In Memoriam: Grant M. Haist 1922 – 2015

Last week, during the period of sparse posting, I attended the funeral of a friend’s great uncle. I never met Grant Haist, who passed away at 93 in Naples, Florida, but I feel like I have known him all my life. Grant held a PhD in chemical engineering, and worked for 33 years at Eastman Kodak. He was the man who modernized the process to develop photos. If you’ve ever been in a dark room, you know the smells. Grant wrote the books on modern photographic processing and, his last book, was on the history of Kodak cameras, George Eastman’s Cameras and the Men Who Made Them.

Grant Haist was Senior Research Associate at the Eastman Kodak Research Laboratories in Rochester, New York for 32 years before retiring in 1983. He was active in both technical matters and photographic affairs. He has 28 U.S. patents, two books and many technical articles. His photographic work has appeared in National Geographic, National Wildlife, Smithsonian, Kodak Publications and numerous other publications. Fellowships from Royal Society of Great Britain, Photographic Society of America and Society for Imaging Science and Technology have honored his accomplishments. Grant began collecting cameras and photographic books in 1969 and has through the years amassed an extensive collection of Kodak cameras and equipment and Kodak Literature which are pictured in this book.

So why do I feel like I’ve known a man I never met, one word, photography. I was introduced to those chemical smells in my father’s dark room. He only used Kodak film, chemicals, paper and cameras. I still have Pop’s Brownie and another Kodak 35 mm camera that he gave me when I left to live in Europe, along with a box of Kodachrome, and a huge box of pictures.

On December 30, 2010, history was made in Parsons, Kansas where the last roll of Kodachrome was processed at Dwayne’s Photo Shop, the only Kodak certified processor of Kodachrome film in the world as of 2010. The final roll of 36-frame Kodachrome to be manufactured was tracked by National Geographic; it was shot by photographer Steve McCurry. McCurry was a photojournalist for National Geographic who was famous for his cover of the June 1985 issue


Grant Haist opened the door for the digital age of photography. So in memory of a man I never met but have known all my life


Every time I take a picture now, I will remember Grant.