Open main menu

Early life and educationEdit

Mees was born in Wellingborough, England, the son of a Wesleyan minister.

He attended the University of London. In 1906 he was awarded his D.Sc. with a dissertation on photographic theory.


From 1906 until 1912, Mees worked for Wratten and Wainwright, Ltd., assisting Frederick Wratten in developing the first panchromatic photographic plates, as well as light filters and safelights for the darkroom.

In 1912, Eastman Kodak Company acquired Wratten and Wainwright because they were interested in the skills Mees provided. George Eastman convinced Mees to move to Rochester, New York, United States, where Mees created the Kodak Research Laboratories,[2] becoming its first director.[3]

Mees helped the US military in World War I in its instruction of photography.[2] After the attack on Pearl Harbor, Mees became an American citizen so that he could have access to high security war projects and information during World War II.[2]

Later, he was named vice president in charge of Research and Development for Eastman Kodak; he remained at that position until he retired in 1955.[2]

During his career, he published 100 scientific papers and 60 other works. Among his accomplishments was the development of sensitive photographic emulsions for use in astronomy.

Mees served as the first president of the board of trustees of George Eastman House from 1947 until 1954.[4]

Personal lifeEdit

Mees lost one of his legs in 1951.[2]

Selected worksEdit

  • C.E. Kenneth Mees, An Atlas of Absorption Spectra, 1909.
  • C.E. Kenneth Mees, The Photography of Colored Objects, 1909.
  • C.E. Kenneth Mees, Photography, Macmillan Co., New York, 1942.
  • C.E. Kenneth Mees, The Theory of the Photographic Process, Macmillan Co., New York, 1942.
  • C.E. Kenneth Mees & S. Sheppard, Investigations on the Theory of the Photographic Process.
  • C.E. Kenneth Mees, The Path of Science, J. Wiley & sons, inc., 1946.
  • C.E. Kenneth Mees and John A. Leermakers, The Organization of Industrial Scientific Research, McGraw-Hill, 1950.
  • C.E. Kenneth Mees, From dry plates to ektachrome film : a story of photographic research, Ziff-Davis Pub. Co., 1961.

Awards and honorsEdit



  1. ^ a b Clark, W. (1961). "Charles Edward Kenneth Mees. 1882-1960". Biographical Memoirs of Fellows of the Royal Society. 7: 172–197. doi:10.1098/rsbm.1961.0014.
  2. ^ a b c d e f g SFR (1991). "Book Reviews" (PDF). Photoresearcher. European Society for the History of Photography (2): 39 – via
  3. ^ Journey: 75 Years of Kodak Research (Eastman Kodak, Rochester, 1989) pp. 7-9.
  4. ^ "Dr. C. E. Kenneth Mees" (PDF). Image. George Eastman House. Archived from the original (PDF) on 2011-07-25. Retrieved 2010-12-12 – via
  5. ^ "Henry Draper Medal". National Academy of Sciences. Archived from the original on 26 January 2013. Retrieved 24 February 2011.

Further readingEdit

  • James, Thomas H. (1990). C. E. Kenneth Mees: Pioneer of Industrial Research. Photographic Research Laboratory, Eastman Kodak Company. ISBN 0879856572.

External linksEdit