Colour slide taken by Stuart Sanderson, General Manager of Manufacturing at Kodak, of the construction of the Testing & Photo-Processing Building 7, Kodak Australasia Pty Ltd factory complex in Coburg, January 1958.
The Testing Department (later called Film & Paper Technical Services Department) provided a service to Manufacturing and Marketing by measuring and reporting on the quality of manufactured films, papers and chemicals. Samples of sensitized materials were taken out from pilot runs, and during and after manufacture. These were measured for photographic speed, contrast, colour balance and for many other attributes, to ensure that all quality specifications were being met. Further testing of some samples involved physical performance, storage conditions and general handling which products would likely have to endure over their lifetime in the hands of customers and professional users. More than a thousand samples were tested every day. While most of this testing was destructive, it complemented the non-destructive inspections made in the production departments. This department also monitored and reported on the quality of all chemical preparations made in the Photochemicals operation at the Burnley plant (after 1974 at Coburg).
Construction of the Coburg complex began in 1957 on twenty three hectares of former farmland. Since 1908, Kodak had been operating from the factory in Abbotsford and had gradually outgrown the premises. The Abbotsford factory remained operational while the Coburg plant was being built until it closed in1966. 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.
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 slide 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
View of the construction of a building from a low vantage point. In the foreground is a grass incline with a path cut into it. The building is to the rear of the image and the external structure is near completion. It is a single storey brick construction with a steel and concrete framework.
Colour 35mm slide in cardboard casing.
Donation from Kodak (Australasia) Pty Ltd, Ms. Kate Metcalf - Kodak (Australasia) Pty Ltd, 2005
Courtesy of Kodak (Australasia) Pty Ltd.
Place & Date Depicted
Slide, 35 mm, Colour
Front, printed: 'KODACHROME/TRANSPARENCY/PROCESSED BY KODAK' Back, handwritten: '18 TESTING BLD./JAN 58'
Type of item
50 mm (Width), 50 mm (Height)
Mortley, John S, The History of Kodak in Australia, Coburg, 1983 [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