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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.

History[edit]

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]

Gallery[edit]

External links[edit]

References[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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2274 videos foundNext > 

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Ansco ShurFlash - Film Loading

I demonstrate how to load an Ansco Shurflash Box camera. This procedure will work for many different types of box camera that use 120 film.

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1940s Ansco Shur Shot box camera Shutter Mechanism Operation

Wanted to show shutter mechanism operation. And tell about that it can easlily be repaired if you hear little parts rattling around. Ew, boring, 6 minutes.

Agfa Isolette and Ansco Speedex Lens Collimating.wmv

Collimating lens for folding camera Agfa Isolette and Ansco Speedex using 35mm camera and lens. Very easy and useful way of getting lens in focus on old came...

1950 Vintage Ansco Cadet Camera Commercial

I have never heard of Ansco cameras or Ansco film. I have learned something. As hard as it is to get an "old dog" to learn something, it actually happened.

VINTAGE 1950s ANSCO LANCER CAMERA COMMERCIAL

Ansco has more than one camera model. Once again, I have never heard of this brand of camera. I'm surprised my ancient brain is capaple of learning something...

Ansco Automatic Reflex - American Best TLR

The Ansco Automatic Reflex was a premium-priced American TLR introduced in 1947. The original model lacked flash sync, and film winding did not re-cock the s...

2274 videos foundNext > 

293 news items

Scranton Times-Tribune

Scranton Times-Tribune
Sat, 17 Jan 2015 22:13:50 -0800

As an adult, Mr. Hall went on to work for Ansco in Binghamton, New York, while doing stone work on the side. “Nobody does stone work anymore, so you can charge what you want to charge,” Mr. Hall said. “The longer you do it, the better you get. I can ...
 
LaTercera (Registro)
Sun, 25 Jan 2015 22:08:05 -0800

Ansco se defiende y señala en una declaración pública que hace 45 años que son reconocidos por Ley como representantes de los profesionales de Codelco. Ahora, agrega, esa representatividad se está poniendo en duda sólo por el hecho de que ...
 
Comune di Venezia
Tue, 27 Jan 2015 01:33:45 -0800

L'evento racconta per immagini la scoperta, l'acquisto e la “rielaborazione modernizzata” di una Ansco Supreme prodotta in America intorno al 1941, una bobina vergine scaduta da 70 anni. La pellicola è stata testata, bobinata a mano in rullini da 10 ...

Albany Times Union (blog)

Albany Times Union (blog)
Wed, 19 Nov 2014 02:11:51 -0800

For every screw-up in my splitfilm experiments, I was able to get photos like The Agfa Bridge Over Ansco Lake, photos that won competitive awards – heck, The AGFA Bridge Over Ansco Lake is the only picture of mine that has won ribbons at BOTH Altamont ...
 
Omaha World-Herald
Sat, 06 Dec 2014 23:06:50 -0800

The following is a list of residential real estate transfers recorded in Douglas, Sarpy and Pottawattamie Counties. Each listing tells the seller, the buyer, the street address and the sale price on transactions of $10,000 or more. The sale price on ...

Puget Sound Business Journal (Seattle) (blog)

Puget Sound Business Journal (Seattle) (blog)
Wed, 31 Dec 2014 11:48:09 -0800

Ansco Properties Limited Liability Co. sold the SeaTac parking lot. Public records list Ansco's manger as Gerard Scarsella of Greenwood Village, Colo. Marc Stiles covers commercial real estate and government for the Puget Sound Business Journal.
 
Crain's Cleveland Business
Sun, 28 Sep 2014 01:37:30 -0700

Indego is being developed and assembled in Parker's Corporate Technology Ventures incubator in Macedonia, and some of its more expensive parts are made by Ansco Machine Co. in nearby Cuyahoga Falls. A Cleveland company called DXY Solutions ...
 
Press & Sun-Bulletin
Thu, 25 Dec 2014 20:52:30 -0800

In the mid-twentieth century, we had many other companies such as Ansco (GAF), Universal Instruments, Link, and many others in addition to our mega-giants. These companies employed thousands upon thousands of people while manufacturing hundreds ...
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