History of the Kodak Corporation

Photography is a very popular hobby today. When photography was first developed, however, it was only for the very dedicated and was a quite complicated hobby. How did it change? Did people suddenly decide it was worth the hassle of worrying about flash powder, super long exposure times, and incredibly expensive film? Of course not! Someone made it easy for the masses.

That “someone” was George Eastman, founder of what is now commonly known as the Eastman Kodak Company. Like so many people who revolutionize an industry, Eastman started out with a peasant job: bank clerk. This bank clerk spent three years developing a new process for photography; a process which would allow people to cleanly take photographs. This was called the “dry plate” process, and it was a big improvement over the then current wet plate method. After he got patents not only for the process itself, but for a machine which would produce large numbers of the dry plates, he opened his company. This was called the Eastman Dry Plate Company.

Three years after that, he decided to expand with a new type of film he had invented. This film would be gelatin coated, and wound on rolls. Since the holders of these rolls could be used with the existing type of plate cameras, this film was an instant success. After the film became a big part of the company’s sales, Eastman changed the name of the company to Eastman Dry Plate and Film Company.

In 1888, the company introduced a product which truly revolutionized photography and brought the enjoyment of this hobby to the masses. It was in this year that the first truly portable camera was brought to market. When Eastman was naming the camera, he decided to come up with a word which used the letter K. he thought that K was a “strong, incisive sort of letter.” He liked the letter so much he decided the new name should have two of them — one at the beginning and one at the end. From there, he experimented with various combinations of letters until he came up with the name “Kodak.” The small size and ease of use of this $25 camera paved the way for masses of amateur photographers to become real shutterbugs.

But Eastman was not satisfied to rest on his laurels with this successful product. The next year, he and a research scientist developed transparent roll film. This invention paved the way for another person’s huge invention: Thomas Edison’s motion picture camera.

Now that the Kodak camera was such a success, in 1892, Eastman changed the name of his company once again, and the familiar name of Eastman Kodak Company came into being. In 1900, the famous Brownie camera was produced. It sold for $1 a camera and used film which cost $.15 a roll. While that sounds cheap, one should keep in mind that this was over 100 years ago. One dollar was over a day’s pay. So while the camera wasn’t incredibly expensive, it wasn’t all that cheap either.

Despite the incredible success of George Eastman’s products and the huge growth of the company, Mr. Eastman’s own story ends in tragedy. In 1932, after suffering from a very painful spinal condition for two years, this spectacular inventor and businessman took his own life.

February 10, 2012
Posted in Recreation — Knowledge Buff @ 11:12 PM

Lake Fishing Tips

There are three general classifications of lake fish: Game, food, and forage/bait. Game fish are the ones people like to fish for. They have sport value. Food fish are what people want to catch just to put food on the table. And bait fish, as the name implies, are used as bait to catch the other two kinds.

Bass, pike, pickerel, muskies (muskellunge), perch, trout, and the like are some of the most familiar game fish. Note that some game fish are also popular as food. Lake perch is an especially popular menu offering in areas which have many lakes.

Carp, yellow perch, suckers, and catfish are among those normally thought of as food fish. Catching them often doesn’t provide much sport compared to the “sport” fish, but they still have a lot of economic and recreational value.

It’s hard to describe the correct casting methods for lake fishing. The best way to learn is still to go to an area of the lake where people are fishing, watch those who know how it’s done, and then try to copy. Of course, it will take practice to effectively match the technique, but actually seeing how it’s done is a big help.

Even so, there are some tips to keep in mind to help jump-start the learning process. Lake fishing can be a lot of fun, and it’s easy to learn the correct form for it.

With any form of fishing, a smooth snappy stroke is needed. But this shouldn’t be too snappy; you’re not cracking a whip! If you crack the line like a whip, you will lose a lot of flies.

Anglers need to remember that they’re casting the line rather than the fly. The fly is just something that happens to be attached to the leader, rather than being a source of significant weight or pull.

Proper timing is needed for both the forward and back cast.

Know the habitat the individual lake provides, and the kind of fish living there. Some types of common lake fish are sunfish and small mouth black bass. These two types of fish like to hide near submerged logs or among the plants.

