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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.

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]

Pror 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.
This page uses Creative Commons Licensed content from Wikipedia. A portion of the proceeds from advertising on Digplanet goes to supporting Wikipedia.
2054 videos foundNext > 

Ep 187 :: the Ansco Automatic Reflex

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Ansco Studio Camera

An 8x10 Ansco Studio Camera.

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.

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.

VINTAGE 1950s ANSCO COMMERCIAL - ANSCOMATIC SLIDE PROJECTOR

I am truly amazed that I have never heard of Ansco. It was based in New York, and supposedly it was screwed over by Kodak (patent infringement.) Ansco receiv...

VINTAGE 1950s 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. F...

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...

1947 Ansco Plenachrome 620 film (Part 1)

This is a video I made just prior to developing a vintage roll of 1947 Ansco Plenachrome 620 film (expiry date September 1949). In this video I talk about th...

Ansco Flash Clipper

Showcase of Ansco's 1910 "Flash Clipper" camera. The "Flash Clipper" is an historic marvel and a photographic masterpiece. Find out why...

Agfa Ansco Box Camera

In this video we take a look at what I believe to be some variation of the Agfa Ansco No. 2 box camera. I go over this camera in particular and give some of ...

2054 videos foundNext > 

3 news items

 
Press & Sun-Bulletin
Sat, 16 Aug 2014 21:18:45 -0700

He was an executive at Ansco, a Binghamton-based film company with roots in Germany from which Werner had come, by way of France and England. And therein lies my story of discovery. It begins in the 1970s. Werner's second wife, Grace, has died and he ...

Lahaina News

Lahaina News
Wed, 06 Aug 2014 22:48:45 -0700

Columnist: I started with an Ansco when I was little. On Maui, I have 20,000 digital and print photos going back 35 years. I have never sold a photo. As a magazine editor, I hired and got to work with the best national freelance photographers crop from ...
 
Milenio.com
Tue, 12 Aug 2014 01:03:45 -0700

A su iniciativa le siguieron otras armadoras, como su competidora, la Ansco, que tuvo un éxito similar con sus modelos para el frente de batalla. Si puede afirmarse que la Gran Guerra puso en manos de cada soldado (francés, americano, alemán, ruso o ...
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