Originally Posted by Roger Hicks
There are a lot of other inventions that were not Kodak inventions either, but a lot that were.
DIR couplers, colored couplers, muli component color films with 14 or more layers, a host of color developers, antioxidant stabilzers, Kodachrome, and some of the items are just improvements on others, such as t-grains and selenium sensitization (never used due to toxicity). Along with that goes 2 electron sensitization and a host of other things that make todays films more stable and with better reciprocity including Iridium stabilzation.
Color negative was developed at about the same time by both Kodak and Agfa. The Kodak film paradigm still lasts and the Agfa one died as everyone making color products converted to the Kodak method due to superior quality and coatability.
So, whatever their management was like, R&D was about 20 years ahead of the rest of the pack except for a few notable exceptions. In the 20s to the 50s there were Agfa, Dupont, Haloid, Dynachrome and a few smaller companies. All of them fell by the wayside due to Kodak's superior quality and leading technology.
Later, 3M and others went on to try (And BTW, Ferrania in Italy makes color film and was once part of 3M. AFAIK, it is in bankruptcy but is still operational due to outside support.). The old 3M plant in the midwest was finally 'bought by Kodak'.
And, IIRC, Dupont invented the variable contrast paper and it was called Varigam. At least it was the first on the market here that I remember.
So, there was and is good and bad at Kodak, but the people tried hard and a lot of my friends are now out looking for a job. They went from about 80,000 here in Rochester to about 20,000 (approximate round numbers) since the 90s. Thats a lot of unemployment in one small city.