Kinemacolor and Kodak: The Enterprise of Colour

William Gray

Research output: Chapter in Book/Conference proceeding with ISSN or ISBNChapterpeer-review


This chapter considers two distinctive elements within colour film history: the additive colour system known as Kinemacolor, and the development of subtractive colour film processes by Kodak. By understanding these two film enterprises in terms of their shared vision – to bring colour to the motion picture screen – and their very different approaches to the technical solution and its business development, it establishes the nature of these respective histories and their interrelationship. Kinemacolor, with its concentration on the optical and the mechanical, relied on George Albert Smith’s ingenuity as a lay scientist working with mechanical engineers. Dr Kenneth Mees of Eastman Kodak was the polar opposite, as his colour work represented the professional, scientific approach funded and supported by a global corporation.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationThe Colour Fantastic
Subtitle of host publicationChromatic Worlds of Silent Colour
EditorsGiovanna Fossati, Victoria Jackson, Bregt Lameris, Elif Rongen-Kaynakçi, Sarah Street, Joshua Yumibe
Place of PublicationAmsterdam
PublisherAmsterdam University Press
Number of pages15
ISBN (Electronic)9789048532988
ISBN (Print)9789462983014
Publication statusPublished - 18 Apr 2018

Publication series

NameFraming Film


  • film
  • additive colour
  • subtractive colour
  • Kinemacolor
  • Eastman Colour
  • George Albert Smith
  • Kenneth Mees


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