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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.
This page uses Creative Commons Licensed content from Wikipedia. A portion of the proceeds from advertising on Digplanet goes to supporting Wikipedia.

298 news items

Albany Times Union (blog)

Albany Times Union (blog)
Sat, 29 Aug 2015 23:23:52 -0700

That's my third red ribbon in NYS Fair competition, joining Nipper's Polar Panorama (2010) and The AGFA Bridge Over Ansco Lake (2011)! First ever New York State silk for the Rolleiflex Automat MX camera (thanks Teri Conroy for “gifting” me this ...

Popular Photography Magazine

Popular Photography Magazine
Fri, 21 Aug 2015 10:48:45 -0700

During World War II, 120,000 people of Japanese ancestry living in the United States we held in internment camps. But a select few who were drafted into the U.S. army before the bombing of Pearl Harbor and before America's direct involvement, ended up ...

Press & Sun-Bulletin

Press & Sun-Bulletin
Thu, 06 Aug 2015 11:14:50 -0700

The prospect of tinkering with vestiges of yesteryear they saw during their careers at Ansco, IBM, Lockheed, Link and elsewhere drew in hundreds of dedicated volunteers. The boundless energy of the place captivates college, university and high school ...

Huffington Post

Huffington Post
Tue, 14 Jul 2015 12:00:26 -0700

<span class='image-component__caption' itemprop="caption">The John Kratz/Flickr The Craftsman Camera Home Construction Kit was introduced in 1950, after Ansco tested the concept by recruiting schoolchildren to try it. Advertisements in Boys' Life ...

La Croix

La Croix
Wed, 05 Aug 2015 07:26:15 -0700

Tournant sur les lieux et les décors réels où a vécu le peintre hollandais, il emploie une pellicule Ansco, procédé novateur se rapprochant autant que possible du nuancier du peintre : gris noir pour la période belge, bleu vert pour la néerlandaise ...

New York Post

New York Post
Wed, 01 Jul 2015 09:56:48 -0700

What a pity that MGM filmed "Seven Brides for Seven Brothers" in that horrible short-lived cheap Ansco Color where everything looked orange! FlagShare. LikeReply. Adriana Scarpin 5ptsFeatured Jul 4, 2015. My two favorites are Black Narcissus by Powell ...

Cincinnati.com

Cincinnati.com
Sun, 03 May 2015 08:10:05 -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 ...

Sioux City Journal

Sioux City Journal
Fri, 24 Jul 2015 16:03:05 -0700

The right place, all the right pets, always the righ… Get The Job. Employment Guide. Business Directory. Ansco · Bp Station (Mapleton) · PORTER FUNERAL HOME/HAWARDEN · This Week's Circulars. loading. loading. Make More Happen. hover for circular.
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