History of the booths of photos

For starters, let’s get something out of the way, photo booths, photocabins, photo booths, photomatons, or photobooths are not a new invention. They are not even an invention of the twentieth century, at least the first experiments. So let’s say that we are not in the presence of an innovation of our time. Clarification completed, we travel to the year 1883 …

The history of photobooth hire sydney goes hand in hand with the history of vending machines, such as a vending machine for soda pop or candy. In 1883, Percival Everett invented the first commercially viable coin operated vending machine. At that time, many products began to be marketed through machines, and these, they expanded throughout North America and Europe.

Before going on, and as a peculiar but not less important fact, let us think that before photography, which was created towards the end of the 1830s, the only way for a person to know his own face in a concrete way was through a Mirror (and these, they were luxury of a few) or its reflection in any other surface that allowed it.

In order not to get into photography classes, types of images and primitive impressions, let’s say that the first technological breakthrough that allowed the emergence of the first photocabins was the appearance of “ferrotipos”. In order not to delve into technical specifications, and for simplicity, they were photographs revealed on a piece of metal. You can read more here and see this example:


Ferrotipos became the first mass media to share photographs. And so, the first “automatic” machines could emerge to take pictures. And quote the quotes in “automatic”, since in general all failed, were not so automatic and always required an operator to be changing parts and chemicals. Even so, they had their time and were used in amusement parks and traveling fairs.

According to data found in some records on the Internet, the first patent for an automatic photo machine was made on January 9, 1888 in Baltimore. Its registrants were William Pope and Edward Poole. There is no data that this machine has been built. There are data from some more patents and experiments but would not be relevant until, at least, late 1889, when at the  Exposition Universelle in Paris, Ernest Enjalbert introduced a device whereby through a 3-6 second exposure, then Of 5 minutes a ferrotype was obtained in a thin plate of metal, covered by a brilliant black lacquer. Some comments of that time say that the result was very poor, the person of the portrait was not identified well. Even so, it had some success and was installed in another exhibition.

18 years later, La Nature reported a French machine called the “Ashton-Wolff”, by its creators. In their edition of January 11, 1913, they told some technical characteristics of the machine, especially that after the process of taking the portrait, a small poster was illuminated showing the following phrase: “Thank you, the photograph has been taken, You may stand up In 4 minutes your portrait will come out of the bottom of the device. “(Thank you, the picture has been taken, you can stop. Photograph of the “Ashton-Wolff” below:


Between 1890 and 1920 several ventures arose not only in France but in the United States, where some machines became attraction in fairs but given their complexity and low quality they could not keep up with the time. Recall, these machines did not print on paper, used other mechanical and chemical processes, took a lot of time to take the picture and develop portrait printing, in general, on small plates of different metals. Imagine, instead of a printer like the current digital booths, they had containers with chemicals, mechanical systems and in the case of one of the machines, up to 400 metal plates where the photos were printed.

From 1925 comes the founding time of modern photo booths, with a special inventor, and many illustrious names in art, politics and entertainment. Believe it or not, photo booths form an important part of the cultural life of the twentieth century. All this remains for a second part.