Category:

Period

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 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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From The Observer

By Ann Votaw 10/20/2017

I have a soft spot for cemeteries.

Recently, I posted an Instagram photo of a crumbling headstone and got a like from Jolene Lupo, a stranger of the alive variety.

But upon closer inspection of her profile pic—a black and white of a marble-eyed brunette—I wondered if Lupo might not be a phantom.

My sleuthing revealed Lupo was not a hallucination but the tintype studio manager of Penumbra Foundation, a Manhattan nonprofit dedicated to historical photography. The more I scrolled through her feed, the more I became enchanted with tintypes—kind-of like metal Polaroids of the mid-1800s.

As the child of antique fanatics, I grew up going to flea markets. Yet I was familiar with tintypes of whiskered soldiers, not the bearded hipsters I saw on Penumbra’s accounts.

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Buy tickets here

The World Premiere of America’s First Play: Androboros (Villain of the State)
Written by Governor Robert Hunter (1714) and Adapted by S.M. Dale (2017)

7:00pm performances on Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays in October

Before Hamilton, before Washington, before even much of Manhattan existed, there was Androboros! Mixing Elizabethan language with the commedia del arte of its day, this new adaptation will feature over a dozen original songs played live with a dancing, 10-member cast in an intimate setting. Based on a true incident that scandalized the young New York colony, the play is a great history lesson that is as funny and entertaining today as it was in 1714.

Peculiar Works Project Logo.jpg

This program is brought to you in partnership with
Peculiar Works Project.

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Description

Following the trauma of the Civil War, the intersection of mourning on a national scale with the new technology of photography gave rise to a chilling phenomenon: “spirit photography,” the supposed art of capturing departed loved ones on film. Author and curator of religion at the National Museum of American History, Peter Manseau, shares the story of infamous spirit photographer William Mumler, the fraud allegations that haunted him, and a nation grasping for the promise of the afterlife.

Book Talk: The Apparitionists: A Tale of Phantoms, Fraud, Photography, and the Man Who Captured Lincoln’s Ghost
Tuesday, October 24
Doors: 6:00 pm
Event: 6:30 pm
$5 General Admission / Free for Members

BHS Members: to reserve tickets at the member price, click on “Tickets” and enter your Member ID on the following page after clicking on “Enter Promotional Code.”

Date and Time

Tue, October 24, 2017

6:30 PM – 8:00 PM EDT

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Location

Brooklyn Historical Society

128 Pierrepont St

Brooklyn, NY 11201

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REFUND POLICY Brooklyn Historical Society requires 24 hours notice before the date of the event to refund a ticket. No refunds are provided after that point. No refunds are provided on the day of the event and all subsequent days.

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Fashionably Strange: A History of Victorian Creepiness

October 22
Public

Hosted by Quimby’s Bookstore

Sunday, October 22 at 8:00 PM – 9:00 PM EDT
2 days from now · 17–22°Partly Cloudy
Details
Fashionably Strange: A History of Victorian Creepiness
A talk/slide show by J.R. Pepper
“There’s a general consensus in film and media that Victorians were a bit… odd to say the least. But what did they do that made them so odd, so strange, so creepy?
From professional mourning clothing, taxidermy, and an obsession with death to bizarre photography and fashionable communication with the spirit world, there’s no doubt that the Victorians were decidedly creepy. In this talk we will explore what made the Victorians the true masters of the macabre.”…

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