Black and white silver gelatin sepia toned photograph of the Kodak Australasia factory in Abbotsford, Victoria, 1934.

This photograph shows the Yarra River in flood in about 1934. Taken from the eastern bank of the river, the photograph looks across the flooded river to the Kodak factory. This image was taken during an inspection of flood damage. Two women can be seen on top of the water tank tower, at right of the factory buildings.

To the left, the Kodak Powerhouse with its chimney can be seen. The Powerhouse provided all of the power and refrigeration for the factory. Adjacent to this is the Paper Coating Building, where photographic paper was coated and photographic emulsions were manufactured. The tank visible on the top of the tower of this building contained distilled water which was used in manufacturing. Visible to the right, next to the building submerged in the foreground, is a tank full of water. This tank was used for silver recovery, and usually contained a slurry of silver nitrate.

The Yarra River was prone to flooding, and despite major works designed to manage water flow in the 1920s, the river still experienced a major flood in November 1934. Such floods caused damage to the Kodak factory and potentially washed away into the river some of the materials and chemicals that were used in the manufacturing process.

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

The photograph shows a flooded landscape with factory buildings and trees, partially submerged. In the foreground of the image is the river, mid-ground is a group of buildings. Two chimneys are prominent in the centre of the grouping and a tower with a water tank on top is to the right. A multi-storey building is to the rear. To the right in the foreground of the buildings is a submerged tank.

Physical Description

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

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