Kodak Verichrome Film & “Vest Pocket” Camera, Japan, c. 1932.

1930sArts & CultureCommerce
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Kodak Verichrome Film, Japan, c. 1932.

Kodak Verichrome film (V120) and a Vest Pocket Kodak Special, Japan, c. 1932.

See also:
Singer Sewing Machine Co. advertising postcard, c. 1920.
Maiko with “Nipponophone”, c. 1910.

“During the 1920’s, Kodak began to market consumer cameras such as the basic VP Model B targeting women. The Vest Pocket Model B came with imitation leather covering, and a simple shutter and lens. From this foundation, Kodak branched out to include several brightly colored, stylish models with an emphasis on style.

“During this same time Kodak launched the VPK Special line which emphasized the quality of photographs. A deluxe version of the Vest Pocket Series III built and marketed by Kodak first appeared in September 1926 and was produced until April 1935. This camera was called the Vest Pocket Kodak Special.

“Verichrome V120 film was introduced in 1931, offering greater latitude and finer grain than the Kodak Non-Curling film that had been the standard since 1903. The brand name ‘Verichrome’ was derived from the Latin word veritas, truth, referring to its veracity, to emphasize the film emulsion’s ‘true’ rendering of colors. Verichrome V120 continued to be manufactured until 1956, by which time it had been supplanted by Verichrome Pan (for ‘panochromic’) film.

“Kodak began selling photographic equipment on Japan in 1889, after British writer Douglas Sladen took one of the earliest portable Kodak cameras with him to Japan, and by the 1930s Kodak had a dominant position in the Japanese market.

“But after World War II, U.S occupation forces persuaded most U.S companies including Kodak to leave Japan to give the war torn local industry a chance to recover. Kodak was effectively priced out of the market by tariff barriers; over the next 35 years Fuji gained 70% share of the market while Kodak saw its share slip to a miserable 5%. During this period Kodak limited much of its activities in Japan.”


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