Kodak Tasmania was, for most of its history, closely connected with and managed from Melbourne. Tasmania was combined with the Victorian retail branch portfolio for Kodak retail and wholesale distribution. Despite its isolation, there were strong links to the mainland and many branch managers spent time there before returning to take up senior roles in the company in Melbourne.

Kodak opened an outlet at 45 Elizabeth Street Hobart in 1915 which was managed by F J Muirhead until 1925, when Mr Charles H. Sims took over, soon followed by J A Taylor (1933) and F.A.H. Manning (1937). The branch had a retail store, stock room and offices on the ground floor and developing, printing and finishing rooms on the first floor, with other floors leased. By the 1930s there were film screenings in the Kodak Theatrette (The Mercury, 15 May 1937, p19), and an active program of demonstrations, lectures and exhibitions at other Hobart venues, for instance a photography exhibition at Hobart Town Hall in 1933 which was reportedly attended by 9400 people (The Mercury, 26 Jan 1933, p 10).

In 1937 a retail store was also opened on Brisbane Street, Launceston, and managed by F.A.H. Manning, followed shortly by a Mr E.R. Long.

There were 20-25 Kodak Australasia staff on the whole island in the late seventies when Greg McKibbin came to manage the Hobart branch. Developing and processing of colour film in Tasmania had ceased by this time and films were flown to Melbourne for processing. However, Kodak Express mini-labs started to open in the 1980s and soon lots of pharmacies and smaller outlets were again processing films locally. (McKibbin, 2014)

There are lots of images of the retail branches in Hobart and Launceston in the Kodak Heritage Collection, specifically focusing on their window and in-store stock displays, and street views of Kodak House.


Beale, N. The History of Kodak in Australia, Coburg, 1983 (unpublished, source: Museums Victoria Kodak Heritage Collection).

'COLOURED FILM.', The Mercury (Hobart, Tas. : 1860 - 1954), 15 May 1937, p. 19, viewed 17 February, 2015, http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article25398758

'KODAK (AUSTRALASIA) LIMITED.', The Argus (Melbourne, Vic. : 1848 - 1957), 7 February 1918, p. 4, viewed 19 February, 2015, http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article1637901

'PHOTOGRAPHIC ART.', The Mercury (Hobart, Tas. : 1860 - 1954), 28 January 1933, p. 10, viewed 17 February, 2015, http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article24714051

'TASMANIAN PUBLICITY.', Advocate (Burnie, Tas. : 1890 - 1954), 1 October, 1935 p. 2, viewed 16 February, 2015, http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article86544066

Greg McKibbin, interviewed by Lesley Alves 15 January 2014

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