Mama Don’t Take – Kodak Did

By | Dec 27, 2010

It was the summer of 1973 when Paul Simon begged ‘Mama, don’t take my Kodachrome away’. Mama has finally taken it away. Mama is Kodak and they have discontinued Kodachrome film.

Kodak first introduced the film, which was the first successfully mass-marketed color still film using a subtractive method, in 1935. Since it required a complex processing amateurs can not do it, but it was a favorite of many professional photographers.

Until a 1954 ruling Kodak sold the film with the cost of processing included. Before this time Kodak had the only processing center. The United States sued saying this was anticompetitive. They entered into a consent decree that allowed processing plants in the US to acquire the required chemicals to process.

Only Dwayne’s Photo in Parsons, Kansas is still able to process the film. They will end their processing line on December 30, 2010, marking the absolute end of Kodachrome.

Paul Simon’s song Kodachrome reached the number 2 spot on the charts in the summer of 1973 and brought some legal troubles from Kodak. They required the record company to place a note that ‘Kodachrome is a trademark of Kodak’. Amazing a few years later beginning in late 1990s Kodak used the song in their advertising.

Because of Kodak’s trademark the song was rarely played in the UK and therefore was not a hit there. the BBC had very strict rules about commercial endorsements and stations didn’t play songs that appeared to push products.


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1 Comment so far
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