Category:

Beaches, Parks, and Amusement Parks

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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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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With the New York Adventure Club:

Behind-the-Scenes @ Woodlawn Cemetery & Locked Gilded Age Family Mausoleums

Step inside some of the country’s most opulent family mausoleums that are rarely unlocked for the public, until now.

Join New York Adventure Club for an exclusive, behind-the-scenes experience at Woodlawn Cemetery, one of the largest cemeteries in New York City covering more than 400 acres and serving as the resting place for more than 300,000 people.

Sat. Oct. 21: 3pm-5pm

Woodlawn Conservancy

3800 Jerome Avenue

Bronx, NY 10467

Led by a cemetery docent, our unique experience will include:

 

  • The history and story of Woodlawn Cemetery, and how it became the favored cemetery of so many prominent NYC families from the late 1800s to early 1900s
  • An exploration of the cemetery’s grounds to see some of its most notable mausoleums, sculptures, and landscapes
  • Exclusive access inside some of its most impressive Gilded Age family mausoleums including Harkness, Harbeck, and Dunlop, which contain Tiffany glass, Italian marble, and even a dead parrot

 

Click here to see pictures from one of our last trips to Woodlawn Cemetery!

* Please bring a good pair of walking shoes since we’ll be on our feet for the entirety of the tour!

 


 

Disclaimer

By attending a New York Adventure Club experience, you accept our terms of service.

Categories: Tours, Active, Historic Sites

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From Thought Gallery NYC:
After the city’s Halloween festivities come to an end, New Yorkers will still be able to get a look at the city’s haunted histories at New York: City of the Dead on November 9, which offers an overview of the city’s cemeteries – including the secret ones hidden in some unlikely places.…

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From Thought Gallery NYC:
New Yorkers can get out to Queens this fall for walks exploring Steinway Village (November 18) or Richmond Hill North (November 11), a Victorian village that was one of the first suburban communities. The Municipal Art Society will also offer a tour of the South Bronx and its history and recent revival on November 19.…

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Brooklyn also has plenty of secrets in store for New Yorkers to discover this fall. Join Untapped Cities for Secret Brooklyn: An Unusual Guide on October 23, which will give attendees the chance to learn from one of the borough’s secret locations, along Newtown Creek. To learn more about one of the borough’s icons, the Brooklyn Dodgers, head to a talk on the legendary baseball team’s legacy on October 17.

Learn about the “Ghost Ship” of Brooklyn, which was stationed off the borough’s coast during the American Revolution, on November 20.…

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Sat, October 14th, 2017 |

11:00 am to 4:00 pm

Free with Museum Admission
Recommended for all ages

On October 14, 1781, Lieutenant Colonel Alexander Hamilton made his famous charge to capture Redoubt Ten in the Battle of Yorktown. Come to the Museum ready with your questions for Hamilton! Portrayed by a Living Historian, Lt. Col. Hamilton tells you how he helped win the climactic campaign of the Revolutionary War. Don’t miss your chance to learn a military drill from the War for Independence under the instruction of Hamilton himself!

We’re celebrating Hamilton’s military career with Living History all weekend. Join us on Sunday to meet the New York City militia that Hamilton joined while he was still in school!


Living History Days at N-YHS
Living History: Hamilton’s Militia, Now Recruiting!
Sunday, October 15th, 2017 | 11:00 am – 4:00 pm

Free with Museum Admission
Recommended for all ages

Immerse yourself in the independent militia company that started Hamilton’s military career! Meet the Hearts of Oak, a troop of Living Historians who portray the group of young volunteers that came together in colonial New-York on the eve of the American Revolution in 1775. Some members of the militia, like Hamilton, were students at King’s College—known today as Columbia University! Take a close look at their distinctive green coats, listen to fife and drum music, and experience a military drill.

We’re celebrating Hamilton’s military career with Living History all weekend. On Saturdaymeet Lieutenant Colonel Alexander Hamilton and learn about his victory at the Battle of Yorktown that happened on this weekend in 1781!

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Island Historical Tour (North)

Thursday, September 7, 2017

6:00 p.m.7:30 p.m.

This event repeats on the 1st Thursday of every 2 months between 5/4/2017 and 9/7/2017.

Did you know that the Randall’s Island was once three separate land masses? The island has a rich and unique history. Come learn more about the influential people, the bridges, and the landscape changes that transformed the Randall’s Island into the beautiful park it is today!

Location

Randall’s Island Connector in Randall’s Island Park
Manhattan

Directions to this location

Cost

Free

Event Organizer

Randall’s Island

Contact Number

(212) 860-1899

Contact Email

info@randallsisland.org

Categories

Education, Nature, History, Tours, Waterfront

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In their special section “Summer Fun in Staten Island,” published on June 28, 2017, the New York Daily News said that our monthly Sea Shanty Sessions, led by the Folk Music Society of New York, offer “…a great opportunity to experience authentic, time-honored maritime songs in an appropriately historic setting.” The next session is this Sunday, August 20, from 2 to 5 PM. This even is family friendly and free, but we always appreciate your donations. #NYCulture

Image may contain: 8 people, people smiling

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Thomas Paine and The Flame Of Revolution“-from ThoughtGallery.org:

When: Thu., August 17, 2017 at 7:30 pm

This Olio covers the life and writing of Thomas Paine during the end of the 18th century. Starting with Common Sense and The Crisis Papers, the talk focuses on the integral role of Paine in not only the American Revolution, but the creation of an “American” political ideology.

The first part is a biographical sketch of Thomas Paine and description of the social and political climate in 18th century England. An explanation of conflicts leading up to the writing of Common Sense and The Declaration of Independence, the talks establishes a historical context for the American Revolution and the subsequent events in the young nation. Thomas Paine’s involvement in the revolution and his work for the Continental Congress place him in the center of activity.

The French Revolution signaled a new chapter in Paine’s life. Once again with The Rights of Man and The Age of Reason he was able to put into words the momentous spirit of the times. This Olio explains the characterization of Paine as a preeminent philosopher and the genesis of radical politics as a force in world events.

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