Ansco color ad 1947

Horse Fly on cylindrical 
Angenieux lens box c1958
Anscochrome Labrador

Toronto. George Dunbar sent me this November 10th, 1947 LIFE magazine ad on Ansco Color. In the late 1950s I chose Ansco (called Anscochrome by then) transparencies for the colour photographs I would take while on assignment in Labrador since the film could be bought in bulk and wound for the 35mm camera and more importantly, the process permitted personal development in about an hour. I would send the colour transparency strip south to my mother to cut and mount the transparencies in cardboard mounts. Colour prints of the time were expensive, low resolution and had poor colour fidelity unless very carefully processed.

Mounting was a job we later undertook on site. The film technology used large colour molecules which stayed trapped in each colour layer so we used one B&W developer and one colour developer after a second none critical exposure. The film used a process first created by Agfa in Germany and initially licensed to Ansco for sale in North America.

After the war, Kodak used a similar process to make Ektachrome. Kodachrome was far more complex and emphasized different colours. It used a very complex processing methodology with a developer for each colour layer and smaller more colour accurate molecules that would drift from one layer to another if the simpler Ansco developer was used. The many Kodachrome baths were all extremely critical on a time – temperature basis.

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