Film Stock Date Codes
There may be many important reasons for knowing the year an older motion picture film was manufactured. For instance, you may need to know the type of film base, especially if you are sorting between nitrate and safety base film. There is no readable numeric date on Eastman motion picture film products prior to 1990; however, most of Kodak motion picture film products have a date code symbol. The above year symbols, designating the year of manufacture, are incorporated into the edge print legend of almost all KODAK 8 mm, 16 mm, 35 mm, and 70 mm film. These symbols may be either open or solid.
A date symbol, designating the year of manufacture, is
incorporated into the edgeprint legend of almost all 8 mm, 16 mm,
35 mm, 65 mm, and 70 mm films.
Three different sets of symbols, having either one, two, or three characters, were used prior to 1990, the year that KEYKODE Numbers started appearing on all color and some black-and-white motion picture film products, except print films. The only four years with a single character in the symbol were 1916, a circle; 1917, a square; 1918, a triangle; and 1929, a plus sign. For the years 1928 and 1948 there were three circles. All other years until 1982 exhibited two characters which repeated every twenty years. For example, the same symbol appears for 1921, 1941, 1961, and 1981. Starting with 1982, a third character was added that allows for many more years before repetition. Beginning with KEYKODE Numbers (1990), the film date code is represented by two alpha designators.
Above are the date code, or yearly, symbols beginning with 1916 and ending with 2010. These may be either open or solid. With the codes prior to 1982 repeating every twenty years, these represent all years beginning with 1919. If the symbol on your Eastman motion picture film does not match those previously described or listed below, please contact your regional Kodak office. Please be aware that color print film does not have KEYKODE Numbers. The symbols as listed below will continue as a part of print film year-of-manufacture identification.
Date coding on FUJI stock is along the sprocket hole edge and in a four digit format. The first two digits indicate the year of manufacture.
The Following Date Codes are for DuPont film Stock 1956-74: