A black and white photograph of a man at Kodak Australasia in Abbotsford threading a reel of film onto an automatic enlarger used for processing microfilmed V-mail letters written by American soldiers during World War II.

V-Mail involved the shrinking of letters onto microfilm before being flown to their destination, and then enlarged and printed out at the other end before delivery. The light-weight nature of V-Mail letters allowed space to be saved on aircraft for other supplies, and also reduced the travel time for the letters during the war. V-Mail began to be used by the United States military, in partnership with Eastman Kodak Company, in 1942. Kodak Australasia Pty Ltd became involved in the process when American personnel stationed in Australia began to receive and send mail in this format.

This object 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.

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.

Description of Content

A man is threading a reel of film onto a piece of equipment which is sitting on a benchtop. There are two large open-ended cylinder spaces for film to run from one reel to another.

Physical Description

Black and white, portrait photgraph, mounted on grey cardboard album page.

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