Did you work at Kodak?

by Kate C
Publish date
16 August 2012
Comments (28)

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.


Kodak Heritage Collection on Collections Online

MV Blog: Putting Kodak's pieces together

Comments (28)

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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.
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.
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.
Margaret Mainwaring 5 September, 2012 09:03
Worked at Abbotsford under Jock Keir in customer Service from 1960-1962
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
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.
Marilyn Sevior 1 May, 2013 17:32
Started Data Entry Bld8 1965/1976worked Bld20 1977 Bld16 until 1981 Credit Union 1982/1985
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
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.
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.
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
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.
Mia 6 June, 2014 12:51
Hi David, Do you know if the factory still there?
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
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 :)
John Piescik 16 January, 2015 17:18
I worked at coburg plant 1970-1973 in the instrument section
Terry Gray 17 March, 2016 04:41
Hi John, I worked in the instrument section of Kodak at Coburg from 1966 to 1971 under Ron Fisher, Jim Harrison, and Ted Rennie. I recall Peter Hartog, Brian Marsh, Andy Farkas, Chard Iverson, and Roberto Bellantoni? from that section plus many, many others from other departments in Kodak. While sadly, some of these fine people have passed on, I still keep in contact with many of those left! Ingo & Lyn Riedel, Corrie DeWaard, Wil Bajada to name but a few. I will let them know about this site. There was also a Kodak re-union a few years back. Cheers, Terry
Glenn Guy 16 February, 2015 13:08
I worked at Kodak from January 1990 until December 1997. I started in Building 3 as an online emulsion tester involved in the manufacture of Kodak color film and paper. After a short stint in Customer Relations in Building 20 I moved to Building 7 and joined the Kodak Information Centre under Bruce Miller where I worked in the Pro Passport and Photo Information departments. My last 2 years with the company were as Product Manager, Sensitized Products, in the Professional Imaging Department in Building 8.
Vannice 11 October, 2015 00:50
Hello does anyone remember a gentleman by the name of Stephen around 1969 age 19 yrs?
Hans Werner 24 December, 2015 17:15
Hi I worked at Kodak Abbotsford as my first job in Australia, from Holland from 1956 to 1959 in the emulsion testing department, my boss was Cyril Watson Brown, and my"leading hand Bob Davies(of football fame)
Malcolm Woolford 28 January, 2016 08:55
I worked at Kodak for about 3 years from 1970 to 1973 in Sydney & NSW country sales and then for 19 months in Canberra ACT sales. Visited Coburg a number of times for sales conferences. Have fond memories of my time at Kodak both Sydney and Canberra
Steve Rhodes 26 February, 2016 10:39
Worked in building 16 Photochem from '86 to '88 . First on production line , then in production planning office . My wife Jola worked in film processing in 87' and '88 .
Sue Nicholls (Moors) 27 August, 2016 21:25
I worked in Personnel - Building 10 from 1970-77. Worked with Ian Yelland, Ernie Van de Velde and John Laycock. Later worked for Ed Woods in Building 3. Very happy memories. My Aunt Phyllis Nicholls worked at Abbotsford well before my time.
Lynette Pitts (morgan) 8 September, 2016 13:58
I was at the coburg factory from 1968 until 1973 in building 20 despatch sending photo's back to chemists. Leading hand was Doug Akers.The drivers would come in and collect their runs for delivery.I have found two cameras one a box brownie and the other is an instamatic 304 i was wondering if the kodak museum would be interested in having them. If anyone knows how to get in contact i will be interested to hear. Thankyou Lyn
Tom Buck 6 March, 2017 00:07
My name is Tom Buck i worked in building 15 from 1979 till June 1989 then left i was a leading hand on night shift in the plastics moulding department it was a great place to work
Loretta Waller (née Davies) 19 April, 2017 19:13
I worked at the Coburg plant from 1963 to 1973 in Administration.
Kaye Longman 27 April, 2017 19:37
I worked at Kodak from 1976 to 1997 starting in Industrial Relations with Geoff Tyas. Also with Ed Hoppe and Roy Johnert (ASPAC) Ian Langford Company Solicitor and Dr, V.K Spowart in Medical Centre
Ralph Kernaghan 11 June, 2017 13:57
worked with Kodak from 1971 till 2012 ( 41 years 1 day ), around 4000 employess australia wide, mainly at Coburg plant, moved to Collingwood 2005, then Johnston street, Abbotsford 2010. tey have moved to Box Hill now, staff less than 200 i think, is there anywhere I can access staff lists from over the years?
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