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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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Albany Times Union (blog)

Albany Times Union (blog)
Wed, 06 May 2015 02:50:33 -0700

Classic shots like The Lenten Meal, The AGFA Bridge Over Ansco Lake and All Hail the Yellow King! New excursions like The Zipless Chuck, L-Ken's: Instamatic Dichtomy and Lane 2. One of my ultrawide photos from my Krasnogorsk FT-2 camera, Falling ...
Press & Sun-Bulletin
Mon, 04 May 2015 16:37:30 -0700

Around 1928, this Tudor-style house was built for W.H. Carson, president of Ansco. Tudor characteristics of the house are the steeply pitched roofs and gables, stucco cladding and decorative half-timbering. A bank of multi-paned windows is the dominant ...

Financieele Dagblad (Registratie)

Financieele Dagblad (Registratie)
Mon, 18 May 2015 01:39:09 -0700

'Dat zijn dus veelal mensen met drie tot en met vijf jaar ervaring', zegt directeur Finance Ansco Dokkum van Yacht. Opvallend is dat de vraagstijging naar financieel specialisten zich vooral concentreert in de regio's Amsterdam en Den Haag. In 20% van ...

El Mostrador

El Mostrador
Wed, 06 May 2015 01:03:45 -0700

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 ...
Fri, 17 Apr 2015 09:41:15 -0700

Around 7 a.m. Wednesday, an employee at Ansco and Associates in Georgia told an Ocala Police Department officer he backed the 18-foot-long trailer in the parking lot at Best Western at 3701 SW 38th Ave. around 11 p.m. Tuesday. When he got up to go to ...
Fri, 17 Apr 2015 19:03:45 -0700

Sheriff's detectives said they recovered some items stolen from a Silver Springs home Thursday, after which the man they believe was responsible crashed a vehicle and escaped. On Friday, detectives executed a search warrant on a van and recovered ...
Thu, 16 Apr 2015 19:03:45 -0700

The New York funeral for fallen Ocala Police Department Officer Jared Forsyth is scheduled for 10 a.m. Friday at St. John the Baptist Roman Catholic Church, 168 Chestnut St. in Lockport, New York. Visitation was held Thursday at Prudden and Kandt ...

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