George Eastman House: preserving an incredible history


If you haven't been to the George Eastman House, we're guessing you've at least heard of it. For many of you, Kodak was a household name. We had Kodak cameras, used Kodak film, and maybe even had a parent or relative (or three!) who worked for Kodak.

But what we might not know is that the George Eastman House International Museum of Photography and Film, which opened to the public in 1949, is the world's oldest photography museum and has one of the world's oldest film archives! According to their website they "strive to inspire widespread recognition of how the media we collect, preserve, and understand broaden and enrich life."

George Eastman called this Colonial Revival mansion home from 1905 to 1932.

When it was built there were greenhouses, 10.5 acres of workable farmland, stables, barns, pastures, and gardens.

And it doesn't matter what season you go, the museum and gardens are open year round! If you get a chance, go over the holidays and you'll enjoy it beautifully decorated.

Our city was a hub of innovation, and entrepreneur, George Eastman, was a huge contributor. Though he wasn't the inventor of photography, he did invent flexible film, the film roll and holder, and many other things. 32 patents total! And, his cameras brought photography to the masses in 1888 with the Kodak camera and in 1900 with the $1 Brownie camera.

And what we have shared already does not even begin to tell of the history of this man, his home, and the impact that he and Kodak had on the city of Rochester and the world. Here is a quote from their website:

George Eastman can be called the "Father of Rochester." He believed Rochester should be the best city in which to work and raise a family, and as a result he heavily funded healthcare, education, and the arts. Rochester donations include support for Hillside Children's Center, Rochester Friendly Home, University of Rochester and Memorial Art Gallery, Rochester Institute of Technology, American Red Cross, and the chamber of commerce, and donated land for several city and county parks. In Rochester Mr. Eastman founded Kodak, the Center for Governmental Research, the United Way, Rochester Philharmonic Orchestra, Eastman School of Music and Eastman Theatre, Strong Hospital, and a dental dispensary. His far-reaching philanthropies include dental dispensaries in several countries, plus funding for Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Tuskegee Institute, and Hampton Institute -- with most of the donations made anonymously.”

And we have yet to even touch on Dryden Theatre, the theatre inside of the Eastman House used to showcase the incredible films which are held in the museum... but that my friends, is a story for another day!

Whether you take a guided tour, or set out on your own, you're sure to learn and enjoy every minute here.


Tue - Sat : 10am - 5pm
Sun : 11am - 5pm