Use big, sturdy rods to catch big lake fish. Fish like bass can get as big as 12 pounds. This is because in lakes and ponds, there is a lot of rich food for them. Therefore, the best length of the rod is about 8 ½ feet, and a good rod weight (without reel or line) is 4 ¾ ounce.

The fundamental principles of lake fishing are easy to master, and with a bit of patience and practice, a novice can become a successful angler in lakes.

February 9, 2012
Posted in Recreation — Knowledge Buff @ 9:19 PM

How to Call Wild Ducks

Calling wild ducks is not an inborn talent. It takes a lot of practice to become a proficient caller. However, anyone can become a good duck caller with patience and proper training. Being able to call wild ducks is an important part of hunting for them. Done right, it can greatly improve hunting results. After all, if you get the calls right, the ducks will come “hunting” for you, instead of the other way around!

Here are a couple of tips to help you successfully call wild ducks:

Get a high-quality call. Even if you have a lot of skill, if your duck call is junk, it will sound like it. This is one of the cases where you get what you pay for. The call must be good enough to produce a sound which can fool the ducks. A good call will allow the hunter to make all the sounds that a duck can. It will also allow the hunter to be able to continue to reproduce these sounds the same way time and time again.

The next thing you need to do is learn to properly use the call so you sound just like a real wild duck, instead of like a human pretending to be a duck. Although there are surely audiotapes or CDs which have duck sounds on them, the best way to learn a language is to hang around those who speak it. So if you can get in an area where you can hear actual wild ducks as they go about their normal behaviors, you are already way ahead of those trying to learn from a recording.

The first calls to learn are the feeder chuckle and the quack. Ducks use quacks for many things, including announcing their arrival, acknowledging another duck’s arrival, and calling out danger. Observing some actual ducks will help you learn which calls will bring in ducks, and which will chase them away. Experienced hunters will tell you to practice duck calling all year long, not just right before the hunting season.

A hunter trying to attract some wild ducks will often do better if he can pretend to be several ducks rather than just one. Ducks like groups. Like humans, each individual duck is a different speaking mannerism. So, to imitate a group of ducks, you’ll need to use different cadences and tempos. You will also need to vary your volume since some ducks are louder than others.

It is actually possible to call in wild ducks without a piece of equipment other than your own mouth and vocal cords. This, however, takes a lot of patience, practice, and excellent observation of wild ducks. To learn all the food related calls, it helps a lot to put some food out where the ducks are sure to find it. Then hide, and listen very well to the sounds the ducks make both upon discovery of the food and as other ducks enter the feeding area.

There is one call you do not want to make. That is the danger call. Once ducks associate you with a danger call, it will be very hard to get them not to avoid you. This avoidance is far more pronounced than the normal shyness they would otherwise show. So make sure to learn the danger call so you do NOT accidentally do it.

With practice, you can learn to make good wild duck calls with a device to help you. If you want to be able to brag that you don’t need a duck call, you’ll need a lot more patience and practice, but the astounded looks of other people may make it worth it. In either case, once you get it right, the ducks will come looking for you instead of the other way around.


Posted in Recreation — Knowledge Buff @ 9:18 PM

Choosing the Right Fishing Lures

There are many types of fishing lures. These lures, or artificial baits, are meant to mimic various forms of what fish would normally eat. Since different fish eat different things, some lures are aimed at specific species. Others are more general and aim to attract multiple kinds of fish.

Spoons are lures which look, to humans, like a spoon. These make a wobbling movement and appear to flicker as they reflect sunlight. These are great for beginners because they are cheap and easy to use.

A spinner has a blade-like shape. It rotates on a spindle while being retrieved, and gives off flashed of light as it moves. This imitates the scales and movement of a bait fish. The use of spinners is flexible because you can figure out its depth by how long you wait before you begin the retrieval. The speed of the rotation can be controlled by how fast you reel it in. For trout and mullet, you should use a small-sized spinner, and for fish like pike, the larger sized ones should be used.

Surface lures are, as the name suggests, used on the surface of the water. These are considered to be the most thrilling of the lures, because you can actually see the fish take the lure. The anticipation of seeing the fish strike the lure is a very exciting experience. The entire fish can be seen as it leaves the water to jump for these baits. A side-benefit is that they are easy to retrieve from weedy areas.

