Summary

Colour photograph taken by Wolfgang Sievers of Amenities Building 9 and the Medical and Security Building 10 at the newly constructed Kodak Australasia Pty Ltd factory complex in Coburg, 1964.

The photograph is part of an album prepared in about 1965 for the Kodak parent company at Rochester, in New York State, in the USA.

Buildings 9 and 10 housed a range of staff amenities and a medical and security centre respectively for the entire Coburg factory complex. The flags represented the multi-national nature of the Eastman Kodak organisation.

Building 9, Amenities had two floors. The ground floor consisted of the Canteen Services Centre which provided a range of food from complete hot meals to sandwiches. The centre served food at regular lunch and dinner times in the canteen and provided meals to the factory for shift workers. It also provided for special occasions and visitor events. This floor also had a large open space room with parquetry dance floor and small stage which was normally set up with chairs and tables as the Canteen, a senior staff dining room, a visitors dining room, a small convenience shop and washroom facilities. The basement floor contained an employees' shop of company products at discounted prices, a small cinema room, a branch of the NAB, Camera Club rooms, toilet block, and later a credit union office. This floor also had a large open space with vinyl tiles on concrete and the east wall had plate glass doors and windows.

Building 10, Medical & Security had only one floor.At the west end there was a Medical Centre equipped with facilities similar to a normal general practice including x-ray and physiotherapy. A Medical Doctor and two Registered Nurses were in attendance full time with a part-time Physiotherapist. At the east end there was a Security Centre equipped with central alarm systems and communications for the security staff located at all manned entrances and on patrol. A small PBX room with four women staff was located adjacent to the Security Centre (later replaced by an electronic PABX in Building 9 in 1985].

These steel framed and brick buildings were completed before 1959 to service the rapidly rising staff numbers that were moving from the old Abbotsford site. Architect Harry Norris of H A & F L Norris & Associates, created the design for the new factory and individual buildings, while the building contract was awarded to Lewis Constructions Pty Ltd.

The still uncompleted Coburg factory complex was officially opened on 14 April 1961 by the Prime Minister, Robert G. Menzies with Dr. A Chapman, President of Eastman Kodak Company, in attendance. The complex was the national headquarters of Kodak Australasia Pty Ltd and its manufacture of silver halide photographic products. It replaced the Abbotsford factory where Kodak had been operating since 1908. The Abbotsford premises eventually closed in 1966.

Wolfgang Sievers is widely recognised as one of Australia's most significant architectural and industrial photographers. He pioneered a modernist photographic style influenced by the Bauhaus, and his work celebrates industry and the worker. Sievers was commissioned to document the newly constructed Kodak Coburg plant. He subsequently took several hundred black & white and colour images that highlighted the modern architectural and industrial design features of the complex.

Kodak manufactured and distributed a wide range of photographic products to Australasia, such as film, paper, chemicals, cameras and miscellaneous equipment. Its client base included amateur and professional photographers, as well as specialist medical and graphic art professionals who used photography, x-ray and other imaging techniques.

This photograph is part of the Kodak collection of products, promotional materials, photographs and working life artefacts collected from Kodak Australasia in 2005, when the Melbourne manufacturing plant at Coburg closed down.

Description of Content

Photograph taken of the exterior of a double and single storey building at right angles to each other. In the foreground is a service road and lawn. At the centre of road is a small patch of lawn featuring four flagpoles with British, American, Kodak and Australian flags flying. To the right, in the distance, three water cooling towers are visible and a chimney.

Physical Description

Colour photograph printed on light weight paper, landscape format.

More Information

  • Collection Names

    Kodak Heritage Collection, Wolfgang Sievers Collection

  • Collecting Areas

    Images & Image Making, Working Life & Trades

  • Acquisition Information

    Donation from Kodak (Australasia) Pty Ltd, Ms. Kate Metcalf - Kodak (Australasia) Pty Ltd, 2005

  • Acknowledgement

    Courtesy of Kodak (Australasia) Pty Ltd.

  • Place & Date Depicted

    Coburg, Greater Melbourne, Victoria, Australia, 1964-1965
    Album was compiled in about 1965 according to an inscription in the album. In the invoice [see HT 20552], dated 28th August 1964 from Sievers to Kodak regarding the commission of photographs of the Coburg factory complex, Sievers mentions the postponement of some external images until landscaping had been completed. This suggests a later creation date needs to be posited for photographs, possibly 1965 [circa 1965], for a group of black and white as well as colour externals that feature a different serial number [3613] from the serial number in the invoice [3562].

  • Organisation Depicted

    Kodak (Australasia) Pty Ltd, Coburg, Greater Melbourne, Victoria, Australia, 1964
    Album was compiled in about 1965 according to an inscription in the album. In the invoice [see HT 20552], dated 28th August 1964 from Sievers to Kodak regarding the commission of photographs of the Coburg factory complex, Sievers mentions the postponement of some external images until landscaping had been completed. This suggests a later creation date needs to be posited for photographs, possibly 1965 [circa 1965], for a group of black and white as well as colour externals that feature a different serial number [3613] from the serial number in the invoice [3562].

  • Photographer

    Wolfgang G. Sievers AO, Coburg, Greater Melbourne, Victoria, Australia, 1964

  • Format

    Photograph, Colour

  • Inscriptions

    Card insert, typed, black ink: 'COBURG PLANT/ PERSONNEL AND MEDICAL BUILDING - NO.10 (RIGHT)/ PORTION OF AMENITIES BUILDING - NO.9 (BACKGROUND)' Back, stamp, purple ink: 'WOLFGANG SIEVERS / Photographer / 9 COLLINS ST. MELBOURNE C. 1. / TELEPHONE 63-4023' Back, handwritten, pencil: 'EC-3252M'

  • Brand Names

    Kodak (Photographic Products)

  • Classification

    Manufacturing & industry, Photographic products, Factory exterior views

  • Category

    History & Technology

  • Discipline

    Technology

  • Type of item

    Image

  • Image Dimensions - Photograph

    240 mm (Width), 194 mm (Height)

  • References

    Beale, N, The History of Kodak in Australia, Coburg, no date. [Link 1] "A Brief Process Based Site History, Kodak (Australasia) Pty Ltd, Coburg Plant" Kodak (Australasia) Pty Ltd, 2007 Pamphlet, "Milestones in the History of Kodak (Australasia) Pty. Ltd", Kodak (Australasia) Pty. Ltd., 1985 Leggio, Angeletta "A History of Australia's Kodak Manufacturing Plant", Topics in Photographic Preservation, Volume Twelve, 2007 Ennis, Helen "Intersections: Photography, History and the National Library of Australia", National Library of Australia, Canberra, 2004

  • Keywords

    Buildings, Chimneys, Factories, Flags, Manufacturing Plants, Photography, Water Towers, Making History - Kodak Collection, Health Centres