The story of the automatic photo booth dates back to the early twentieth century and is a fine example of human ingenuity. Photography had developed through the nineteenth century with a series of innovative discoveries and inventions, including Daguerre’s daguerreotype in 1839, Fox Talbot’s negative to positive process in 1841and George Eastman’s flexible roll film in 1889. The quest for a machine which would automatically take photographs was another stage in this journey.
Anatol Josepho is the man given credit for inventing the first automatic photo booth when he patented the Photomaton, an automatic photograph machine, in 1925 in America. Originally from Siberia, Josepho had travelled and worked as a photographer in many countries and had become fascinated by the idea of inventing a machine which could take photographs automatically. He immigrated to the United States in order to pursue his dream and set about borrowing substantial amounts of money in order to work on his vision, with the Photomaton – an automatic photo booth –the result of his labours. Josepho’s Photomaton Studio on Broadway was a huge popular success, with people queuing up in order to have their picture taken by this novel photographic invention, with each session costing 25 cents for a strip of eight photos. Such was the Photomaton’s success that Josepho sold the Photomaton booth and the American rights for one million dollars to a group of American businessmen in1927. Automatic photo booths became widely available, found in stores, post offices and stations, often used to provide a cheap sort of photographic identification.
Today’s digital photo entertainment booths, portable enough to be taken into venues from hotels to private homes, are an ingenious reworking of the idea of a photo booth, putting the emphasis firmly on entertainment. At Bubble Booths we pride ourselves on our sleek-looking photo entertainment booth, with its choice of background materials, and our great prop box, filled with hats, masks, sun-glasses, feather boas and other props to make dressing up for the photo booth fun. Thanks to digital photographic technology our customers can enjoy the fun of popping into the booth for a photographic session and then having unlimited high-quality prints printed out promptly during the booth hire period. We like to think that Anatol Josepho, the innovative inventor of the photo boot, would have loved to see this new take on his Photomaton.
(Pure Weddings Competition, What year was the photo booth invented?)