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03-18-2016, 02:08 PM   #1
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The Man Who Made Your Selfies Possible

The Man Who Made Your Selfies Possible | Foundation for Economic Education

03-18-2016, 03:40 PM   #2
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Great read! Thank you
03-18-2016, 06:28 PM   #3
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A good read about George Eastman, but then the author suddenly (and poorly) rewrites history to push a modern agenda at the end. Sadly ironic, as the man profiled was a champion for a very different agenda (workers rights, subsidized health and housing, progress over profit).
03-18-2016, 07:26 PM   #4
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QuoteOriginally posted by panoguy Quote
A good read about George Eastman, but then the author suddenly (and poorly) rewrites history to push a modern agenda at the end. Sadly ironic, as the man profiled was a champion for a very different agenda (workers rights, subsidized health and housing, progress over profit).
Post the correct history.

03-18-2016, 08:23 PM   #5
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Great Read!
03-18-2016, 09:13 PM   #6
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George Eastman live a pretty remarkable life. He once told a person that his goal in life was to reach a point where he could take 2 six month vacations a year.

As a young man he fell madly in love with a young woman who left the US to study music in Europe as there were no good music schools in America. Today, the Eastman School of music is one of the worlds premier music schools.

He has terrible problems with his teeth his whole life. The Eastman Dental Clinic was founded to offer free dental care to those who could not afford it.

The Eastman Building at MIT is because of him.

He donated heavily to Tuskeegee University. And to the University of Rochester.

He purchased a 1,300 acre farm in North Carolina. There were a lot of squatters living in shacks on the farm, Instead of evicting them, he gave them jobs running the farm, had now houses built for them and had a school built for their children. He also had a black overseer which was unheard of in 1910 or so.

He donated over $100,000,000 to various schools ans charities in his lifetime. He ran in the highest circles of American society. He often chided his fellow captains of industry for not giving enough to charity. To him money was always a tool and not something that should be left sitting idle.

He noticed that he did not see a lot of his employees at church on Sunday, He asked they why not. They told him that the 10 hour six day weeks left them too tired to do much but sleep on Sunday. So he cut the work house on Saturday to 5 hours without cutting their pay.

He loved to ride bicycles and he would sometimes go to Europe and ride his bike from Paris to Moscow. He preferred bikes with no brakes.

When he was a child he had a sister who was very ill and would not survive to adulthood. He would sometimes take his whole weeks pay and rent a carriage to take her on a ride around town. .

Many people asked him to fund all sorts of things. Unless you had a business plan, a goal and a way to measure the success of your program you got nothing. He did not throw away money. He invested it.

If you live in the US the United Way was his idea. As was the concept of a City Manager form of government,

He took several safaris to Africa. While on safari he was up before the crew and cooked breakfast for everyone. While photographing a rhinoceros with a movie camera, it charged him. He continued filming right up to his guide shot and killed it only a few feet from the camera. When asked about it he simply replied, "You have to trust your organization." Nice message to managers of today,

His desk at work was one where you had to stand to use it. You didn't take it easy by sitting in a chair while at work.

At the end of his life he lived in constant pain from a degenerating spinal disease. When he could no longer stand the pain, he put a gun to his chest and killed himself. He suicide note was simplicity itself. "My work is done. Why wait?"

He never married or had any children. He left some money to a few family members. By then, most of his fortune had already been given away. He committed suicide within minutes of writing his final will.

The book "George Eastman A Biography" by Elizabeth Brayer is an excellent look at his life.
03-18-2016, 09:52 PM   #7
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QuoteOriginally posted by gaweidert Quote
George Eastman live a pretty remarkable life. He once told a person that his goal in life was to reach a point where he could take 2 six month vacations a year.

As a young man he fell madly in love with a young woman who left the US to study music in Europe as there were no good music schools in America. Today, the Eastman School of music is one of the worlds premier music schools.

He has terrible problems with his teeth his whole life. The Eastman Dental Clinic was founded to offer free dental care to those who could not afford it.

The Eastman Building at MIT is because of him.

He donated heavily to Tuskeegee University. And to the University of Rochester.

He purchased a 1,300 acre farm in North Carolina. There were a lot of squatters living in shacks on the farm, Instead of evicting them, he gave them jobs running the farm, had now houses built for them and had a school built for their children. He also had a black overseer which was unheard of in 1910 or so.

He donated over $100,000,000 to various schools ans charities in his lifetime. He ran in the highest circles of American society. He often chided his fellow captains of industry for not giving enough to charity. To him money was always a tool and not something that should be left sitting idle.

He noticed that he did not see a lot of his employees at church on Sunday, He asked they why not. They told him that the 10 hour six day weeks left them too tired to do much but sleep on Sunday. So he cut the work house on Saturday to 5 hours without cutting their pay.

He loved to ride bicycles and he would sometimes go to Europe and ride his bike from Paris to Moscow. He preferred bikes with no brakes.

