It seems like photo booths have become popular overnight! Really though the photo booth has been around for over 100 years! This is the history of the photo booth.
The first photography machine was debuted at the World’s Fair in Paris. This was the same World’s Fair that the Eiffel Tower was debuted!
Some other notable events that took place at the Fair:
- Heineken received the Grand Prix (English: Grand Prize) at the exposition.
- Buffalo Bill recruited American sharpshooter Annie Oakley to rejoin his “Wild West Show”.
- Prominent visitors: the Prince of Wales (the future Edward VII) and his wife, Princess Alexandra; artist Vincent van Gogh; and inventors Nikola Tesla and Thomas Edison.
- A central attraction in the French section was the Imperial Diamond, at the time the largest diamond in the world.
The photo booth got an upgrade with positive/negative processing that was developed in Germany.
Anatol Josephino, a Russian immigrant, brought the first enclosed booth (the curtain was added later) to Broadway in New York City. To use the booth it cost 25¢ ($3.50 in 2017) and it produced eight images over 10 minutes.
People lined up around the block and serviced 280,000 people within the first six months. This is the moment photo booths cemented their place in pop culture over multiple decades.
“A March 1927 headline of The New York Times read: ‘Slot Photo Device Brings $1,000,000 to Young Inventor,’”according to Behind the Curtain: A History of the Photobooth by Mark Block. That $1M, is worth $14 million in 2017, and that didn’t even include the guaranteed royalties.
Over the next two years photo booths spread to Canada and Europe.
In 1958, a new type of photo booth was invented. It was called the Auto-Photo Model 11 Photo booth and was used for government and military photos, including police and mug shots. The booth had an operator and was the first to process multiple photos at time. This model is probably the model you think of when you first hear photo booth.
World famous artist Andy Warhol got into the photo booth game when he started experimenting with photo booth imagery in his work. His love affair came after he was commissioned by Harper’s Bazaar to do an editorial layout.
Warhol was also commissioned to do portrait photography with his photo booth!
This was the first year where booth visitors could operate the booth themselves!
This was the year color photo strips were introduced in self operating photo booths.
Implementation of photo booths at locations such as zoos, airports and other high traffic locations is starting to take place.
Smaller more transportable photo booths are now in production. Booths are now available to be booked at weddings and other events!
Booths are even more flexible and do so much more! Not only are booths capable of taking photos, they can do video, social media sharing and incorporate multiple customization options.
If you are wanting a booth at your event, contact us today and we can help get your date reserved!