Did you work at Kodak?

Author
by Kate C
Publish date
16 August 2012
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Comments (15)

Curator Fiona Kinsey is seeking former employees of Kodak Australasia Pty Ld who worked at the company's factories. She would like to collect oral histories of Kodak workers to support research and documentation of the museum's Kodak Heritage Collection, which includes photos, documents, products, marketing materials and more.

Women dressed in Hawaiian costume Black and white, silver gelatin photograph of staff in costume at a Kodak Comforts Fund event at the Kodak Australasia Pty Ltd factory in Abbotsford, Victoria, during WWII, circa 1942. (MM 96629)
Source: Museum Victoria
 

From 1908 to the 1960s, Kodak was based in Abbotsford on a large factory site now occupied by CUB. In 1961, a huge purpose-built complex at Coburg was officially opened, which then served as Kodak's Australasian headquarters. Local production ceased in 2004 but the Head Office for Kodak Australasia Pty Ltd still operates in Melbourne, back in the company's old neighbourhood in Abbotsford.  

Buildings on the Yarra River Colour photograph of the Kodak Australasia Pty Ltd factory in Abbotsford, Victoria, circa 1962. (MM 98557)
Source: Museum Victoria

Aerial view of factory buildings Colour postcard of an aerial view of the Kodak Australasia Pty Ltd factory in Coburg, circa 1965. (MM 98413)
Source: Museum Victoria
 

These massive Kodak factories housed much more than just assembly lines for making film paper and emulsions. There were also medical facilities, administrative offices and staff canteens. Fiona is keen to talk to people who worked in any era or section of the company, but she's particularly interested in the history of the Abbotsford factory pre-1950s. She'd also love to hear from relatives or descendants of Kodak staffers who might have relevant information, documents or images.

Anyone with Kodak-related history or material can contact Fiona Kinsey via the Melbourne Museum Discovery Centre by telephone (03 8341 7111) or via their online contact form.

Links:

Kodak Heritage Collection on Collections Online

MV Blog: Putting Kodak's pieces together

Comments (15)

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Stewart Scott 16 December, 2014 01:21
1988 : As a backpacking 20's something yr old Canadian, spending time in Sydney, worked several weeks at Annandale. I operated a small printer printing envelopes with chemists business names. Then on to Coburg for several more weeks where I diligently opened/sorted disposable cameras dropping its film into an appropriate hole in the table. Lunchroom always seemed to get a kick out of my peanut butter and jelly sandwiches :)
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Matt O'Meara 12 July, 2014 23:49
Hi Mia, Unfortunately none of the factories (Abbotsford or Coburg) exist today. Kodak in Melbourne today is based in Abbotsford in an office building. I believe it is in Johnson St
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David Gough 18 October, 2013 10:52
Hi Peter, I don't know what happened to them, but I have photo's somewhere. Just moved to Hobart and a few boxes still to be opened. Have a good Day.
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Mia 6 June, 2014 12:51
Hi David, Do you know if the factory still there?
David Gough 7 August, 2013 15:27
I started at Kodak (Abbotsford) in 1963, then Coburg, Building 20 (mid 60s to 1979). After that Kodak, Perth WA (1979-87), Kodak Melb. (1987-88), then Kodak Sydney (Annandale and Waterloo)(1988-93), then Kodak Japan (1993-1998 and 1999). Visited America, Europe and India with Kodak. It would be great if you would organise a KODAK reunion and collect oral histories during the gathering.
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peter schofield 14 October, 2013 13:36
Dear David, Just wondering if you remember the EJ/EH Holden Yellow Panel vans used by kodak for delivery's. I am chasing knowledge of one in particular. cheers Peter schofield
John Wheeler 12 July, 2013 16:26
My Father Jack Wheeler worked at both the Abbotsford and Coburg plants, I think he started with Kodak just after the Second World War, he was tool maker with them. I can remember going to work with Dad on some Saturday mornings when I was young and had fun operating the hand pallet jacks. Dad worked for Kodak for around 30 years until he retired to Porepunkah in NE Victoria. I still have a Kodak bellows camera which Dad bought for one of my early birthdays. After his retirement he loved his yearly get together with the boys and girls from Coburg. Hopefully someone reading this may remember Jack.
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Marilyn Sevior 1 May, 2013 17:32
Started Data Entry Bld8 1965/1976worked Bld20 1977 Bld16 until 1981 Credit Union 1982/1985
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Marilyn Sevior. 5 April, 2014 20:03
I started at Kodak 1965 in BLD8 Data Processing the Manager at the time was Bill Car and the supervisor was Hazel Burns Left 1976 to have my son. Went back to Bld20 Part Time Data Entry then worked BLD16 Photo Chem until 1981 to have my eldest daughter then went back and worked in the Credit Union until 1984 or so left Kodak all together 1984 got job at Rowntree Hoadley until 1987 when I had my youngest daughter really loved working at Kodak
Nigel Foote 7 September, 2012 14:49
Worked 80 & 90's at Coburg, had a great career started work in the processing area, quality conrol tech in processing, Minilab, Training, Multimedia, etc and also as a consultant in Europe. Loved every minute and travelled over Asia and America with Kodak.
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Alma Mainwaring (Deceased 2009) 5 September, 2012 09:06
Worked at Abbotsford under Jock Keir in Customer Service ... Started in 1964 then moved to Coburg and left there when she was sixty-five in 1984
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Margaret Mainwaring 5 September, 2012 09:03
Worked at Abbotsford under Jock Keir in customer Service from 1960-1962
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Doug Howden 21 August, 2012 22:08
Employed at Coburg from 1981 to 2005. Very familiar with Powerhouse (Bld 11) machinery, personell and operations.Happy to contribute if I can be of value.
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Don Ferguson 17 August, 2012 12:59
Employed from 1974-79 in Bld 20 film+slide colour processing From 1979 - 2001 Bld 17 Research, as a Technian + Tech Officer electrical/ Electronic.
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Mia Pam 6 June, 2014 12:48
What happened to the abbortsford factory. could someone tell me the address. I hope I could visit there.

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