When he was a child he had a sister who was very ill and would not survive to adulthood. He would sometimes take his whole weeks pay and rent a carriage to take her on a ride around town. .

Many people asked him to fund all sorts of things. Unless you had a business plan, a goal and a way to measure the success of your program you got nothing. He did not throw away money. He invested it.

If you live in the US the United Way was his idea. As was the concept of a City Manager form of government,

He took several safaris to Africa. While on safari he was up before the crew and cooked breakfast for everyone. While photographing a rhinoceros with a movie camera, it charged him. He continued filming right up to his guide shot and killed it only a few feet from the camera. When asked about it he simply replied, "You have to trust your organization." Nice message to managers of today,

His desk at work was one where you had to stand to use it. You didn't take it easy by sitting in a chair while at work.

At the end of his life he lived in constant pain from a degenerating spinal disease. When he could no longer stand the pain, he put a gun to his chest and killed himself. He suicide note was simplicity itself. "My work is done. Why wait?"

He never married or had any children. He left some money to a few family members. By then, most of his fortune had already been given away. He committed suicide within minutes of writing his final will.

The book "George Eastman A Biography" by Elizabeth Brayer is an excellent look at his life.
Wow. That's a life.
03-18-2016, 11:13 PM   #8
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George Eastman was a philanthropist beyond comprehension, giving money to housing, schools, and hospitals for the poor, working class, and disenfranchised in his home of Rochester, England, France, and traditionally African American schools in the South. Also his improvements to the working conditions in his businesses are to be admired. The millions of dollars mentioned in his biographies are billions today. He gave away his fortune twice, once as a relatively young man, only to re-earn it to give away again. I am amazed every time I read a biography.

Compare his behavior to that of other industrial barons, then and now. He might be the most generous to date. Compare him to the car king, the lightbulb emperor, or subsequent industrial and financial titans. Some have been ok with philanthropy, most do little. Eastman gave away his incredible personal fortune twice!

He was about making the world better for people, not amassing money.

Do the students at MIT still rub the nose on the Eastman plaque every time they walk by?

I shed a tear whenever I hear bad news about Kodak. I love that little yellow box.

03-19-2016, 05:49 AM - 4 Likes   #9
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QuoteOriginally posted by lmd91343 Quote

I shed a tear whenever I hear bad news about Kodak. I love that little yellow box.
Thank you. I am about to retire from Kodak with almost 41 years service. The experiences of the last 20+ years have been frustrating beyond belief. Kodak was much more that film. Non photographic products I have worked on included blood analyzers that revolutionized the health care system.

I have had the pleasure of working with some amazing people over the years. Some worked to capture the "Times of our Lives", others to help make and keep us healthy and still more that helped keep our country safe. A few even died doing it.

I too love the yellow box, but to me it was a much bigger box that touched peoples lives in more ways than most of them ever realized. George Eastman built one hell of a company. He built it so good that it took over 20 years of bad management and Wall Street pressure to kill it. I have to stop now.
03-19-2016, 07:42 AM   #10
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QuoteOriginally posted by lmd91343 Quote
Compare his behavior to that of other industrial barons, then and now. He might be the most generous to date. Compare him to the car king, the lightbulb emperor, or subsequent industrial and financial titans. Some have been ok with philanthropy, most do little. Eastman gave away his incredible personal fortune twice!
I'm a fan of Eastman, but all of the biographies that I know of were written by people commissioned by Eastman or his foundation. There might be some embellishment. The industrialists of the 1800's were a pretty mixed bunch. Some of them like Vanderbilt, Duke, Carnegie, Rockefeller & Mellon gave millions. Some of them like Frick an Gould were by all accounts bad people. You have Osgood out in Colorado who founded the town of Redstone and was one of the first to experiment with welfare capitalism or corporatism. J.P. Morgan on one hand invested heavily in Thomas Edison and built companies like General Electric and US Steel, but his personal intervention into preventing the recapitalization of the Bank of the United States (private bank) in 1931 would lead to a series of bank failures and play a major role in the Great Depression.

Rockefeller is one who has always been of interest. People have vilified the man who donated over $500 million (lot of money in the 1800's) to schools and founded or helped to found University of Chicago, Rockefeller University, and Spelman College has his wife's maiden name on it. Donated millions to medical research including the vaccine for Yellow Fever. Rockefeller had political enemies and even though Standard Oil only had a 60% "monopoly" , which is less than many companies like Boeing have today, his company became a target. The irony being that the break-up of Standard Oil actually made him wealthier and the break-up of the company caused the price of oil to rise by 20% the following year making the consumers worse off than they were before. Rockefeller is the creator of the charitable trust model that is still in use today.

Relationship of Philanthropy to the Industrial Revolution | Learning to Give Some of the greatest philanthropy in American history occurs during the Industrial Revolution.

