This section is from the "Studio Light Incorporating The Aristo Eagle - The Artura Bulletin 1913" book, by Aristo Motto. Also see Amazon: Studio Light Incorporating The Aristo Eagle - The Artura Bulletin 1913.
Although, by reason of the fact that the market in professional photographic goods has been wide open since 1911, the professional photographers are not directly interested in the action brought against us by the Government under the Sherman law, nevertheless they are, no doubt, indirectly interested in anything that pertains to photography and we therefore want them to understand the situation and are desirous that they should not be misled by erroneous reports. We, therefore, give below an authorized interview with Mr. Eastman, which clearly defines the important points at issue and definitely outlines our position:
"What we view as the main points at issue between our Company and the Government are far from vital to the continued success of the Company. They are substantially three: Operating our retail houses independently of our name, making of certain stencil goods, and our exclusive sales policy.
"There has never been any concealment as to the ownership of our various stock houses, and the adding of our name to then-stationery and advertising matter will in no way affect them or us.
"We have always fought the system of making stencil goods and have, as a rule, refused offers to do it. It is a common custom in every trade, but one which works generally to the disadvantage of the manufacturer. It certainly will not hurt the sale of the stencil goods referred to, which we make, to put our name upon them.
"As to our exclusive sales policy, we differ from the position taken by the Government. We do not think it illegal or even unethical, and we know it has worked to the advantage of everyone concerned, even to our competitors. One of the main points of this policy (respecting dealers in our patented goods handling no other similar goods) has been to prevent the substitution of goods that are the inferior of ours to unsuspecting customers. However, desiring to avoid a long and expensive litigation, the waste of time of our most important men, and the unsettling of normal business conditions, we are willing to meet the wishes of the Government even on this point.
"Although we do not think the recent decision of the Supreme Court in the Bauer case respecting the resale prices of patented goods applies to our policy of selling goods, we propose to alter our terms of sale to the extent of extending discounts only to such dealers as do not compete unfairly. It is not thought that this Bauer decision gives license to piratical dealers to cut prices so as to drive out their smaller competitors, thus ruining them and injuring us by unfair competition.
From An Artura Iris Print By H. R. Pottenger Wichita, Kans.
"While in the formal part of the Petition filed by the Government there is a prayer for dissolution, as is usual, I am informed in all such cases, it is believed that full compliance with the main specific demands for changes of trade methods freely offered by this Company will successfully meet all criticism and satisfy the trade at large and the Government.
"Aside from the economic principles which would be violated by such dissolution it can be clearly shown that if the United States is to keep its lead in the photographic art which it has maintained for the last twenty years and meet competition in the markets of the world, the co-ordination of the manufacture of films, plates, papers and cameras must be continued. None except those intimately familiar with the art can realize the interdependence of these different articles as to changes and improvements. Qualities in plates influence results on paper. Changes in film influence changes in cameras, and so on; and no concern that is unable to furnish products in all of these lines, adapted one to the other, can hope to compete with the great foreign manufacturers who are straining every effort in similar directions. Color photography, which has been developed to a point where for the last six or seven years it has been possible for experts to obtain perfectly satisfactory results, has proved a commercial failure. Only a concern which has on its staff experts in all the various departments of the art can hope to bring this problem to a satisfactory solution commercially. By that I mean bring it within the reach of the ordinary Kodaker, who is not technically expert. The Eastman Kodak Co. has spent already hundreds of thousands of dollars upon this problem, and it is partly the prospect in this line which led it to expend over $100,000 in enlarging its research laboratory, which now has on its staff some of the best experts in the world. It is only a concern that has a varied output that could get the good out of such a laboratory.
"The Government has been engaged in the investigation of our business ever since October, 1911, and has gone most exhaustively into the history of the Company and its methods since the inception of the business, and while we do not agree with its view of our sales policy, we realize that there is a chance for an honest difference of opinion upon any such question, and we are bound to say that the Government has been perfectly fair in the way it has conducted the investigation."
From An Artura Iris Print By H. R. Pottengei Wichita, Kans.