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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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2481 videos foundNext > 

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Ansco ShurFlash - Film Loading

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Ansco Automatic Reflex - American Best TLR

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1959 television commercial for the pocket-sized Ansco Cadet camera. Designed to compete with the popular Kodak Brownie, the compact camera used 127 film. This Subscribe to Captainbijou.com's...

2481 videos foundNext > 

254 news items

Albany Times Union (blog)
Fri, 13 Mar 2015 05:18:49 -0700

Competition season is coming up quickly. And I've got a few ideas for upcoming photos. Some that I haven't even mentioned in this blog. I entered two of my pictures – The AGFA Bridge Over Ansco Lake and The Three-Two Pitch – in a competition in Florida.

DVD Talk

DVD Talk
Fri, 13 Mar 2015 17:54:01 -0700

Kiss Me Kate's 2D image seemed comparatively weak as well (unlike the others, it used the inferior Ansco Color process), with the film grain sharpened to a noticeable degree. Shown in a 16x9 format preserving the original 1.75:1 aspect ratio, the film ...

Diario El Tipógrafo

Diario El Tipógrafo
Wed, 01 Apr 2015 08:33:45 -0700

A las 21 horas se llevará a cabo la cena oficial de aniversario en el Club Ansco de Rancagua, abierta a la participación de los hinchas y la comunidad. El valor de la adhesión es de $15.000 y los interesados deben contactarse al 8488928 ó 95990279.
PULSO (Registro)
Mon, 16 Mar 2015 01:22:35 -0700

Si bien de acuerdo con la ley de gobiernos corporativos de Codelco es el turno de Ansco de entregar la quina con los nombres para asumir dicho cargo, Fesuc ha planteado sus reparos ante la representatividad que tiene ese estamento, que no supera los ...
Huffington Post
Tue, 10 Feb 2015 06:12:49 -0800

First launched by Soho Photo Gallery 22 years ago as a group show, the now international juried competition asks anyone with a krappy kamera -- a Holga, a Diana, an Ansco or a pinhole -- to send in their best shots. The idea is simple: "In the hands on ...

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 ...


Sun, 22 Feb 2015 07:56:03 -0800

IBM, Ansco-ozalid, Endicott Johnson shoes, Kohler (sp) Furniture, Link Aviation all provided jobs. Another employer was the huge NY State hospital facilities which were significantly downsized from residential hospitals to outpatient care. Small ...
New York Post
Wed, 25 Feb 2015 10:02:43 -0800

Warner's first high-def release of a '50s musical originally shot in 3-D looks better and is more stereoscopically effective than either “Dial M for Murder'' or “House of Wax,'' possibly because MGM's “Kate'' was shot in glorious Ansco Color rather ...

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