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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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2531 videos foundNext > 

Ansco Automatic Reflex :: Medium Format TLR Cameras

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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.

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.

Agfa Ansco Box Camera

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Video Manual for the Ansco Memar (Agfa Silette)

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Ansco Automatic Reflex - American Best TLR

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Ansco B2 Speedex

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Ansco Pix Panorama Flipped Lens Camera

I show how to flip the lens on an Ansco Pix Panorama camera.

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Ansco Flash Clipper

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2531 videos foundNext > 

243 news items

The Globe and Mail

The Globe and Mail
Wed, 17 Jun 2015 10:31:43 -0700

The Paris rooms are as dim and hieratic as a temple, with a case full of 1930s couture, a big Ansco plate camera, and a newsreel clip of Horst at work. The vivid American rooms include a digital table at which you can scan Horst's Fashions in Living ...


Sat, 02 May 2015 21:13:59 -0700

If you had told brothers Andy and Jon Nielsen when they were younger that they would one day head a rapidly-growing online estate sale business, they probably wouldn't have believed you. In fact, when the two were younger and they would go to antique ...
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 ...
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 ...


Sat, 06 Jun 2015 11:46:34 -0700

70–80 år gammelt Ansco Shur-Shot jr når jeg vil gå litt «back to basic». Marielle Eriksen er også nestleder i Narvik Kameraklubb og trives best med å ta ikke-planlagte bilder. – Skal man putte det inn i en kategori, må man vel kalle det for ...

LA Weekly

LA Weekly
Tue, 12 May 2015 11:12:19 -0700

On May 3rd we gathered at Disgraceland Venice to do an epic pin-up shoot. Models- Beebo Wallace, Lindsay Benner, Kristin Johansen, Victoria Vengeance, Jennifer Ridgeway, Christine Geasey, Darija Varnas and Nickie Jean met up with photographer Star ...


Sun, 22 Feb 2015 07:56:03 -0800

IBM, Ansco-ozalid, Endicott Johnson shoes, Kohler (sp) Furniture, Link Aviation all provided jobs. Another employer was the huge NY State hospital facilities which were significantly downsized from residential hospitals to outpatient care. Small ...

Reno Gazette Journal

Reno Gazette Journal
Fri, 03 Apr 2015 18:41:15 -0700

Over the course of his long career, Dondero collected a wide variety of cameras including Leica's, Nikons, Graflex professional grade cameras and lenses, as well as vintage collectables from Kodak, Voigtlander, Agfa, Ansco, Olympus and other makes.

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