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KODAK 35mm & 16mm FILM

DATE CODE INFORMATION

Date codes are a series of one to three (usually two) symbols on the edge of Kodak film sold in reels or spools. This information is useful to determine the date the film was slit. This is the point of manufacture where the large sheets of raw film are cut and perforated. These date codes are imprinted at that time. Most film, especially color, was exposed and developed within a few years of this date. To figure the date, you first need to determine which Kodak plant made the film. Look at the word "Safety" and search for a little circle or dot. It is between two of the letters, and that is code for which Kokak plant made the film. Once you know where the film was manufactured, you can check the chart below and see the year. USE CAUTION because there are other codes on the film edge that use the same symbols too! The date code is found between the words "Eastman" and "Nitrate" or "Safety". Symbols that appear after "Safety" indicates type of support or other information (for example, two square symbol indicates panchromatic).

Kodak date codes were repeated every twenty years until 1982. For example, the same symbols appear on film manufactured in 1921, 1941, 1961 and 1981.

Factory Identification Code Symbols
Rochester USA S°AFETY
Canada SA°FETY
Harrow England SAF°ETY
France SAFE°TY
Australia SAFET°Y

 

Date Code Symbols
Rochester Harrow Canada France US 8mm special
S°AFETY SAF°ETY SA°FETY SAFE°TY
1916 Triangle
1917 Circle Square
1918 Circle Square
1919 Triangle  Square +
1920 Circle  Circle +  +
1921 Triangle  Triangle Square Square
1922 Square  Circle + +
1923 Square Circle  + Triangle
1924 Circle Circle + Square
1925 Circle  Square + + Square Square
1926 Circle  Square + + Square  +
1927 Circle  Circle Square + Square  +
1928 Square  Triangle  Square Square + Triangle  Square
1929 + + + Square
1930 +  Square + + + Square
1931 Square + + Square +
1932 Circle + + + + Square
1933 + Circle + + + +
1934 + Triangle Triangle + + Triangle Square  Square  Square
1935 + Circle + + + + Square  Circle  Square
1936 Triangle + Triangle Triangle Circle  Square  Square
1937 Circle Triangle Square + Square  Square  Circle
1938 Circle + Square  + Circle  Circle  Square
1939 Square  Square + + Triangle Square Square  Circle  Circle
1940 Circle  Circle Triangle Triangle + Square
1941 Triangle  Triangle + + + Square
1942 Square  Circle + Square +
1943 Square Circle + Square + Square
1944 Circle Circle + + + +
1945 Circle  Square Triangle + + Triangle
1946 Circle  Square Square + + +
1947 Circle  Circle Square + Triangle Triangle
1948 Square  Triangle  Square + Square +
1949 + + + Square  +
1950 +  Square + Square Triangle Square
starting 1951 all plants use same code
1951 Square +
1952 Circle  +
1953 + Circle
1954 +  Triangle Square  Square
1955 + Circle Triangle  Triangle
1956 Triangle Square  Circle
1957 Circle Circle  Square
1958 Circle Circle  Circle
1959 Square  Square +  Triangle
1960 Circle  Circle + Circle
1961 Triangle  Triangle Circle  +
1962 Square  Circle +
1963 Square  Circle Circle
1964 Circle Circle Square  Square
1965 Circle  Square

PART OF YEAR

A small vertical bar is spaced between the words "Eastman" or "Kodak", and "Nitrate" or "Safety". The year symbol usually follows this bar. The distance between the bar and year symbols indicates the first or second half of the year.

Part of Year
1927-? in US,1936-? in UK & Canada

first half of year

1/16"
1927-? in US,1936-? in UK & Canada

second half of year

3/16"
(later date)

first quarter of year

1/16"
(later date)

second quarter of year

1/8"
(later date)

third quarter of year

3/16"
(later date)

last quarter of year

1/4"

Click here to go to Kodak's site with chart showing date codes

Notes

The cross symbol was replaced starting in 1932 with a plus sign.

During WW2 the French Kodak factory made film on nitrate base. Edge codes are unknown.

Half-frame numbering on 35mm still films was introduced in 1963. Until then, spools of 35 mm film had one number per frame. The new system has two frame numbers per frame, for example "12" and "12A"

There are several different lists of Kodak movie film date codes published, and one of these appears to be correct for 35mm and 120mm still camera film, both safety and nitrate. I have reviewed numerous versions of this list and checked them against factory records and internal correspondence dating back to 1931. I have been checking these numbers with real film in archives for about five years now. I am a volunteer negative cataloger at the Oregon Historical Society. I believe this list is accurate. I would greatly appreciate any corrections or comments.

SLIT MARKINGS

Slit markings

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