Hello! My name is George Eastman. I have to admit, I'm pretty awesome. I invented something the world knows 'round. Can you guess? The camera! You might wonder how I came to invent something so famous and technological. Well, I'll tell you my tale.
I was born on July 12th, 1854 in Waterville, New York. I had two older sisters named Katie and Ellen Maria. My father's name was George Washington Eastman, and my mother's name was Maria Eastman. We lived on a ten-acre farm. I was largely self-educated, even though I attended a private school in Rochester when I was eight years old. In the early 1840s, fourteen years before I was born, my father started a business school called the Eastman Commercial College. Later on, this school influenced me for my camera invention.
As my father, sadly, started to lose health, we had to move away from our farm. We moved into a house in Rochester, when before we had been on the outskirts of town. I was eight when my father passed away from brain cancer in 1862. I was devastated. Without my father's support with money, our mother had to allow boarders into our house. I shared my own living space with complete strangers! I was grateful that my mother had accepted these people just for my education, though.
Eight years later, another loss struck my heart. I was sixteen when my sister, Katie, got polio and died in late 1870. To repay my mother, I left school early to work and gain money for the family. With inspiration from my father's old college, I started to succeed in making camera-like machines. I vowed to repay my mother for all her hard work, and with my fortune, in the year of 1884, I copyrighted the first film roll.
I continued working and inventing until 1888, where I perfected the Kodak camera. I didn't stop working on my camera-works, however. I was very proud in 1892, when I was able to establish the Eastman Kodak company in Rochester, where I had lived the most part of my life. I worked very hard, and in 1889, before I established my company, I manufactured the vital, flexible, transparent film.
The Great Depression was a time period that lasted for 10 years and was where many citizens lost jobs, and money was hard to grasp. I was alive for 3 of the 10 years in which the Great Depression lasted, but luckily, I was already famous during those rough times, so my money lasted me through.
During my lifetime, I was pretty generous. I donated a $625,000 gift, which would now be $17.8 million dollars, to the Mechanics Institute, now the Rochester Institute of Technology. I also gave a huge donation to MIT so it could build its buildings. I never married over my lifespan, but I was very close to my family, so I was crushed when my mother left this world. I'll mention I had a passion for playing the piano, however. Until my death, I was always associated with my Kodak company. Unfortunately, during my final years, I started to feel intense spinal pain. I shot myself in the heart because it was too painful on March 14th, 1932. I had my funeral at St Paul's Episcopal Church. I was buried in the Kodak Park, where my ashes lie to this day. My final, happy age was 74 years.