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Eastman Kodak, storied American camera maker, files for Chapter 11 bankruptcy (VIDEO)

Eastman Kodak Co., which brought photography to the masses with the first hand-held camera, has filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection.

Kodak bankruptcy 2012 01 04Enlarge
A sign at Eastman Kodak Co.'s corporate headquarters in Rochester, NY. (Guy Solimano/Getty Images)

Eastman Kodak Co. filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection in New York on Thursday.

The 131-year-old company, which brought photography to the masses with the first hand-held camera — the $1 Brownie Camera — almost a century ago, and also facilitated the first pictures from the moon, filed for bankruptcy after years of failing to keep pace with digital technology, Agence France-Presse wrote.

In an effort to stave off bankruptcy, Kodak had been shopping a portfolio of 1,100 digital-imaging patents since July, the Guardian reported.

More from GlobalPost: Kodak contemplating Chapter 11 bankruptcy 

It also recently charged Samsung Electronics, HTC, and Apple over alleged patent infringement.

More from GlobalPost: Kodak, fabled film maker, sues Apple, the iPhone Goliath 

Kodak tried to restructure to become a seller of consumer products like cameras, obtaining a $950 million, 18-month credit facility from Citigroup to keep it going, according to Reuters.

However, CEO Antonio Perez said in a statement that: 

"The Board of Directors and the entire senior management team unanimously believe that this is a necessary step and the right thing to do for the future of Kodak."

The Rochester, New York-based company listed assets of $5.1 billion and debt of $6.8 billion in Chapter 11 documents filed in U.S. Bankruptcy Court in Manhattan, Bloomberg reported.

According to Reuters:

The loan and bankruptcy protection from US trade creditors may give Kodak the time it needs to find buyers for some of its 1,100 digital patents, the key to its remaining value, and to reshape its business while continuing to pay its 17,000 workers.

An Associated Press video explores the reasons that Kodak filed for bankruptcy:

Kodak Teeters on Verge of Bankruptcy
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http://www.globalpost.com/dispatch/news/regions/americas/united-states/120119/eastman-kodak-bankruptcy-chapter-11-digital-rochester-new-york