Kodak’s 13-Month Calendar

#kodak #photography #calendars #IFCL #13-month-calendar

George Eastman (1854-1932) was a man of great accomplishments who was ahead of his time. The visionary founder of the photography company Eastman-Kodak did so much in the fields of photography and business that it is hard to imagine him being able to accomplish so much in the time available to him. Perhaps that was part of the reason he championed a 13-month calendar — an innovation that remained part of Kodak’s company culture until 1989.

The concept for the 13-month calendar came from Moses Cotsworth. He was an advisor for the North Eastern Railway. Perhaps inspired by the role railroads played in the standardization of time zones, Cotsworth hoped to bring some logic to the calendar system. He was bothered by the Gregorian calendar’s penchant for differently-lengthen months and the fact that dates fell on different days of the week.

Cotsworth proposed the adoption of the International Fixed Calendar. The plan called for a year of 13 months, consisting of 28 days in each month and a leftover day at the end of the year. It 13-month calendar with 28 days in each month and a leftover day at the end of each year, known as “Year Day.” It also followed the Gregorian calendar’s rules for leap years.

13 month calendar

Support for the International Fixed Calendar gained support among businessmen and intellectuals, gaining peak support in the 1920s. As can be seen in an editorial in the September 1927 issue of The Outlook:

A month is a wholly irrational division of time. It has no relation to anything in astronomy or human experience. It is an inaccurate and varying measure of time that is a constant annoyance in business and a misleading unit in science. It has no religious significance.

A month is nothing but just a bad habit.

When George Eastman heard of the calendar, he became an immediate convert. He implemented the calendar for himself and his business in 1928. He also opened the U.S. office for the International Fixed Calendar League (IFCL) in Kodak’s Rochester, New York headquarters.

Several of Eastman’s contemporaries bought into the idea. Hotelier E.M. Statler, banker George Foster Peabody, and shipping magnate Robert Dollar were just a few who saw the wisdom in such a plan.

Despite its promising start and influential supporters, the 13-month calendar did not catch on. Even so, the Kodak company continued to use it until 1989 — 57 years after George Eastman’s death. “I loved it,” says John Cirocco, a former Kodak employee who worked at the company in the late ’80s as a tech advisor. “It was a major piece of financial applications, and from a financial perspective, it made the ability to compare sales periods a hell of a lot easier. When I first got there they explained it to me and I was like, ‘This is brilliant!’ I’ve tried to recommend it at two places I’ve worked at since then. The feedback is always, ‘We can’t, this [12-month calendar] is how it’s always been done.'”

Read more fun facts about calendars.

Read more fun facts about time.

4 replies »

    • Silly to think that this combined with superstition (13 bad! >:@ ) holds us back from having a better way of keeping time? We didn’t leave the stone age for a lack of rocks after all.

      I hope to see a 13 month calendar and decimal time see broad adoption in my life.

      Liked by 1 person

  1. the 13 moon calendar, with even 2 weeks and 28 days, is in balance with the moon, their blood
    periods would be accurate, with this calendar, and they would not be so emotionally out of balance as we males know they are and deny, the 12 month calendar is a piece of ****, more male
    dominance, over the magnetic creative female, who rule the night time and night life, just like there is no **** man in the moon, moon is ruled by the magnetic pull of the oceans water, and that my friends has scared the hell out of the entire male electric (as we all know, the male electric, can be turned on and off in a split second, lol lol. but the magnetics of the female, can suck into herself and entire galaxy called a black hole, of the strongest energy known to life itself, is is the mother of all
    life everywhere, hands down, the magnetics of the female race is what truly and really HOLDS all energies together. It her body form, has the ability to bring forth life form after life forms.
    the male is literally scared ******** of the creative powers that the females have over us males,
    all she has to do is nothing, or just walk by and she easily draws every **** man that can see her to her. This my friend is the “Magnetic power of the female race”.
    That **** 12 month calendar is male sourced, is so out of natural balance, where as the 13 is the pure balance of timing. The female rules time and the unknown darkness of magnetics.
    the 13 month calendar with it equal weeks and days would in Time bring about a balance living to all of us………anyway………….! ?


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