We recently visited the George Eastman House International Museum of Photography and Film in Rochester, NY. When Kodak Company founder George Eastman (1854–1932) built his home here, at 900 East Avenue, between 1902 and 1905, he was on the way to becoming the fifth wealthiest man in America. The estate, largest in Rochester, includes over 10 acres of gardens, greenhouses, stables, barns, pastures, and a 35,000-square-foot (almost an acre), 50-room Colonial Revival mansion. Probably influenced by nitrate film conflagration, he ensured the house was fireproof by using reinforced concrete. The house has its own electrical generator; a telephone system with 21 lines, a built-in vacuum cleaning system, a central clock network, an elevator, and a massive pipe organ.
The Eastman House museum houses one of the world’s leading collections of photography and film. It is world famous for film preservation and photograph conservation. While there, we met archivists, librarians and conservators from around the world visiting and studying.
Eastman House is also one of the oldest film archives in the United States and is now considered to be among the top cinematic collections worldwide. The motion picture archives hold more than 25,000 films produced between 1894 and the present.