On this day (September 4) in 1888, North American entrepreneur George Eastman obtained a patent on his new camera (Patent No. 388,850), and the word “Kodak” was registered as a trademark (Reg. No. 15,825). Check out the evolution of the Kodak logo here. (P.S.: The oldest U.S. registered trademark still in use is this one (Reg. No. 11,210), which depicts the Biblical figure Samson wrestling a lion. That trademark was registered in 1884 by the J.P. Tolman Company.)
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Kodak died because of solipsism, the managerial attitude — fostered throughout the organization — that Kodak was all that existed and that its competitors (and tech trends) were only gnats to be swatted by the giant. The company probably could have survived (my job, no) if they had stuck with their early-90s diversification into health products and tech. The legacy chemistry-based business was doomed no matter what, and I blame management for not being upfront with employees about that. We got used just like the stockholders were. I was lucky enough to get on a lifeboat before the ship sank.