Farewell, Kodachrome

2011 begins on a poignant note as the last known kodachrome film processor, Dwayne’s Photo of Parsons, Kansas, ended the film’s 75 year legacy on December 31, 2010.  What started as a luxury product for wealthy Americans at $5/roll in depression-steeped 1935 evolved into the mainstream film of choice in the 1950s and 60s before being muscled out, along with virtually all film, by digital photography technology in the early 2000s.  While kodachrome had become something of a niche medium by the 90s, amateurs and professionals alike continued to explore the color-saturated possibilities and unique light achievable with this once-dominant film.

With the international media abuzz about this latest development and people from 6 different continents rush-delivering rolls for processing via mail in the waning days of 2010, one’s thing for sure– kodachrome went out with a bang.  Below, some Vault favorites shot throughout the years on kodachrome film.

Early Kodachrome Packaging


Late 1960s

Woman on Swing, William Eggleston, late 1960s Unless otherwise noted, images courtesy of Flikr/Swapatorium and Electrospark.

Know what’s next. Become a WGSN member today to benefit from our daily trend intelligence, retail analytics, consumer insights and bespoke consultancy services.