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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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2064 videos foundNext > 

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Agfa Isolette and Ansco Speedex Lens Collimating.wmv

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Ansco B2 Speedex

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1940s Ansco Shur Shot box camera Shutter Mechanism Operation

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VINTAGE 1950s ANSCO LANCER CAMERA COMMERCIAL

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Ansco Automatic Reflex - American Best TLR

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2064 videos foundNext > 

407 news items

Albany Times Union (blog)

Albany Times Union (blog)
Wed, 19 Nov 2014 02:07:30 -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 ...

PetaPixel

PetaPixel
Mon, 17 Nov 2014 10:00:00 -0800

But rather than watching her GoPro Hero 3 collect dust on a shelf, she decided to create an unlikely pair by Frankensteining together her unused GoPro and an old AGFA Ansco Shur Shot she had lying around. If you'd like to create this frankencamera for ...

Albany Times Union (blog)

Albany Times Union (blog)
Mon, 17 Nov 2014 00:08:21 -0800

Recent Comments. Theft is the sincerest form of flattery (3). Cheese: Just a thought, your content could be the issue. D357: I had the same thing happen with my Agfa Bridge Over Ansco Lake photo. Jango Davis: I only WISH someone would steal my videos, ...
 
Albany Times Union (blog)
Sat, 15 Nov 2014 00:28:45 -0800

You've followed enough to know about words like Jumbuck and AGFA-Ansco and Altamont and The Chance and the like. Maybe you know how to finish phrases in my blog like, “It's not Monday morning unless I'm dropping something off at ______,” or “Over ...

Albany Times Union (blog)

Albany Times Union (blog)
Wed, 12 Nov 2014 04:51:21 -0800

And remember, this is the same camera that helped me capture The Agfa Bridge Over Ansco Lake. Which means I do not think this camera is done producing quality shots. Not by a longshot. So what do I do right now? I'll re-roll another batch of Kodak WL ...
 
Albany Times Union (blog)
Thu, 06 Nov 2014 02:17:14 -0800

Recent Comments. Theft is the sincerest form of flattery (2). D357: I had the same thing happen with my Agfa Bridge Over Ansco Lake photo. Jango Davis: I only WISH someone would steal my videos, at least they'd get more than a few thousands hits! A..
 
Yahoo News
Tue, 28 Oct 2014 11:00:00 -0700

Fellow Mercury astronaut John Glenn not only became the first American in Earth orbit, but also the first person to use a handheld camera in space — a 35mm Ansco that he bought at a local drugstore. But because of that experience, NASA took a more ...

The Eye of Photography

The Eye of Photography
Fri, 14 Nov 2014 00:37:55 -0800

As a kid, I made snapshots with my mother's inexpensive Ansco camera. I'd take the negatives to a small, sour smelling camera shop a few blocks away to be developed and made into prints. Making any sort of picture appealed to me. To encourage this, my ...
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