A black and white photograph of three men, including Noel Swan (at left), operating a paper processing machine at Kodak Australasia in Abbotsford, which is printing v-mail letters from American soldiers in July 1942 during World War II. Noel is at back left of a developing bath where a ream of sensitised paper is being run through.

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

Two men are standing in front of a set of rollers which has a rolls of white paper running over and under the rollers. There is another man in the background standing behind another set of rollers

Physical Description

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

More Information