Eastman Chemical
kodak gallery eastman chemical

This could be considered the granddaddy of all the spin-offs. Based in Kingsport, Tenn., the firm was ranked 346 on the Fortune 500 with 2011 revenue of $7.2 billion. The company, which produces a range of materials, additives, chemicals, and fibers, was founded in 1920 by George Eastman in response to a shortage of raw materials coming from Europe during World War I.

Beyond photographic chemicals and materials, one of the company's early developments was acetate yarn, which is manufactured from high sulfur coal and wood pulp and is still used in clothing and cigarette filters. Kodak's CEO at the time, George Fisher, sold Eastman Chemical (EMN, Fortune 500) in 1994 -- a decision that has been subject to much second guessing. Keeping it would have meant that Kodak could turn more toward material sciences, as Fuji Film did.


  @FortuneMagazine - Last updated October 10 2012 12:35 PM ET
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