The Origin of the Photo booth

Anatol Josepho the inventor of the MODERN-DAY Photo booth

Antatol Josepho a Siberian immigrant is the father of the modern-day photo booth as we know it. Anatol was born in the small industrial town of Omsk, Siberia to a wealthy jeweler and his wife. At the age of three years old Anatol’s mother passed away and he was raised solely by his father to which he grew a very close bond with.

Anatol developed a fervor for adventure and at the age of 15 left for Berlin, Germany. There is where Anatol became fascinated with photography and went under apprenticeship to be a photographer. In 1912 at the age of 18 Anatol left for New York City, New York to ply his trade as a photographer where he opened his own shop. Here is where Anatol also started to draw designs for an automated photo machine using his technical background from his Russian schooling. He started thinking about creating a photographic paper that would produce a beautifully toned positive image and not require a film negative these images can then be instantaneously retrieved via a self-operated interior device that could be initiated by coin. He would spend years figuring out how to use specific chemicals to develop this paper, and how to design a delivery process for his new machine. He worked for years on this plan with great vigor and devotion and finally in 1925 launched what is now considered the first enclosed photo booth in New York City on Broadway between 51st and 52nd Street. On any given day 7,500 people would line up to take a picture for .25 cents for a strip with eight photos. The advent of the photo booth had begun.

In 1927 Anatol Josepho would sell his photo booth machines and the Photomaton patent to Howard Morganthau and a consortium of investors he was able to assemble for 1 million dollars. In 1928 he would sell the European rights to the Photomaton patent to a consortium of English/French investors thus taking the photo booth global.