Photography: Booths


Figure 1.--Here we see what look tgo be photo booth strips. From the style of these clothes we would date these to the very earlu 1900s, perhaps 1000-1905.

Inventors began working on the concept of an automated photographic machine in the late-19th century. An authomatic photo booth involved a variety of mechanical processes. The first step was taken by Percival Everett who invented the first commercially viable coin-operated vending machine (1883). By this time, photograohy had become a well-established industry. Mathew Stiffens filed the first patent (1889). A Monsieur Enjalbert demonstrated an authomtic machine at the Exposition Universelle in Paris, France. These early machines produced producing small gem-size tintypes as souvenirs, ID s and tokens of affection for lockets. The could be seen at many sites until after World War 1 in the 1920s. They were never fully automatic. There were a variety of problems, including coin jams and the need to frequently change the chemicals. There was also problems with maintenance and repairs. Inventors over time tinkered with the idea and made improvements. The modern photo booth with a curtain and background was finally pieced together by Anatol Josepho, a Russian Jew from Siberia who had lived in China, America, and Budapest. He called his invention the Photomaton. It produced a strip of eight photographs in 8 minutes. He refined his invention in a Harlem loft and set it up on Broadway (1925). It was an instant success. The photogtraphic booth became a popular attraction at the beach prominade and other events like state fairs and other resort liocations. Later it proved popular in shopping malls. The modern digital campera had probably made the photo booth a relic, but here we are not yet sure.







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Created: 5:24 AM 11/13/2004
Last updated: 2:24 AM 9/23/2010