Published : 6th March 2004
>...where does the word "Kodak" actually come from?
As I recall it, George Eastman was looking for a name that was distinctive, sounded like a real word or some sort of Latin root, but was in fact a made-up term. The stories have gone from some sort of inspiration from Kodiak in what is now Alaska to an onomatopoeia (sounds-like) expression of the mechanism of the original Kodak camera's shutter mechanism. Kodak continued this tradition with many of its products with such items as Dektol developer and Ektanar lenses. Other companies followed suit which is why Nikon makes Nikkor lenses.
I think that Kodak was actually ahead of its time in that now companies commonly make up words for themselves or products such as car models so that they can trademark the term. I truly hate the ones that purposefully misspell common words so that they may then trademark them as proper names (i.e. Krazy Glu or Krispy Kreme).
(To honour Geoff's welcome request for fact based content)
"It was in 1888 that the word "Kodak" was first registered as a trademark…. …But the plain truth is that Eastman invented it out of thin air."
Quotes from the Kodak site mentioned below indicate that he (George Eastman) explained that : "I devised the name myself. The letter "K" had been a favourite with me - it seems a strong, incisive sort of letter. It became a question of trying out a great number of combinations of letters that made words starting and ending with 'K.' The word 'Kodak' is the result."
The remainder of this article, plus additional quotes & information that relate to this subject can be found at the following web site...
Phil Rhodes writes :
>where does the word "Kodak" actually come from?
Dan Drasin replied :
>I believe legend has it that George Eastman's mother used to play >anagrams with him. "Kodak" was a word that just came up one day at >random, when Eastman was looking for a name for his new company.
Yes. Here are some links to the "History of Kodak" :
"He and his mother devised the name Kodak with an anagram set. He said that there were three principal concepts he used in creating the name : it must be short, you can not mispronounce it, and it could not resemble anything or be associated with anything but Kodak."
EI Customer Technical Services
Eastman Kodak Company
Rochester, New York 14650-1922 USA