Suspending plugs will go to the required depth and stay there. They are made with neutral buoyancy and resistance, so they naturally remain at their depth without the fisher going through hassle to make it happen. This makes these lures perfect for catching fish which hide near weed beds, banks, and rocks. When you yank it in order to make it move and imitate life, fish can strike these explosively.

Floating divers are a necessity for all anglers who fish with lures. These cover a wide range of depths, from just under the surface all the way to fifteen feet down or even lower. The diving depth is made via the fin or vane which is on the lure. The lesser the angle in relation to the lure’s body, the deeper the dive. The shape and size of the lure determines how it moves in the water.

Sinking plugs are great for deep-water fishing, and the retrieve can be started immediately after it reaches the preferred depth. The depth is estimated by timing how long you wait before starting the retrieve. Just counting down is sufficient; no need to use a stopwatch. As you are timing, take note of what depth the lure is when fish start striking. This way you can sink it to that depth every time during your fishing trip.

Jerk baits have no movement of their own when in the water. The angler gives these lures lifelike movement by jerking, shaking, and trembling the rod. This bait aims to mimic a wounded bait fish, which predator fish are likely to be compelled to lunge at in the mistaken belief that they have found easy lunch.

Soft baits are made of soft rubber, and come in many shapes and forms. Some have matching sizes and colors, while others come in colors unlikely to occur in nature. These are commonly used both in the sea and in fresh water. They can be used with a weighted jig and handled like jerk baits.

With this brief guide, you can now go into a fishing store and know what behavior to expect from each type of lure. Once you have chosen your lures, you have made the first step to getting the freshest possible fish dinner: the dinner you caught yourself!

February 8, 2012
Posted in Recreation — Knowledge Buff @ 4:51 PM

Salmon Fishing Tips

Are you interested in catching some of those salmon which the bears on nature shows love so much? Here are some salmon-fishing tips to help you get yourself some of those delicious fish.

Salmon don’t like bright light, so fish when the light is low or when it’s cloudy. If it’s too bright, the salmon will group up and hide down in deep holes.

Make a note that salmon don’t normally feed while they’re in the river. If they strike there, it’s a learned behavior. Salmon are normally predatory when they’re still in the lake, as well as being more aggressive. When they get into the river, they calm down.

Set the hook by yanking downstream three times. It also helps to use your free hand to pull on the line. Don’t just lift the rod straight up, because if you do, you can end up pulling the fly out of the fish’s mouth.

Sharpen your hooks. Salmon have thick jaws, which a dull hook may not be able to penetrate.

Fishing with a partner can improve results because then you have two sets of eyes to spot a salmon. One person can do the fishing, while the other stands high on the other side of the river pointing out where salmon are and observing their reactions. Polarized glasses improve spotting ability quite a bit, too.

If you find a good hole with a lot of salmon, you can successfully fish there the entire day!

Your weight and tippet length needs to be adjusted to match the depth of the hole as well as the depth the fish are congregating. The weight should only touch the bottom every so often, rather than being allowed to drag. A 3-foot long tippet will set the fly between 6 inches and 2 feet from the bottom.

To get the fly higher in the water, put a foam indicator at the top.

Chuck-n-duck is the most familiar, and easiest, fly fishing method.
Chuck-n-duck is the most familiar and easiest, method in using a fly rod to fish for salmon. According to Bob Petti at Global Fly Fisher, the idea behind this method turns traditional angling “on its head.” Instead of casting a line and having the fly just go along for the ride, you put a weight on your line and it pulls the line (and the fly) out as you cast. Instead of using regular line, you use a thin running line and stiff leader material. More information about chuck-n-duck can be found on the internet.

Whatever method you use, you’re sure to enjoy the thrill of catching your own salmon.


Posted in Recreation — Knowledge Buff @ 4:50 PM

Top 3 Kayak Fishing Tips

People will fish in or from anything. That includes kayaks.

Kayak fishing, and being any good at it, is a skill which requires a large investment of time and practice. It often takes years before one can be properly called a veteran kayak angler. This often discourages newcomers, but like anything else people bother to practice, those who have acquired the skill will surely tell you it was worth it.

