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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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292 news items


Tue, 24 Nov 2015 23:52:30 -0800

Instead of using the common Kodak color film stock, Hollywood films instead used Ansco safety films for its later color releases, but they lacked the sharpness of its original DuPont stock on the black-and-white cartoons. These cartoons were released ...
Jacksonville Daily Record
Fri, 20 Nov 2015 07:56:15 -0800

Super Wings & Philly, 6855 Wilson Blvd., No. 24, contractor is Advance Design & Construction, build-out of 1,500 square feet, $13,000. Utilities. • AT&T, 2503 N. Liberty St., No. 1, contractor is Ansco & Associates, add two remote radio units and ...

Albany Times Union (blog)

Albany Times Union (blog)
Sun, 08 Nov 2015 04:02:41 -0800

Five years ago I submitted a print of The AGFA Bridge Over Ansco Lake and it ended up in a bidding war at BUILT, the charitable auction / fundraiser to help preserve Albany's architecture. In the past five years, I've submitted three Dream Windows to ...

IJssel en Lekstreek Capelle aan den IJssel (persbericht) (Blog)

IJssel en Lekstreek Capelle aan den IJssel (persbericht) (Blog)
Mon, 30 Nov 2015 11:18:45 -0800

Titel: Ugc Image: HVC-sept-6.jpg; Beschrijving: De grote blikvanger in de expositie, een antieke 'Kodak Studio No. 2 Camera' met een statief van 'Ansco Company' vervaardigd tussen 1902 en 1920. Foto: Kees Grandia. Ugc Image: HVC-sept-6.jpg. Titel: Ugc ...

El Mostrador

El Mostrador
Wed, 11 Nov 2015 00:06:33 -0800

La pugna obedece a que la FESUC –que es una organización sindical– no reconoce a la Asociación Gremial Nacional de Supervisores del Cobre (ANSCO) su derecho a sentarse en esa mesa por ser justamente una asociación gremial y no una sindical.

People Magazine

People Magazine
Mon, 26 Oct 2015 10:57:48 -0700

Olson's fascination with the visual world started at age 12 when his grandfather gave him his first camera, an Ansco Flash, to take pictures on the family farm in Morris, Illinois. At age 21, he became the youngest photographer ever hired at LIFE ...

Diario El Tipógrafo

Diario El Tipógrafo
Thu, 29 Oct 2015 01:46:55 -0700

Se trata de una de las fiestas más esperadas. Y este 31 de octubre llega a Club Ansco Rancagua para celebrar 15 años desde que se inició en el 2000. Se trata de “Generación 80's”, la fiesta temática que congrega a más de mil 500 personas cada vez que ...

Press & Sun-Bulletin

Press & Sun-Bulletin
Fri, 02 Oct 2015 07:17:26 -0700

Because of her education in bacteriology and chemistry at Cornell, she was hired by Agfa Ansco, testing the water from their wells, counting the bacterial colonies and using that research to compile reports. “Because of my education, I was given $20 ...

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