DuPont Innovation & the Science of Movies

Science of Movies

Long before the convenience of handheld cameras and digital devices to capture stories in the world around us, we had film.

In 1885, George Eastman and William H. Walker developed the very first reel of film. Since then, the evolution of film and the film industry have been punctuated by a seemingly unending series of great innovators and inventions that have enhanced sound, color and overall quality to make our movie-viewing experiences even more magical.

As you settle into this year’s awards season, you might be surprised to know that DuPont has an interesting connection to the film industry. The company has earned two Academy Awards, the movie industry’s most prestigious, coveted honor.

DuPont’s involvement with films and photographic supplies began in the 1910s when company leaders suggested making film base as an outlet for excess nitrocellulose. DuPont’s color film was introduced in 1927 and, over time, captured half the Hollywood market.

In 1931, DuPont received one of the first Scientific & Technical awards ever presented by the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences. DuPont Film Manufacturing Corporation and Eastman Kodak Company were awarded for super-sensitive panchromatic film, while Electrical Research Products, Inc., RCA-Photophone, Inc., and RKO Radio Pictures, Inc., received awards for noise reduction recording.

These Class I awards were presented for basic achievements which influence the advancement of the industry as a whole. DuPont received a certificate of merit with names engraved on a permanent statuette that is kept at the Academy.

Then, in 1943, DuPont’s Photo Products Department received a Class II (plaque) Scientific & Technical award from the academy for the development of fine-grain motion picture films.

This little known fact is testimony to the company’s long heritage of innovation and transformation – and a historic link to the science of movies.