Month :

Nov ,2017

From Atlas Obscura:

The Twilight of the Analog Photo Booth

The effort to save a rare beast on the road to extinction.

On a recent Saturday morning in New York, the analog photo booth in the Ace Hotel on 29th Street was out of order. Inside the booth, which costs $5 plus tax for a strip of four black-and-white photographs (cards accepted), a piece of paper hung askew atop the mirror, level with the sign reading “EYE LEVEL.” “Sorry, I’m broken …” it read. “I’ll be better soon. XO, Ace.” Barely a dozen of these film-based photo booths remain in the city, a fact that would have been inconceivable as recently as the 1990s.

In September 1925, the crowds stretched around the block for the first ever Photomaton studio, 30 blocks north of the present site of the Ace Hotel, at 51st Street and Broadway. Each subject paid 25 cents, was bathed in flashes of light, and waited eight minutes for a strip of eight photographs. Eighteen months later, the New York Times reported, “Young Photomaton Inventor Will Celebrate His First Million.” In today’s money, this would be close to $14 million.

Anatol Josepho, the inventor of the "Photomaton" photo booth that debuted in September 1925 at 1659 Broadway in New York City.
Anatol Josepho, the inventor of the “Photomaton” photo booth that debuted in September 1925 at 1659 Broadway in New York City. Library of Congress/LC-DIG-ggbain-25079

The inventor, Anatol Josepho, was born in 1894, and came from nothing. Josepho, né Josephowitz, grew up a banished Jew in Siberia. At 15, he went off to explore the world, starting in Berlin, where he bought a Brownie camera and learned to take photographs. Later, he took it to Budapest, to Shanghai, and eventually to New York. In Harlem, in 1925, he raised the $11,000 required to build a prototype for the first curtain-enclosed photo booth—the cost of nearly six reasonably sized houses at that time. Josepho was charming, and obsessed with the project, writes photographer Näkki Goranin. Despite being a newcomer to the city, “[he] was able to talk people into loaning him the money, find the appropriate machinists and engineers to help him build his Photomaton machine, and be sought out by the leading industrialists in America.”

Josepho stood on the shoulders of decades of tinkerers who had been flirting with this technology since the 1880s, when a craze for vending machines of all kinds, including seltzer, chocolate, and postcards, seized Europe and America. Concurrently, photographic technology was developing at a galloping pace. Some early booths offered prints for a penny, others unreliable tintypes with near-unrecognizable subjects. Throughout the 1920s, the technology was becoming more and more refined—until, in 1925, Josepho patented the booth that set the standard for the next 90 years.

Two friends pose for a picture in a photo booth, date unknown.
Two friends pose for a picture in a photo booth, date unknown. simpleinsomnia/CC BY 2.0

Before long the photo booth was everywhere: malls, bars, airports, post offices, Fred Astaire films. In the United States, they were often owned by the company PhotoMe, says Tim Garrett, an artist who co-runs the site Photobooth.Net with friend and colleague Brian Meacham.

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From the Fraunces Tavern Museum website:

Washington’s Farewell

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  • To commemorate Washington’s emotional farewell to his Officers that took place in the Long Room on December 4, 1783, a special reenactment of the farewell will occur throughout the day in the famous Long Room.

    This year we are thrilled to announce that actor Ian Kahn, who portrayed George Washington on the hit AMC series TURN,will be at the Museum to reprise his role and reenact the toast given by George Washington in Fraunces Tavern’s historic Long Room on December 4, 1783. Joining Ian to reenact the toast will be Dan Shippey, a George Washington reenactor and expert from the Breed’s Hill Institute who served as Ian’s mentor and inspiration during his time working on the show. Come and witness the toast, interact with “George,” and talk with Ian about his life-changing experience playing the General on TV.

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    Visitors will enjoy $1 admission for this exciting day of events; which will also include additional tours and activities throughout the day; such as a colonial costume photobooth, and hands-on family activities.

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From The Fraunces Tavern Museum website:

 

Presented by Robert Watson

Moored off the coast of Brooklyn until the end of the war, the derelict ship, the HMS Jersey, was a living hell for thousands of Americans either captured by the British or accused of disloyalty. Throughout the colonies, the mere mention of the ship sparked fear and loathing of British troops. Join Robert as he explores the long forgotten story of the bloodiest “battle” of the Revolution, when an old British prison ship claimed more American lives than were lost in combat during the entirety of the War and how the affair would help rally the cause and win the War.

