Key events in the history of Eastman Kodak Co.

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ROCHESTER, N.Y. (AP) ? Here are key events in the history of Eastman Kodak Co.

1880 – George Eastman begins commercial production of dry plates for photography in a rented loft of a building in Rochester, N.Y.

1888 – The name “Kodak” is born and the Kodak camera is marketed with the slogan, “You press the button, we do the rest.”

1889 – The Eastman Company is formed, taking over the assets of the Eastman Dry Plate and Film Company.

1892 – The company becomes Eastman Kodak Company of New York.

1900 – The first Brownie camera is introduced. Selling for $1 and using film that costs 15 cents a roll, it brings hobby photography within financial reach.

1929 – The company introduces its first motion picture film.

1935 – Kodachrome film is introduced and becomes the first commercially successful amateur color film.

1951 – The low-priced Brownie 8mm movie camera is introduced, followed by Brownie movie projector in 1952.

1962 – The company’s U.S. consolidated sales exceed $1 billion for the first time. Its work force tops 75,000.

1963 – Kodak introduces a line of easy-to-use Instamatic cameras with cartridge-loading film (selling more than 50 million by 1970).

1972 – Five pocket-size Instamatic cameras that use smaller cartridges are launched. More than 25 million cameras sell in less than three years.

1975 – Kodak invents the world’s first digital camera. The toaster-size prototype captures black-and-white images at a resolution of 10,000 pixels (.01 megapixels).

1981 – Company sales surpass the $10 billion revenue mark. The next year, hometown payroll peaks at 60,400.

1984 – Kodak enters the video market with the Kodavision Series 2000 8mm video system and introduces Kodak videotape cassettes in 8mm, Beta and VHS formats, along with a line of floppy disks for computers.

1988 – Global payroll peaks at 145,300.

1992 – Kodak launches a writeable CD that its first customer, MCI, used for producing telephone bills for corporate accounts.

2003 – Launch of Kodak Easyshare printer dock 6000, which produces durable, borderless 4-by-6-inch prints.

2004 ? Kodak begins digital makeover, the same year it gets ejected from the 30-stock Dow Jones industrial average. It cuts tens of thousands of jobs as it closes factories and changes businesses.

2008 ? Kodak begins mining its patent portfolio, which generates nearly $2 billion in fees over three years.

2010 ? Kodak sues Apple and Research in Motion before the U.S. International Trade Commission, claiming the smartphone makers are infringing its 2001 patent for technology that lets a camera preview low-resolution versions of a moving image while recording still images at higher resolutions. Global employment falls to 18,800.

July 2011: Kodak begins shopping around its 1,100 digital-imaging patents.

September 2011: Kodak hires Jones Day, a law firm that lists bankruptcies and restructuring among its stop specialties.

December 2011 ? Judge extends camera patent dispute into 2012.

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Source: www.kodak.com and The Associated Press