), I don’t have a middle-aged spread (and a spare tyre) now.

    Many thanks again Dan for asking.

    Best Regards


  9. Dan says:

    Greetings fellow humans.

    Really nothing to add to the conversation.
    Just writing to make sure everyone is good. I am good.

    Pleasure reading from you all guys, especially from Lili.

    Stay safe!


  10. peter says:

    Hi Alaa,
    You are too kind my friend
    Always Good to see new faces around the blog
    The more ,the merrier
    You are in good hands my friend
    U goona pick up the language in no time.
    Ealpod is the best money can buy.
    Oh ,wait a minute, Eslpod is for free!
    U know what the say,” The best things in life are free.”
    Eslpod is one of them

    See you around pal

  11. peter says:

    Dan ,
    what are you doing dude ? 🙂
    U gonna get into trouble ?:)
    Middle age spread ?
    Keep in mind that women never get passed 29 years old
    They are always under 30.
    Remember my friend. They never get fat ;they never get old.
    I admire your courage ,though!:) your valor is inspiring :))

    Peace out

  12. peter says:

    Refer to the latest episode at hand, I see Louis’s point.
    It happens to me a lot !
    I use my iPhone for all my internet needs as I don’t have any other electronic gadgets to switch to sometimes.
    So ,more often than not ,I find my self with low battery and I can’t find any wallsocket to plug in my phone ?in other ways to recharge my iPhone.
    I always go to a coffee shop to recharge my battery. You know ,it is the best place to meet the purpose. The reason is u can find wall-sockets all over the place. Well ,it used to be that way ,I must say.
    Nowadays,even finding one outlet in s coffe shop appears to be something of an effort!

    They are all reapped out! By that I mean most wallsockets are removed.
    In most places I go ,It takes me literally 15-16 minutes before I eventually spot an outlet in a dark corner on the wall by the washroom.
    I m serious !! I m not joking
    It is frustrating!
    U know ,I find my iphone out of battery more often than not.
    It has become my everyday challenge.

    I better shove off before my iPhone die on me

  13. peter says:

    Well ,you must say
    I spend disturbing amount of time poking around At eslpod Center.
    Well, it might be true.
    in my defence , it is a place that I feel my self most. It is a place that I feel familiar most.
    In fact , in the world of virtual reality, eslpod is my cyber home.


  14. lili:) says:

    Ha! Ha! Peter you understand women so well. It’s true, most women are scared of getting old and fat. That’s why “slim-fast” and “anti-ageing” products and services make so much money from women.

    There is a saying that when you are asked to guess, you need to understate people’s age but overstate value of people’s possession. Sometimes it doesn’t hurt to lie.

    However, I’m not scared of being fat or old. In fact, according to some cultures, fat and old are signs of fortune. Who is scared of being fortunate? Nevertheless, I want to be able to walk faster or even start running again if I can. Being lighter will enable me to achieve that.

    Many thanks again Peter. I learn a lot of unusual words and phrases from your post.

    Best Regards


  15. lili:) says:

    Hi Emiliano, how are you getting on with your exercising at home?

    Don’t forget to write (type) more. We want to hear from you. I have visited your Gatufo.blogspot just now, beautiful pictures of Germany and writings in there.

    I am not sure how you can tell from where in the world people visit your blogspot webpage. I am not in Hong Kong right now. Does it show up in your page that I was in Hong Kong?

    Please give my best regards to Cuca and Gatufo.


  16. peter says:

    Hey ,my good gal pal , Lili
    You are too kind sis.
    Just trying to pump up a bit fun into my comments! Spice them up,one might say.
    Well ,I have been flying solo ever since I remember. My last gurfriehd dumped me 7 months ago.
    All she talked about was matrimonial tie. I was not ready. I still like to play the field. I m just 35. I m still too young for my share of ball and chain :))))
    She was upset why I never popped the question Over the two years period we were together. Well , let’s just say ,our relationship ran its natural course.
    We had a good run.
    I admit it ! I have fear of commitment!
    And I m not a kid person.
    Perhaps ,I m not the marrying kind. U know , she kept saying that I wasn’t marriage material.
    I m back in the field.

    U know , I m still foot loose and fancy free. I m an eligible single. :)))

    It is suffice to say I have had my fare share of girlfriends.
    if my 25 years of chasing tail have taught me something ,it is that never speak of age and wight with girls. If you wanna woo them,u need to stay away from both topics.:)))
    U know, it has to be a flex-response ,no pause :)))
    If your female companion happens to ask you if she looks fat. The flex response is ” no ”
    Remember : no pause

    Do I look old ? No : no pause :)))
    You pause , and you will be in the world pain.:))

    I digressed.
    Honest ,judging from your comments ,u must be a very upbeat ,radiant woman.
    U pump up positivity around the blog !!
    And some times ,you are the voice of reason around here which shows wisdom on ur part!!

    I probably better get going


  17. emiliano says:

    Dear Lili, thank you for your advise.
    I have been out home for 12 days, just taken a relax in a marvellous city of the Spain’s North.
    It is one of the nicer cities of Spain, by my opinion, but even being in there I have taken three days
    to visit Bilbao, just to see the city and of course The Guggenheim Museum that is one of the
    most beautiful buildings I have seen in all my life.
    It is impresive, like a dream, out and inside it seems to me like a huge incredible modern art work.

    I made the trip alone, so I have just do what ever thing I like to do, spent my time as my own
    choice and everything has been good.

    Now I am at home again, taken care of my dear Cuca after leaving my mind free for a short
    period of time, but enough.
    Santander and Bilbao, nice beutiful cities but the Guggengheim it is incredible, I do think that
    you may come from the last corner of the world to se the museum.


  18. emiliano says:

    My first photo was taken with a Kodak camera, I was only 12 years old, so I am talking about the
    year 1955. It was a cubic camera like a box, and I took my parents on the Madrid’s mountains they were
    close to the Lozoya river were my mother was washing some clothes.
    We were on holidays and my father bought the camera that had only 12 photos.

    It was a very nice box camera that you have to hold with your hands and look just on the top of it to
    see the subject.
    Yes I remember this first camera very well, after that I have taken thousands of photos with just a
    lot of different cameras.

    Now in Santander and Bilbao I have talken too much photos, in fact I was carring four different cameras
    but even the Guggenheim museum has been taken in all the different sites you can imagine, with a
    Nikon and a Olympus cameras, first on the evening and the following in the morning of the next day as on mondays
    the museum is closed.

    I think it was better to be twice seeing it.


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