|Eastman Kodak Company, Limited Edition Boiler #44 Commemorative Buckle circa 1987.|
At first thought, nothing came to mind, but the following day as I was getting dressed and tightening my belt with a Civil War replica buckle, it came to me. At that moment, I was reminded of two buckles that I recalled my father having worn when my brother and I were children: one that we had bought him that said simply "Dan" (his name) and a second that had been acquired while he worked at Eastman Kodak during the early 1980s. While driving to work that morning I called my mother and asked that if she could find either, I would like to have them. The first to come to light was the Eastman Kodak Power Plant buckle pictured above.
Back in its heyday, it was not uncommon for members of a department at Eastman Kodak to purchase wearable paraphernalia such as baseball hats and tee shirts as a means of celebrating their efforts and, I suppose, to share in the company's success. A simple reading of the buckle would seem to suggest that in 1987, Building 321, the location of Boiler #44, had an upgrade of sorts and a buckle was designed to commemorate this.
Raised type on the back of the buckle (pictured below) adds some specifics details to the celebratory buckle's purpose, though it was clearly written for those professionals, such as my father, who would know what it meant. Though I have a vague understanding of some measures, such as PSI and the boiler energy source (coal), the rest of the information is fairly alien to me.
Combustion Engineering Boiler
MCR: 550,00#/hr @900 degrees
Pulverized Coal @ MCR 24 tons/hr
Initial Startup-June 14, 1987
General Electric Turbine/Generator
1400 PSI Throttle
280 PSI Extraction
10 PSI Exhaust
|Back of the buckle.|
Unfortunately for most, a post about Kodak's past and present has to end on a somber caveat. The current history of Kodak is not nearly as rosy. Now, sadly, after my father's many years of service (and that of my grandfather before him), this belt buckle is pretty much all we have left from Kodak. Though some of the shine is off that relationship, I am very glad to have this shiny buckle as a remembrance of my father.
|The only online image I could find of a VU40 Combustion Engineering Boiler.|