Despite being strangers to the photographic field, DuPont entered the motion picture film stock market in the 1920s through a need to create peacetime markets for its wartime facilities. As DuPont transformed into a chemical company, nitrocellulose film stock was one of the products that could be made from the company’s guncotton factories. In order to penetrate Hollywood, the chief market for its film, DuPont needed to create a product that could match that of Eastman Kodak, the undisputed industry leader. The threat to its dominance contributed to Kodak’s interest in selling panchromatic film, a factor often ignored in light of the conversion to sound. The competition between these companies contributed significantly to the rapid increase in the quality of film stock, as well as to the changing relationship between technological manufacturers and their customers in Hollywood. DuPont and Kodak also serve as contrasting examples of the incursion of corporate research into the motion picture industry, enlightening our understanding of an expanded system that positions the studios as both consumers of technology and sellers of entertainment.


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pp. 3-18
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