The closest thing to a shortcut is to learn from someone who’s already a pro. This can be informal, if you know someone who is willing to show you the ropes. It is also likely that the right areas will have people willing to give lessons on a formal basis.

Fishing from kayaks is slowly becoming more popular in ways which affect the fishing industry. People have long used kayaks to get to where the fish are, but now, it is becoming a sport rather than “what you do when a kayak is the only boat you have.”

In early times, native peoples even in Russia used kayaks. They fished for big game fish, too, like the flatfish halibut. They did this at least as early as the middle of the 18th century, and most likely, for centuries before that. But Russian Orthodox priests made a written record of it in the 18th century, which at least allows some kind of a date to be applied.

Since then, kayak fishing dominated the fishing industry in such areas. At first, people were doubtful that kayaks could be a help. But the steadiness brought by the “sit on” type has long been one of the primary characteristics which made it good for fishing. Steadiness, however, is relative. It takes practice to learn how to keep the kayak steady as one paddles through the waters, which is an essential element of successful kayak fishing.

For people who would like a few beginning tips for proper kayak fishing, here are 3 basic things to be mindful of:

1. Safety is Foremost. Like any activity, a person needs to pay attention to safety, equipment checks, and the like. This of course is to avoid unnecessary danger and lessen the likelihood of injury. Someone going out on the water needs to check the current weather conditions, the weather forecast concerning the time they’ll be out, the tide, and do the other standard boating safety checks. Also, let someone know where you’ll be fishing, so if something goes wrong, they will realize you’ve been gone too long, and be able to point rescue personnel in the right direction.

2. Keep the hatches closed. The hatches keep water from getting into the kayak. It goes without saying that they should be kept closed to prevent getting waterlogged.
3. Steady as she goes! When actually fishing, it is good to use your anchor to keep the kayak steady. That way you can put more of your concentration on actually fishing.

Good luck with all your kayak fishing adventures, and have patience. The satisfaction of having mastered a skill which takes time to learn is well worth it for an activity you are interested in.


Posted in Recreation — Knowledge Buff @ 4:36 PM

Why Gardening is Good for Children

Many avid gardeners have said they started doing it as kids. So it’s apparent that they enjoyed it, or they wouldn’t have kept doing it. But other than getting a kid to like what you do, are there any benefits to teaching a child to garden? There sure are! Gardening teaches kids a whole range of things they’ll keep using after they grow up.

The most obvious thing a kid will learn is environment-related knowledge. Many non-gardeners still just kind of “blah through” their lives without noticing what’s around them in the environment, and only realize something is happening to it because the TV keeps telling them so, ad nauseum. It’s much better for people to be able to realize it for themselves if the plants they walk by every day don’t look well, or if they find that they aren’t encountering as many frogs or toads as they did ten years ago. But how can someone know how the environment used to be, if they’ve never been encouraged to take a closer look at it when they were children?

The benefits of gardening for kids also include learning about life science. Seeing the life cycle firsthand, and how humans affect it, beats learning about it from a boring text book any day.

Speaking of the life cycle, watching a new life form sprout from a seemingly inert seed is a wondrous experience. Kids will learn to appreciate the life in their plants, and to treat them with care. It also helps a kid tune in to what life needs to thrive: Proper conditions, careful treatment, and the removal of weeds. When doing weeding with their kids, parents can (carefully, so they don’t get tuned out for being preachy or boring!) point out that there are things which are like “weeds” in our own lives, and that we do better without those things. Things which serve to help us can also be pointed out.

Young children may not show an immediate appreciation of the sprouting of seeds. But, by planting the idea in their minds, they are cued to look for what it was you found so fascinating about it. As they mature, their appreciation of gardening and the miracle of life will grow, in a way which is not unlike the seeds which were pointed out to them. If the mental “seed” is not planted, however, they may never realize these things. Many people today seem to have no idea what is around them, let alone appreciate it. Perhaps this is due to a lack of gardening!

Some find gardening relaxing. Many children find that if an adult says something is “relaxing,” it’s actually “boring!” Make sure to keep showing the child things, so it remains interesting. YOU get relaxed, the kid gets to explore and learn. Just point things out; don’t tell the kid they’re supposed to “learn” anything, because that’s work, and work is bad.

