Color photography first gained a peel thanks to potatoes

This photograph was made in the early 1900s using the Autochrome process, which starts with dyed potato starch.
This photograph was made in the early 1900s using the Autochrome process, which starts with dyed potato starch.
Photo: Mervyn O’Gorman

The potato is one of the least colorful of the good Lord’s creations. But somehow, two French inventors figured out how the dud spud could help put color in our photographs.

 Before brothers Louis and Auguste Lumiere tinkered with taters, photographers were shooting three different pictures of the same scene through colored filters — red, blue and green — and then sandwiching the images for projection.

In 1904, the Lumieres pulverized potatoes into a starchy powder, which they then divided into three separate batches for dying violet-blue, green and orange-red. When mixed together and applied to a glass plate, the microscopic grains of potato filtered the light, creating a negative that could produce a color photo. The process was called Autochrome.

Apple And Google Win $527 Million Bid For Kodak Patent Trove [Report]

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Back in early December, Apple and Google joined forces to purchase a patent trove from Kodak, the once-reigning photography king. Kodak’s collection includes 1,100 imaging patents that can be used to diffuse litigation between big companies in the tech industry.

To keep bidding wars from escalating, Apple and Google teamed up for the purchase. After filing for bankruptcy, Kodak said that its patent trove was worth $2 billion, but the U.S. court approved a $527 million price tag instead.

What the companies involved with this deal plan to do with the acquired patents remains to be seen.

Source: Bloomberg

Kodak Sells Digital Imaging Patents To Consortiums Backed By Apple, Google For $525 Million

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Struggling Kodak has finally agreed to sell its digital imaging patents to Intellectual Ventures and RPX Corporation — two consortiums backed by Apple, Google, Microsoft, and others — for $525 million. Kodak will receive a portion of the money from 12 intellectual property licensees, with each licensee receiving rights to the patents, while another portion will be paid by Intellectual Ventures, which will then acquire the digital imaging patent portfolio, plus the new and existing licenses.

Apple and Google Join Forces For $500 Million Bid On Kodak Patents [Report]

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Apple and Google joining forces? Welcome to the Cold War (patent pending).

Kodak filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy back in January, and since then the photography pioneer has been trying to sell off its many patents. Over the summer it was reported that Apple and Google were leading separate groups in a bidding war for the valuable portfolio. Now a new report says that Apple and Google have teamed up to place a $500 million bid.

Apple & Google Go Head To Head For Kodak Patent Portfolio

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Neither company has bid anything close to Kodak's $2.6 billion estimate.
Neither company has bid anything close to Kodak's $2.6 billion estimate.

Kodak is on the verge of bankruptcy, but in a final bid to raise some cash, the company is selling off its entire patent portfolio. The company believes it could fetch upwards of $2.6 billion, and Apple and Google are going head to head for them. However, neither company has submitted a bid anywhere near Kodak’s estimate.