A friend of mine from college is now a history professor and collector of history books. There is a significant amount of historical revisionism that takes place starting in the 1950's. Books written in the 1920's by people who lived through it had a very different view that people who wrote books in the post-WWII era and didn't have first hand experience.
03-19-2016, 10:46 AM   #11
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QuoteOriginally posted by Winder Quote
Post the correct history.
Much of it was done for me in this thread already, but then you could also attempt to read more about Mr. Eastman yourself. Maybe even apply the same skepticism to what you find that I applied to the article you linked to? I was just pointing out that an otherwise very good, if condensed, profile of a very innovative and progressive man was, in my opinion, taken off track at the end by the injection of the author's own agenda. Further, that it seems to be an agenda which is at odds with full history and character of the man profiled. To me, it was just cognitive dissonance at full tilt.

QuoteOriginally posted by Winder Quote
A friend of mine from college is now a history professor and collector of history books. There is a significant amount of historical revisionism that takes place starting in the 1950's. Books written in the 1920's by people who lived through it had a very different view that people who wrote books in the post-WWII era and didn't have first hand experience.
A significant amount of historical revisionism has occurred whenever any human put their views of the past on paper (or the internet) - that's a given. However, what most of us have been blessed with is the capacity to read more than just a single version of events. It takes effort, and can be messy and inconvenient for our beliefs, but it really is possible... even after 1950. Just look at the revisionism on Wikipedia!
03-19-2016, 11:52 AM   #12
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QuoteOriginally posted by panoguy Quote
but then you could also attempt to read more about Mr. Eastman yourself
I have read most of the biography by Brayer that is linked in the article. I never finished it before returning to the library. It very long and the level of detail often seems to take it off of course.

QuoteOriginally posted by panoguy Quote
I was just pointing out that an otherwise very good, if condensed, profile of a very innovative and progressive man was, in my opinion, taken off track at the end by the injection of the author's own agenda.
What you said was:
QuoteOriginally posted by panoguy Quote
then the author suddenly (and poorly) rewrites history
The website is an economics oriented site that has a strong emphasis on the history. The author has a masters in history. What part did he rewrite? Nothing that has been posted by others conflicts with what is in the article. You seem to be the one taking it off track.

QuoteOriginally posted by panoguy Quote
Just look at the revisionism on Wikipedia!
Most of what is in Wikipedia is correct. There are several studies on the accuracy of the information and the accuracy of crowd sourcing information in general.
Study shows Wikipedia Accuracy is 99.5%
Wikipedia is by no means perfect, but if a major error is entered into Wikipedia is it quickly challenged by the crowd and corrected. If a major error was committed by traditional encyclopedia or academic sources it would stay in print often for years before the error was addressed. Wikipedia can't be cited for academic work, but it is a good source for research that can link you to real academic work that can be cited.
03-19-2016, 06:03 PM   #13
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When I saw the title of this thread I thought it was going to be about the inventor of the selfie stick.A man who should be beaten about the head with the damned article until he sees the error of his ways!
03-20-2016, 08:49 AM - 1 Like   #14
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I think panoguy is probably referring to the closing paragraph:

QuoteQuote:
Successful geniuses of capital and enterprise like George Eastman are viewed with disdain by many in our midst. These critics are the losers, the envious, the demagogues, the class warriors, the power lusters, the people who are more eager to steal and redistribute what others create than to bake a bigger or better pie themselves. The Eastmans of the world, however, will go on bequeathing great gifts to humanity while their detractors, with a little luck, will be forgotten.
The basic gist of the argument is, "leave the wealthy alone--they will help improve society if only you'd just let them!" The writer is trying to leverage some sort of argument wherein lowering the tax burden will bring about untold economic strength for all via private investment. But for every Elon Musk there is at least one Bernie Madoff, so why is the author suddenly praising the upper class en masse? It's revisionist history by omission. To cite the Victorian Era as some sort of utopia for workers & their rights is foolish and a bit irresponsible.

The article would be far stronger if the author had stuck to history instead of tacking on his political views at the end. People who lean left can still appreciate Eastman for his work and charity without having their noses rubbed in some facile "gotcha" graph at the end.
03-20-2016, 11:40 AM   #15
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QuoteOriginally posted by Architecture Quote
To cite the Victorian Era as some sort of utopia for workers & their rights is foolish and a bit irresponsible.
Can you point out where this is cited?

People moved from rural farms to urban factories in mass during the Victorian Era because those factory offered these people a chance to improve their lives. There was nothing Utopian about it just as there was nothing Utopian about living on a farm in the 1800 and nothing Utopian about working in a cubical in front of a computer monitor all day. Please stop trying to create a irrelevant straw-man argument. Each stage of economic development represents and improvement over the previous period. Bernie Madoff is the modern poster child for greed and corruption, and its always good for a laugh when people who lean left use him as an example given that Bernie also leaned to the left.

QuoteOriginally posted by Architecture Quote
"leave the wealthy alone--they will help improve society if only you'd just let them!"
Actually the argument is "leave everyone alone". Again, you seem to be reading something into the article that isn't actually there, but Eastman is an example of a man who was left alone and did improve society. The fact that he did it of his own freewill is an important element of the story.
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