Kodak by Col. Stoopnagle
This is Colonel Speaknagle stoopling, friends, and bringing you greetings from the greatest camera expert in the world -- me. I just took a vote among myself and it came out practically unanimous, the only dissenting voice coming from a bowl of nearby Versatol Developer which claimed it had another solution. It will be my purpose to let you in on all the new developments and to fulfilm your greatest desires so far as photography is concerned. (I am the inventor, you know, of a thing called Foe-tography, which helped our side so much during the recent war to get pictures of the Germans and Japs. But we shall discuss that in less detail later.) So if you want to keep up with the latest hints on picture-taking, get out your scissors and we'll take some snip-shots.

Today we shall take up the word KODAK and tear it to pieces to find out how it came into being. There has so far been no adequate explanation of the word. Why isn't it KOBAC or KABOC or BACOB or CAKOB? Ask any Eastmanite and he will tell you it's a pure fabrication -- then ask him what "fabrication" is, and he'll tell you "KODAK," which leaves you half-way between Rochester and Batavia on an old siding.

The original idea was to call an Eastman camera a KODOK, so that if radio should ever be invented the announcer could say: "And remember, KODOK spelled backwards is the same doggoned thing!" But after a meeting of the Board of Directors, it was decided to fire the man who suggested it. That same man is now president of the Amalgamated Applause-sign Holder-uppers, and doing mighty well, too.

But what of the word KODAK itself? At first glance, it looks as though someone put a K at either end of an ODA. Since an ODA is a room in a harem, those two K's standing there would have caused considerable embarrassment. So that's NOT how the word was coined, I guess.

KODAK may possibly come from two words -- CODE, meaning what you have in your head when you can't say 'cold,' and ACK, a diminutive of ACK-ACK! the noise made when firing an anti-aircraft gun. Put them together and you have nothing whatsoever. And you're glad.

Hm. We don't seem to be getting very far with this thing, do we? Oh well, anybody can arrive at a plausible conclusion; it takes a genius to get you nowhere.

So I've decided that KODAK must have been formed by the first initials of several words, and don't say I didn't tell you, unless I didn't. Here's the way the thing works out, and let's have it final, huh? Lookit:

K an't
O xactly
D efine.
A nyway, it's a
K amera!

Question and Answer Department

Anyone wishing to send in an answer to a tough camera problem may do so, and I shall endeavor to ask the proper question. CAUTION: Use only as directed, and if the pains persist or become too frequent, see your doctor.

QUESTION: I found a bottle of stuff marked POISON! and I inadvertently let it drop into my replenisher solution. Was that the reason the central character in my group of three came out with a skull for a head? -- STOOPNAGLE

ANSWER: My dear Stoopcamera: Never put DDT into your replenisher solution. It tends to kill your enthusiasm. Sincerely yours, FLO TOGRAPHY

QUESTION: When I mix my developer, I find small particles of glumpff. Is this due to super-toxicity, and if so, would you suggest a sedative, or is something the matter with my metabolism? -- STOOPNAGLE WEST GHASTLY, VT.

ANSWER: Dear Kodanagle: There seems to be considerable tendency toward sludge in your developer. Your fine-grained images will gradually become all cluttered up with emulsion unless you switch to you-know-what. A better idea would be to put a bright light in your darkroom, a dark light in your lightroom and hit the hay. Yours truly, MIKE RODOL

NEXT MONTH: Upside-down photographers. Be sure to [upside down] look for them! 

[From The Kodakery, circa 1940's]


Page created March 16, 2005.  Copyright 1998-2005 by Richard D. Squires.