The rise and fall of Kodak: By the numbers

After an incredible thirteen decades, the iconic American film and camera company is fighting for its survival

A shuttered Kodak camera store in 1981
(Image credit: Henry Diltz/CORBIS)

Eastman Kodak, the legendary American film and camera company that's struggled to adapt to the digital age, is teetering on the edge of bankruptcy. Though the company insists it has no intentions to file for bankruptcy protection, Kodak's share price plummeted to $0.78 on Friday amid fears of that very scenario. Here, a brief guide to Kodak's rise and fall, by the numbers:


Years Kodak Eastman Co. has been in existence. In 1880, George Eastman began commercially manufacturing dry photographic plates

Subscribe to The Week

Escape your echo chamber. Get the facts behind the news, plus analysis from multiple perspectives.


Sign up for The Week's Free Newsletters

From our morning news briefing to a weekly Good News Newsletter, get the best of The Week delivered directly to your inbox.

From our morning news briefing to a weekly Good News Newsletter, get the best of The Week delivered directly to your inbox.

Sign up


Price of the first Kodak camera sold in 1888. It came pre-loaded with enough film for 100 shots. After the film had been exposed, the user sent the whole camera to Rochester, N.Y., for the film to be developed, prints made, and new film inserted. That whole process cost another $10.


The year the 100,000th Kodak camera was manufactured.

50 million

Number of Kodak instamatic cameras produced from 1963 to 1970

$1 billion

U.S. sales for Kodak in 1962 — the first year the company reached that mark

$10 billion

Company sales in 1981


Number of straight years the company has been unprofitable. "Once synonymous with photography, Kodak has struggled with the move to digital cameras and failed to turn a profit since 2007," says Reuters.

More than $1.76 billion

Kodak's losses since 2008

$160 million

Amount the company disclosed it had borrowed against its credit line last week

As much as $3 billion

Estimated worth of Kodak's digital-imaging patents, which the cash-strapped company is reportedly looking to sell off


Number of people Kodak employed in 1973


Number of people Kodak employed in 1998


Number of people Kodak currently employees


Value of Kodak shares in 2003, "when Eastman Kodak was one of the bluest of the blue chips." In September of that year, "the picture began to fade," says Franklin Paul at Reuters. "Film sales were dying, and Kodak slashed its dividend by 70 percent, hoping to gain flexibility as it beefed up spending on commercial and inkjet printers, medical imaging devices and other digital systems. It stopped investing in traditional consumer film."


Amount Kodak shares were worth just one year ago


"Unbelievably low" price to which Kodak shares tumbled on Friday amid bankruptcy fears. "The decision is clear: either try to keep going or file for bankruptcy, which is no shame for an ordinary company, but quite a tragedy for the corporation that for years had huge success with its 'Kodak moment' ad campaign," says David Zielenziger in the International Business Times.

102 percent

Amount Kodak shares were up in Monday trading, following Friday's selloff

Sources: Bloomberg BusinessWeek (2), Democrat and Chronicle, Forbes, International Business Times,, Reuters, TheStreet, Wall Street Journal

To continue reading this article...
Continue reading this article and get limited website access each month.
Get unlimited website access, exclusive newsletters plus much more.
Cancel or pause at any time.
Already a subscriber to The Week?
Not sure which email you used for your subscription? Contact us