I understand little of what anyone is saying in these threads, but they always intrigue me.
Someone said(it may have been you)that they were told to go to Japan if he wished to continue doing film research. Are there Japanese companies still doing commercial research in film?
If the internal cumbustion engine had not caught on, where might we be with steam today?
I never said that.
The Japanese R&D effort is about the same as the US effort. Remember that Konishiroku went out of the analog photo business leaving only Fuji when you get down to it. Fuji is hurting too.
I'm curious because it really might have been true in the 80s in universities but no longer. In fact, as you know, most of Chiba and other universities are doing almost all digital work. It was not true regarding EK and Fuji until about the late 90s when they both started cutting back. And, the decisive year was about 2005.
Thank you for confirming that the statement was not one of my hallucinations.
Thanks Ray. I would have to seriously doubt Mitchell's comment then. (Not the reporting of it but the seriousness of his comment)
Kodak R&D in the 60s to 80s was about 20 years ahead of the pack from what we could discern in patents and the other literature. R&D was moving forward at a rapid pace, but was being kept as trade secrets for the most part. I wonder where Mitchell got this from? What gave him the idea?
I turned up this from Keith:
"Apparently, by the 90s, his [Jack Mitchell's] relations with Fuji were better than with Kodak and he told me that he felt that Japan was the place to be, for his research."
There may have been other comments but I guess this will suffice.
These comments by Keith are also noteworthy:
"I haven't researched the extent of his relationships with the companies, he gave me the impression that he was strongly opposed to any reporting embargo that is often imposed if we take corporate money to fund academic research. As such, Jack once told me that some of the money to support his research actually came from his family's own personal funds."
If this "sense" that Jack was opposed to reporting embargos has it's roots in the latter half of the last century, then it must have been a very significant and enduring issue to Dr. Mitchell, as it was his empassioned plea to Dr. Mees that the important work of Dr. Lowe was brought to the public, and that was in the very early 50's.
Well, even Mees says in the introduction to his book that he is unable to disclose certain pieces of information given him in confidence. This is, of course, the manufacturing technology that is confidential regarding emulsions. The same is true of Fuji. Neither company will discuss many trade secrets.
I know that Kodak had an ISO 400 film in 1965, as I was one of the internal testers. But, an ISO 400 film was not released until the Fuji release in the early 80s or late 70s. The technology was on the shelf, but was not used until there was some urgency attached as in this case, Fuji released their film before Kodak did. This type of example might be what Mitchell referred to. But, I know of no advantage at Fuji over what Kodak knew regarding couplers, emulsions and coating. In fact, until the 60s, Fuji was using extrusion coating, and Agfa type couplers along with Konica and both companies were doing hard R&D to catch up with EK. We had reports that some of their organic chemists and emulsion makers were sleeping at the plant and working double or triple shifts to do the R&D work that would enable them to catch up quickly.
So, I think that this is an "outsiders" opinion based on a "feeling" not on fact. Maybe based on emotion as well. A frustrated person. IDK for sure.
You know that I know Tadeki Tani and have had lunch and dinner with him along with Paul Gilman many many times over the last 30+ years, and yet we avoid this type of trade secret stuff and just hint back and forth. I also know Yasuo Wakabayshi of Konishiroku and yet we avoided this type of discussion.
We were working on catalytic imaging in the 70s and Fuji and Konica were dying to know where the R&D stood and whether we were ready to commercialize the products under development (and which products), but we could not tell them anything. They pumped us very hard for information but we were not allowed to even direct them to a specific patent, and the same would be true of Mitchell.
OTOH, Byrd often came to EK to consult and was given a lot of information under an NDA.