Gardening can also help children by building their self-esteem. Seeing plants grow successfully due to their efforts is a great builder of self-worth. If an adult makes sure to highlight every growth phase of a plant (“Look! There’s the first true leaves!” and otherwise point out all the little changes, gardening goes from being a boring, slow process to something quite close to immediate gratification. A fast-growing plant can be measured every day, which will always give the child something to look forward to.


Posted in Recreation — Knowledge Buff @ 4:35 PM

The History of Bass Fishing

The history of bass fishing is long and interesting. It started as a serious endeavor back in the late 18th century and retains its popularity today.

Its likely origin is necessity: People in the southern United States wanted to eat better. Since then, it has spread to all ages of people, and all nations which have bass to fish for. Countries where bass are fished for include Australia, Cuba, and even South Africa. Most of Europe also has participants in this sport.

Bass fishing came about as a specialized form of fishing around 1768-1770. A man named Onesimus Ustonson developed the first multiplying reels and introduced them to fishermen. These reels were further developed into the bait caster.

Ever wonder what William Shakespeare’s son was into? Apparently bass fishing was one of his interests! He started production of a level wind device, and had it patented in 1897.

The heavily ornamented Shannon Twin Spinner was intruded in 1915 by the William J. Jamison Company. This item was the basis of today’s spinner baits.

Bass became more numerous and easier to find in 1932, after Franklin D. Roosevelt created the Tennessee Valley Authority and promoted the building of several dams. Bass were later cultured at these dams.

Just five years later, the DuPont Company filed for a patent on nylon fishing nets. This nylon was later used to make monofilament fishing line.

In 1992, Larry Nixon made a cool million dollars from bass fishing tournaments. Needless to say, he’s well known to the bass fishing community.

The golden age of bass fishing, which saw the development of bass fishing equipment ranging from lines to boats, was probably in the 1950s. The sport had become very popular by then, leading individuals and companies to develop a lot of specialized equipment. Even electronic gear started to be used.

There are several types of bass which people fish for in events. These include largemouth, smallmouth, and Kentucky bass. Other types of bass are also caught, but the favorite remains the largemouth bass. It is interesting to note that Australian bass are different from those in North America, even though most have similar features.

Bass fishing is a huge sport and contributes a lot to the US economy. $50 to $70 billion dollars are generated by the industries related to bass fishing! The base of bass fishers continues to grow, and the sport is gaining popularity vs. tennis and golf.

It is fascinating to think that such a big and popular sport has bloomed from something which people used to do just to have something to put on the table.


Posted in Recreation — Knowledge Buff @ 4:34 PM

History of Golf Ball Development

As you look at your dimpled golf ball, have you ever wondered how they came up with that design? Here is a look at several hundred years’ worth of “beta” golf balls, and how they changed through the years.

Surface structures are a vital element of anything that is meant to fly. Turbulence and aerodynamics work together along with air pressure and other elements to determine how far and how straight something will go when propelled through the air. But the earliest attempts at making golf balls did not include a full understanding of these factors.

During golf’s earliest days, it was played with very low-tech equipment: Wooden balls and wooden clubs. The game started on the eastern coast of Scotland, and people played in an informal way.

By the year 1618, golf had become popular enough to bother improving the balls. A feather-filled golf ball, called the Featherie, was introduced. These balls required a lot of hassle to make, which caused them to be very expensive. It would have cost 200 of today’s dollars to buy one! What made them so extremely costly? Craftsmen had to first wet down a lot of feathers, then cram them into a cover made of wet cowhide or horsehide. All this had to be done while the components were still wet. After assembly, the ball would be left to dry. Drying would cause the hide to shrink and the feathers to expand, and the pressure of the opposing forces resulted in a hard ball. Needless to say, in that era, only the very rich could afford to play golf with what was then the top-quality equipment.

Under such conditions, it was just a matter of time before someone figured out how to make a cheaper ball, without just going back to wood. So the Guttie ball was born. This golf ball was made of the sap of the gutta tree (gutta percha). When hot, the sap can be easily formed into a ball, which, once cooled, could be used as a golf ball. Repairing an old golf ball was easy, too—just reheat and reshape. These were cheap due to the ease of production.

