Leopold Godowsky

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Leopold Godowsky

Kodachrome® Film

US Patent No. 1,997,493
Inducted in 2005
Born May 27, 1900 - Died February 18, 1983

Leopold Godowsky, Jr. and Leopold Mannes, affectionately known by colleagues and friends as "God and Man," were professional musicians who performed together and who enjoyed photography as a hobby.

As a classical concert violinist, Godowsky, Jr. performed as soloist and as first violinist of the San Francisco and the Los Angeles Symphonies. He also enrolled at the UCLA to study physics and chemistry.

In 1916 the two Leopolds started experimenting with the complex methods of producing color images, using filters of various colors. For 14 years they worked in their kitchens and bathrooms, often in darkness, and measured film developing times by whistling the last movement of Brahms' C-minor Symphony at a metronomic pace of two beats per second. Their passionate interest in developing their innovative color process made it possible for Kodachrome® color film to become a commercial success. Godowsky, Jr. continued research into the 1950s, improving the process for Kodak in his laboratory in Westport, Connecticut.

Despite Godowsky's success as an inventor, he considered music, especially playing chamber music, often with illustrious musicians of the time like Heifetz and Piatigorsky, his greatest passion in life.

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