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George Eastman Hardcover – October 31, 2012
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From Publishers Weekly
Copyright 1996 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
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Top Customer Reviews
Eastman was perhaps the first scientist-engineer entrepreneur, a model followed later by men like Edwin Land and Bill Gates. Brayer skillfully weaves his engineering feats with his financier skills into a highly readable biography. Eastman was like Gates and Land, a hands-on entrepreneur. Stories abound about Eastman's midnight haunts through his factory, showing up in the wee hours unannounced to some startled employee working late on a project.
I was constantly amazed at Eastman's ingenuity. Eastman the inventory of flexible film, made his first commercial batches by spreading the celluloid out on level 100-foot long glass topped tables. It wasn't until many years later they finally found a way to machine make it.
For my taste there was far too much information on the architecture and building of Eastman House. Since Brayer, as I understand it, was or maybe still is, an employee of Eastman House, now a foundation supported museum of photography, this is understandable. I did find it amusing that Eastman used Belgian imported glass plates that were to be used in the factory as a film base as window glass in the House. Window glass will have an occassional ripple or bubble, but not these. George always had to have the very best.
Brayer has shed some new light on several of the patent infringement lawsuits that went against Eastman.
In many biographies, the subject is just that, a subject. Brayer does an exceptional job of bringing Eastman to life. If you have an interest in photographic history or in financial history, this is an exceptional book. This is the first freely written biography of Eastman. Earlier attempts were quite controlled by the Trust and Eastman himself.
The pages are of a higher-quality, smoother paper, which give the book of a more distinguished feel. While the dust-cover image and text is rather unremarkable, which, I might add, is rather expected of this kind of book, the actual volume has the simple crimson and black with gold lettering on the side. The text is small, but not too small, or the lines too close together, that it is difficult to read. Finally, I do not know if this is typical, but my copy came with a signature from the author.
Now for the book's contents:
I found the book very enjoyable and well-written. While the style isn't that of a Hollywood thriller, it does what it sets out to do, to tell the story of George Eastman, and it does it well. It is very informative, the level of detail went well beyond my expectations, and, most importantly, the extensive list of cited sources lets me know that the information is accurate. All in all, if you are looking for the story of GE, this is the copy to buy.
Overall, 5/5 stars.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
My daughter used this for a reference on her history day project. It was too detailed and she lost interest quickly.Published 14 months ago by D. Herzog
well researched, learned so much more about George Eastman, worked for Kodak for 30 years and enjoyed all the employee benefits that he put in place as a industrial leader and... Read morePublished 15 months ago by James T. Lechner
After seeing a series about American industrial giants on tv, men such as Ford, Carnegie and J. P. Morgan, I had hoped to be able to gain some insight into the rise and fall of... Read morePublished on August 6, 2013 by Jamie Hankin
I looked so forward to reading this book. But, I became deeply disappointed. The book jumps into Eastman and his interest in photography, but a truly good writer would've done a... Read morePublished on April 8, 2012 by W. Sockwell