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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.


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]


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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70 news items

Chapel Hill News

Chapel Hill News
Thu, 16 Oct 2014 21:03:42 -0700

... tempted to flip quickly through a book of photographs during his years teaching American history at UNC-Chapel Hill. Filene's interest in photography began when he was a kid carrying an Ansco camera around and learning darkroom skills from his father.
Albany Times Union (blog)
Tue, 14 Oct 2014 02:34:00 -0700

Yeah, let's keep The Agfa Bridge over Ansco Lake in the short list. And The Jumbuck deserves one more run. That's at least two photos to work with. Uh-oh. I just discovered that the rules specifically want photos taken after June 2013. Guess what. This ...
Crain's Cleveland Business
Sun, 28 Sep 2014 01:46:59 -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
Sun, 21 Sep 2014 08:56:15 -0700

IBM has largely left the area. Link is a shadow of itself and Ansco no longer exists. The problems of today's society are different, yet the same. The twentieth century produced its own colorful characters that filled the newspapers and the lives of ...

Diario El Tipógrafo

Diario El Tipógrafo
Tue, 21 Oct 2014 01:37:30 -0700

La primera de éstas se llevará a cabo hoy, a partir de las 9 de la mañana en el Club Ansco de Rancagua. Se trata del seminario “Metodología Canvas, cómo agregar valor a sus ideas de negocios”. La cita es en calle Gil Toledo, 804; Villa Jardín Oriente.

Diario El Tipógrafo

Diario El Tipógrafo
Thu, 16 Oct 2014 01:26:15 -0700

El presidente regional de Ansco El Teniente, Raúl Tapia, señaló al respecto que “una de nuestras misiones como asociaciones es apoyar el desarrollo de nuestros socios y sus familias, pero también el de la comunidad en la que estamos insertos y, en este ...
Sat, 11 Oct 2014 10:35:28 -0700

Außerdem war er Direktor des amerikanischen „Ablegers“ der I. G. Farben, der American I. G. Chemical Corp., und der I. G.-Farben-Firma Agfa Ansco, Inc., sowie des kriminellen Council on Foreign Relations (CFR), der illegalen, konspirativen Regierung ...

Diario El Rancagüino

Diario El Rancagüino
Sun, 05 Oct 2014 11:22:30 -0700

(4)- Para dar actuales referencias, mencionando sitios conocidos del Rancagua urbano de hoy, el Pueblo de Naturales estaba al oriente del Club Ansco y sur de la población Villa Triana, comprendiendo también parte de esta última. Hasta los años 1930 a ...

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