Takin’ His Kodachrome Away

Kodak’s announcement yesterday that it is ending production of Kodachrome resounded from Rochester to Westport.

But there’s more to the move than the fact that Westporters will no longer buy the rich, durable camera film at CVS and Walgreens.  No one’s done that for years.

Leopold Godowsky Jr.

Leopold Godowsky Jr.

Kodachrome has a strong Westport connection.  Co-inventor Leopold Godowsky Jr. — a concert violinist with a passion for photography — moved here in the 1930s.  He set up a lab, and for several decades in town continued to improve the process for Kodak.

While here he also helped develop Kodacolor and Ektachrome.  Today he is considered a major contributor in the field of color photography.  He was inducted into the National Inventors Hall of Fame in 2005, 22 years after his death.

Godowsky’s wife, Frankie Gershwin — George and Ira’s younger sister — was a painter of oils and acrylics, and later a singer.  She too was a prominent member of our community.

2009 has not been good to Godowsky.  Earlier this year his former home — a 7,000-square foot, low-slung compound at the end of Stony Point overlooking the confluence of the Saugatuck River and Long Island Sound, featuring pools, a waterfall, tennis court and dock — became perhaps the most expensive teardown in Westport history.

One response to “Takin’ His Kodachrome Away

  1. Constance Chien

    How strange and tragic. There is a park named after the film!