People found, however, that the feather-filled ball would travel farther than a gutta-percha one. It was eventually determined that this was because the guttie ball had a smooth surface, while the feather ones were slightly irregular. Then someone realized that they could just put dimples into cheap balls to make them perform better. As we know, the dimpled-cover design, with refinements, is the one in use today.

It was a man named Coburn Haskell who developed the first rubber-cored ball, but he still covered it in gutta-percha. But players had noticed that the cheap gutta-percha balls behaved more predictably once they had been used a while and acquired a few dings. Finally, in 1905, William Taylor came up with a specific dimple pattern and applied it to the standard Haskell-style ball. In 1921, the golf ball’s size and weight was standardized for tournament play, and golf balls have remained substantially the same since then.

There has been some differentiation in the pattern, size, and shape of the dimples. These differences allow balls to be made which favor distance over control, or vice-versa. There are also variations in hardness and durability, as well as price.

Just how do the dimples help a golf ball’s performance?

The dimples in a golf ball reduce its drag. Smooth balls leave a big pocket of low-pressure air behind them as they travel, which makes drag. The drag, of course, is what slows down the ball. But with dimples, there is not as much difference in pressure. They cause turbulence around the ball, which allows the air to get closer to the ball. The air will then follow the warp the ball causes, rather than flowing past it.

Another benefit of dimples is that they help players put backspin on the ball. This way, they can make it break off when on the green.

Next time you play golf, imagine trying to play with a wood ball. This should make even the toughest shot seem easier in comparison.

February 7, 2012
Posted in Recreation — Knowledge Buff @ 4:12 PM

10 Deep Sea Fishing Tips

Deep-sea fishing is a wonderful pastime. It’s extremely enjoyable to be out on the waves, and hopefully, be able to catch some seriously big fish. Here are some tips to make your ocean fishing trip a success.

1. Eat where the others are eating.

Look for fish-eating birds. If a bunch of seagulls are chowing down on small bait fish, chances are good that larger game fish are doing the same thing. Also, large fish like to hang out around floating wood or other debris. Most of the time if you happen to find a large piece of floating wood, you’ll find a big game fish in the same area. Sometimes even dolphins will hang around these big floating wood pieces!

2. Find some snooks.

Snook-fishing is like fishing for bass. Snooks like to hang out around ledges, posts, rocks, and similar structures both natural and unnatural.

3. The full moon is a great time to catch stripers.

Stripers know that crabs are edible during the full moon. No, it’s not lunacy! The crabs shed their shells during the full moon, so the stripers come to eat them. Use some soft imitation crab for bait, and serve the stripers a bad (for them) surprise for dinner.

4. Dolphins are the tuna’s best buddies.

At least, when you’re not homing in on the dolphins in order to find the tuna, that is. Yellowfin tuna will usually form schools with dolphins. So all you have to do in order to find the tuna is find the much-more-obvious dolphins.

5. What can’t be cut can be burnt.

If you can’t cut through a braid of spider wire, burn it in two with a lighter.

6. Reefs aren’t just for looking at.

Reefs are great fishing spots, because big game fish will go to feed on the smaller, reef-dwelling fish.

7. The Circle Hook

If you want a guaranteed increase in your hook-up ratio, use a circle hook. These hooks have a minute gap and a reverse point. These hooks are also less damaging to fish (important for catch-and-release), since they only hook the lip instead of getting down into the gut.

8. Avoid seasickness.

Stay on deck and keep your eyes on the horizon. Don’t go where there are fumes from the boat’s engine, because the fumes will make seasickness worse, not to mention the fact that the fumes are sickening in and of themselves.

9. Retrieve a stuck anchor

If your anchor gets stuck on the bottom and you have to cut it loose, attach a float to it so you’ll know where it is. Come back to the spot once the tide has changed direction. Usually the change in current will dislodge your anchor enough for you to retrieve it.

10. Fish where the fish are

Many fishermen will try catching their bait fish over reefs, then go out deeper to do their serious fishing. But the big fish go to where they expect the little fish to be: the reefs. So, the big fish will be where the little fish are. Do your fishing where your target expects its dinner to be.


Posted in Recreation — Knowledge Buff @ 4:07 PM
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