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An Ansco B2 Speedex Junior

Ansco was the brand name of a photographic company based in Binghamton, New York, which produced photographic films, papers and cameras from the mid-1800s until the 1980s.[1][2] It also sold rebadged versions of cameras made by other manufacturers, including Agfa and Chinon. A Minolta-built Ansco model was the first 35 mm camera in space and their film was used in space, too.


Early History[edit]

Advertisement for Ansco Speedex Film, 1920.

The company was founded in 1842 (pre-dating Kodak in the photography business) as E. Anthony & Co. (later E. and H.T. Anthony & Company, when Edward Anthony's brother officially joined the business) and became the Anthony & Scovill Co. in 1901, after a merger with the Camera business of Scovill Manufacturing (Connecticut), founded by James Mitchell Lamson Scovill and William Henry Scovill. That year the company headquarters relocated to Binghamton New York. This was already a site of one of Ansco's photographic paper manufacturing facilities. Just after that, in 1905 it settled a landmark patent infringement case against Eastman Kodak, which had been violating the Goodwin roll film patent (Hannibal Goodwin of Newark, New Jersey) held by Ansco. The settlement received from Kodak was very small compared to the damage done to Ansco, which already had financial problems as a result of business lost to Eastman Kodak.[3]

Merger with Agfa[edit]

In 1928 Ansco merged with the German photo company Agfa to form a corporation named Agfa-Ansco. Later that year that firm and other German-owned chemical firms were merged into a Swiss holding company, Inter-nationale Gesellschaft für Chemische Unternehmungen AG or IG Chemie, that was controlled by Germany's chemical industry conglomerate, IG Farben. In 1929 the parent corporation's name was changed to American IG Chemical Corporation or American IG, later renamed General Aniline & Film, which continued to produce cameras under the Agfa-Ansco name.[3]

During the period before the U.S. entrance into World War II, the Agfa-Ansco business grew enormously, with added manufacturing capacity in paper, film and camera manufacturing. The Agfa-Ansco interests in the U.S. and Binghamton factory were taken over by the U.S. government in 1941 due to its ties with Germany.[3] The Ansco company was merged with General Aniline as General Aniline & Film in 1939.

Color film: Anscochrome[edit]

Prior to the war, Agfa-Ansco had marketed Agfacolor film made in Germany. To assist the war effort, the company experts used available information to develop a similar product, first called Ansco Color, later Anscochrome. After the war, Anscochrome was widely distributed, but met with limited commercial success in competition with Kodak products. An important marketing feature was its greater speed in comparison to Kodachrome.[4][5] A second advantage was that users, professional or amateur, could process the film in their own darkrooms rather than having to send it away (as with Kodachrome) or use cumbersome re-exposure steps as with Kodak Ektachrome.

Post-War Business[edit]

The company was the last business to be sold as enemy assets to American interests in the 1960s. At that time, a new headquarters was constructed in Vestal, New York, adjacent to the new college campus of Harpur College (now Binghamton University). This location is the only remaining evidence of Ansco in the Binghamton area, and is currently occupied by the University. It continued to do business after World War II as Ansco until 1967 when the company adopted the parent's name of General Aniline & Film (GAF), and a variety of cameras as well as films were sold under this name until the business was shut down in the early 1980s. Briefly in the 1970s, it was the official film of Disneyland and at this time, actor Henry Fonda served as the company's spokesman in television commercials including one that featured Jodie Foster in her first acting role.[6] The last Ansco cameras were produced in the early 1990s by a Hong Kong business that bought the rights to the name.[3]


External links[edit]


  1. ^ Current,Ira. ANSCO Reminiscences Broome County Historical Society Newsletter, Spring 1995.
  2. ^ Ollinger, James. A Brief History of Agfa, Ansco and GAF Cameras.
  3. ^ a b c d Camp, William L. Ansco Chronology, From a Binghamton, N. Y. point of view. July 14, 2011.
  4. ^ Anscochrome and Ansco color transparencies slides. June 11, 2010.
  5. ^ About Ansco. February 07, 2008.
  6. ^ 1971 GAF View Master Commercial with Henry Fonda & Jodie Foster at YouTube

Original courtesy of Wikipedia: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ansco — Please support Wikipedia.
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240 news items

Huffington Post

Huffington Post
Tue, 14 Jul 2015 12:00:26 -0700

The Craftsman Camera Home Construction Kit was introduced in 1950, after Ansco tested the concept by recruiting schoolchildren to try it. Advertisements in Boys' Life magazine in late 1950 told how building your own camera would teach you "the secrets ...
Jacksonville Daily Record
Fri, 24 Jul 2015 08:22:30 -0700

Utilities. • Crown Castle, 2970 St. Johns Ave., No. 1, contractor is Ansco & Associates, AT&T to add antennas, $65,000. • Global Signal Acquisitions IV, 3101 Plummer Cove Road, No. 1, contractor is Ansco & Associates, AT&T to add antennas, $65,000.

Sioux City Journal

Sioux City Journal
Sat, 18 Jul 2015 22:37:17 -0700

He lived with his kids in Arkansas for a short time. He moved to Onawa and began his working career at Cargill in Onawa, VFW in Onawa, Consumer Supply in Sioux City, various other jobs, and most recently was employed at Ansco Seeds in Whiting, Iowa.

Construction Equipment Guide

Construction Equipment Guide
Fri, 10 Jul 2015 11:26:13 -0700

Ritchie Bros. Hosts Multi-Million Dollar Auction in Atlanta. Zach Long of L&N Supply Company, Dallas, Ga., tests this Volvo ECR58 mini-excavator. Father and son team, Taylor (L) and Barron Kelly of Ansco & Associates, Columbia, S.C., look over some of ...

Financieele Dagblad (Registratie)

Financieele Dagblad (Registratie)
Tue, 21 Jul 2015 01:34:40 -0700

'Dat is niet voldoende om nu aan de vraag te voldoen', zegt Ansco Dokkum, directeur van Yacht Finance. 'Daarnaast maken veel accountants met ervaring vanuit de auditpraktijk de overstap naar de adviespraktijk. Hierdoor ontstaat bij de audit meer ...

Diario El Rancagüino

Diario El Rancagüino
Tue, 28 Jul 2015 07:39:12 -0700

Además aseguró que desde FUSAT estarían atendiendo consultas en dependencias del Club Ansco. “LA PARALIZACIÓN SE VA A EXTENDER HASTA CUANDO TENGAMOS UNA MESA DE TRABAJO CON CODELCO”. En cuanto a las atenciones en Fusat ...

Diario El Tipógrafo

Diario El Tipógrafo
Sun, 26 Jul 2015 02:02:07 -0700

El evento se realizó en el Club Ansco, donde el intendente Juan Godoy dijo que “este instructivo busca consolidar todo lo que ha dicho la presidenta Bachelet respecto del buen trato y la buena relación que debe existir entre los propios funcionarios ...


Sun, 03 May 2015 08:10:05 -0700

If you had told brothers Andy and Jon Nielsen when they were younger that they would one day head a rapidly-growing online estate sale business, they probably wouldn't have believed you. In fact, when the two were younger and they would go to antique ...

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