Tickets for this event go on sale October 13*All attendees must purchase a ticket for Special Lectures. There is no reserved seating for this lecture. 

Tickets can be purchased online or at the door.
For tickets purchased online, you will receive a confirmation email from Fraunces Tavern Museum with further event details within 24 business hours.

Purchase Tickets:

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The 141st George Washington Birthday Ball

Since 1877, the Sons of the Revolution in the State of New York have been hosting the George Washington Birthday Ball in honor of George Washington. This celebration is a fundraiser for Fraunces Tavern Museum, one of our country’s oldest and most important historical sites.  Fraunces Tavern was a meeting place for the Sons of Liberty. It was in the Tavern’s
Long Room where George Washington bid farewell to his officers after the British evacuated New York City. In 1785 the Tavern was leased by the government to house the Department of Foreign Affairs and in 1787 the Departments of Treasury and War moved in.

 

This year marks the 141st Ball as well as the 111th anniversary of the opening of Fraunces Tavern Museum.

 

We invite you to join the Benefit Committee and be an important part of this year’s Ball.  The Committee is composed of Society members, Museum members, individuals, organizations, foundations, and companies that support the mission of the Museum, which is to educate the public about the struggles, importance, and heroes of the American Revolution.

Your commitment to the Museum through the Benefit Committee will help to sustain the
only museum in New York City dedicated to the history of the American Revolution.  The
Museum receives about 30,000 visitors each year (a 300% increase over the past ten years), of whom 5,000 are schoolchildren participating in our interactive educational programming. The Museum presents annually rotating exhibits within our nine galleries, monthly lectures by notable authors and experts, and hosts local historical walking tours.

You can join the Benefit Committee by printing out and returning the Benefit Committee Form to Sons of the Revolution c/o Benefit Committee, 54 Pearl Street, New York, NY 10004. You can also join the Committee through our website by clicking HERE. As a Benefit Committee Member you are entitled to be listed on the invitation and in the Ball Journal.

 

This year’s George Washington Birthday Ball will be held at the Metropolitan Club located at 1 East 60th Street, New York, on Friday, February 16, 2018 at 7:00 pm. For those who cannot attend, we hope you will consider a contribution to help us continue our important educational mission.

 

Sincerely,

    Ambrose M. Richardson, III
President

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The page, http://www.vintag.es/2015/11/rarely-seen-autochrome-photos-of-new.html , claims to display

Rarely Seen Autochrome Photos of New York in the Early 20th Century .

The images themselves span 18 years, from the earliest one dated with the year 1900, to the last, a photo of buildings with banners and signs exhorting the public to buy war bonds, with the date given as 1918. Not all of them are from New York City, several are attributed to places in Upstate New York. Though they are lovely to look at, and a few provide a glimpse of what everyday life for everyday people looked like in the thick of NYC, some people who have written into the comments section have revealed that the provenance of the images is not in all cases what the site represented them to be: some are not genuine Autochrome images at all, but colorized photos or lantern slides, and the one of two men playing chess was reportedly taken in Germany, not New York. Here are the comments, correcting some of the attributions of the images:

Some of these are not original autochromes but colorised black and white photos, e.g. the couple in Saratoga Springs, which is a detail from a colorisation by Sanna Dullaway: http://sannadullaway.com/0r…

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A number of critical errors. Image #1 (from the top down) is not an autochrome. Images #2 & 3 are autochromes by Charles Zoller (Rochester, NY). Image #4 is not an autochrome. Image #5 ( Foolish House) is an autochrome by Zoller. Images 6, 7, 8, & 9 are not autochromes. Image #10 (rooftops) is an autochrome in the collection of Wm. B. Becker and should be credited to him. Images 11, 12, 13, & 14 are by Zoller. All the Zoller autochromes are owned by the George Eastman Museum and should be credited to them. Image # 15 (chess players) is probably by Alfred Stieglitz or possibly by Edward Steichen and was taken in Germany. The last image (war bond rally) is an autochrome by J. D. Willis from the collection of Mark Jacobs.
Nearly all the non-autochrome images identified in this post are actually black & white lantern slides that have been digitally colored

 

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    Right! 6-7-8-9 are not color photographs at all, but Photochrom prints made from black and white negatives. You can see the originals online at the Library of Congress — the process is explained here: http://www.loc.gov/pictures…

    And if you’re interested in real Autochromes, including the rare New York rooftops image (#10 above), see the original postings online at the American Museum of Photography: http://photographymuseum.co…

 

 

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