Gallery: Kodachrome Is Dead, Long Live Kodachrome

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The very last roll of Kodachrome film will be delivered today in Parsons, Kansas. Kodak has slowly phased out the materials needed to make and develop the film. Only a single operation in the world -- Dwayne's Photo in Parsons -- had continued to develop Kodachrome.

First introduced in 1935, the death of the film stock has generated an outpouring of emotion from several generations of photographers, for whom the particular hues generated by Kodachrome define the look of midcentury America.

As much as I love digital cameras and tools that allow you to mimic the old film stocks like Hipstamatic and Instagram, there is just something special about the way Kodachrome captures light. To remind you of what these photos look like, we've assembled a gallery of the best Kodachrome photographs we could find. To point out that Kodachrome could be used for motion pictures, too, we've included a promotional film from the Florida State Archives above. (It's amazing.)

And if I can be permitted one moment of philosophizing before you click through all the beautiful pictures, it's worth reflecting that it took 75 years for the first successful color film to actually exit the market. On the rare occasions when technologies actually die, they go slowly and leave much behind.

Update: This article originally stated that the last roll of Kodachrome would be developed today -- as per Dwayne's site -- but Erin McCann pointed out that it actually takes some time to develop the rolls, and they were still taking deliveries today. So it may be a few days yet before the machines are turned off.

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Alexis C. Madrigal

Alexis Madrigal is the deputy editor of TheAtlantic.com. He's the author of Powering the Dream: The History and Promise of Green Technology. More

The New York Observer has called Madrigal "for all intents and purposes, the perfect modern reporter." He co-founded Longshot magazine, a high-speed media experiment that garnered attention from The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, and the BBC. While at Wired.com, he built Wired Science into one of the most popular blogs in the world. The site was nominated for best magazine blog by the MPA and best science website in the 2009 Webby Awards. He also co-founded Haiti ReWired, a groundbreaking community dedicated to the discussion of technology, infrastructure, and the future of Haiti.

He's spoken at Stanford, CalTech, Berkeley, SXSW, E3, and the National Renewable Energy Laboratory, and his writing was anthologized in Best Technology Writing 2010 (Yale University Press).

Madrigal is a visiting scholar at the University of California at Berkeley's Office for the History of Science and Technology. Born in Mexico City, he grew up in the exurbs north of Portland, Oregon, and now lives in Oakland.

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