Last week the company offered up a restructuring in an attempt to stave off bankruptcy so it's technically still in business. But who could have imagined a world without Kodak?
The Kodak box camera turned every Dad into the family photographer and who can forget the Instamatic?
And in an ironic twist, most of the patents for digital photography belong to Kodak which, much like the U.S. Postal Service, is getting eaten alive and handed its hat by the digital age.
That digital age virtually eliminated film for cameras for just about everyone. I can still remember when the News-Review decided to go digital and I was no longer ordering film by the hundreds of rolls -- and there was no longer a need for developing chemicals and the wait of getting something processed.
It was a great cost savings for us but we were just one little speck on the map that no longer was buying film from Kodak.
Digital photography has improved markedly from its beginnings but the best digital images don't have the depth of color that users of Kodachrome still miss. Think of the most iconic images out there and chances are it was shot on Kodachrome, especially by the photographers of National Geographic magazine.
Kodak tried to capitalize on its digital efforts by bringing out its own line of digital cameras and they were very good ones -- I have one and the News-Review had several before I left. But by then the world's top camera makers were already capitalizing on the new digital era -- it's hard to compete with the Canon, Nikon, Fuji, Olympus and Pentax folks out there.
Still it's hard to imagine that Kodak -- once one of the firms making up the Dow Jones Industrial Average -- has fallen so far that its stock was selling for less than a dollar a share and the company was a breath away from being delisted from the New York Stock Exchange.
For the company that promised to capture your memories, it's sad it may become but a memory itself.
The future of NMRH
After a long time effort to combine forces with a larger health care system, Northern Michigan Regional Health System is now a subsidiary of McLaren Health Care of Flint. Hopefully the partnership will be a good fit for the local Northern Michigan Regional Hospital.
And make no mistake -- for residents of our area it is THE local hospital.
Over the years many have donated their time, energies and financial help to ensure the hospital is one of the very best around. And it is.
One of the interesting aspects of the agreement could be providing more educational opportunities at the hospital. McLaren is heavily involved in medical education and it will be interesting to see if the local hospital might pick up a residency program or two. Combined with the nursing education program at North Central Michigan College, it could be a great opportunity for the hospital and our future doctors and nurses.
For now the agreement is the beginning of just one more chapter in the history of medical care in our fair community.
Kendall P. Stanley is retired editor of the Petoskey News-Review. He can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org.