Rochester is the birthplace of modern photography.
The photography craze started in Rochester when George Eastman introduced film to public use. His Eastman Kodak company invented roll film helping bring photography to the mainstream. Roll film was also the basis for the invention of motion picture film. It was an instant hit. Shortly after the "father of popular photography," Eastman had presented his first films to Rochester’s public it had attracted more than $100 million to the city’s budget.
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This money was spent on the cultural scene in the city like education, the arts and renovation of architecture. Anyway, investments reshaped Rochester toward an industrial boomtown with ranking of the flour-milling epicenter of America. Its location at the southern tip of Lake Ontario influenced the large-scale shipping of grain to New York in Rochester’s early years, but today Rochester is world away from this business.
The city serves as the place of big corporations like Eastman Kodak, Xerox, and Bausch & Lomb all headquartered within Rochester. Its industrial face doesn’t prevent the city from tourist favor for its livable, family-friendly spirit and attractive small town feel. In addition, local museums and galleries make Rochester a very historic city.
Originally, the area of modern Rochester was of poor interest till Oliver Phelps became the first to put its potential to use. He took efforts to construct several mills in the land with numerous falls and Genesee River nearby. Over the next few years the city grew rapidly on this business that lured immigrants for job opportunities to the city. In 1817 the area was incorporated as Rochesterville. The final step to prosperous city was complete with the construction of the Erie Canal in 1825.
Since then the city has become a regular stop-off for new comers who brought a more multicultural flavor, but also new business to the city. Still thriving on milling, the city also concentrated on the clothing and shoe industries. Among immigrants to Rochester were a high percentage of African Americans with Frederick Douglass, the famous publisher pioneering the literary field in the city. He published the North Star newspaper in Rochester gradually becoming an almost native citizen for more than 25 years of life there.
In 1890 Rochester became the focus of public interest for the increased activities of women in the society. Soon the city became the stronghold of the struggle for the women rights and won this battle. Today the best reminder of the city’s past is its attractions.
- Genesee Valley Park, a beautiful place at the confluence of the Genesee River and the Erie Canal
- George Eastman House, a mansion built by the founder of Eastman Kodak
- Seneca Park Zoo, nestled inside the Olmsted-designed Seneca Park
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