now just a minute!

Anatol Josepho at his Photo Booth in 1927

Toronto. Do you remember as a kid at a small town fair or big city mall taking a black and white photo strip of you and your friends behind a curtain in a phone booth like box? The strip popped out for 25 cents in a little tray out side the booth just minutes after the last snap you took.

George Dunbar sent me this page from Science and Invention’s January 1927 issue on the Photobooth. Incredibly these old automated gadgets are still available today for rent – updated to digital ¬†technology with many more bells and whistles than last century (all in colour now).

George has a keen interest in photo booths as he discovered a Canadian invention called the Phototeria. It was patented in 1928 and marketed a year or two later. The automated machine was invented by the McCowans (of McCowan Road fame) in Scarborough (eastern side of the city of Toronto). George lives in Scarborough and was delighted to discover some original phototeria booths just north of the city.

You can read George’s article in Photographic Canadiana 33-1 (May, 2007). George also wrote a book review a year later in issue 34-1. The first marketable version using paper was invented by the gentleman shown at left, a Russian immigrant to the Big Apple named Anatol Josepho. Note that all PHSC members have a dvd disk with issues 1 – 40 and more!

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