Black and white, sepia toned photograph of the interior of the Kodak Australasia factory in Abbotsford, Victoria during World War Two, 1939-1945.

Female staff are sitting at desks in long rows checking V-Mail letters in the Recordak Department at Kodak. These letters had been written by soldiers serving overseas and were then microfilmed to reduce space while transporting them back to Australia. At Kodak in Abbotsford these microfilms were then enlarged, printed, cut into separate letters, packed and sent to the soldiers' families to read. A male supervisor is standing watching over the workers. He is possibly the US military supervisor, who was there to ensure the letters were kept private and weren't read by Kodak staff, although he is not in uniform so may have been a Kodak staff member. This photograph shows the last stage of this process, before the letters were sent out to the families. A series of four photographs show the processing of microfilmed letters at Kodak. See, in order, MM96604, then MM96606, MM96607, and MM96605.

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

Several rows of women sitting at long desks, checking letters. The letters are on the desks in stacks. A man is at far left, standing up, looking over the room. A woman at far right is standing and checking a clipboard in her arms. Light is shining through the large archway shaped window and two side windows at the rear of the room.

Physical Description

Black and white, sepia toned, silver gelatin photograph printed on medium weight paper, landscape format with a white border.

More Information