A Brief History Of Photo Booths

Photo booths have a rich history of creating memories for anyone given the privilege to use them. Celebrities, such as Fred Astaire, popularized them in song and dance. Today, photo booths are a huge part of American culture and can be found everywhere, from weddings corporate events to shopping centers and businesses.

Take a look at a brief history of the origins of photo booths and how they have developed into what they are today.

Invention of the Photo Booth

The beginnings of the photo booth can be found in Omsk, an industrial town in Siberia. The inventor of the photo booth, Anatol Josepho, was born there in 1894 and became interested in cameras at an early age. He moved to the Budapest in the early 1900’s and started his own photo studio.

After traveling to many places, including China, Josepho ended up in the United States with blueprints for his photo booth in hand. He invented the photo booth in 1925 and in 1927 was paid one million dollars when Henry Morganthau, the former American ambassador to Turkey and a founder of the American Red Cross, and a group of the board of directors approached him to purchase the patent for the photo booth.

Photo Booth in Popular Culture

Since the photo booth was invented, it has made appearances in magazines, movies and has even hosted presidential pictures. For example, inn the 1953 film The Band Wagon, Fred Astaire performed a number where he dances into a photo booth, sat for a photo and dances out after the flashes popped in time to the music. Famed printmaker Andy Warhol even had a photo booth in his studio, “The Factory.” Photo booths have even taken pictures of President Kennedy with his wife Jacqueline Kennedy.

Other Uses for Photo Booths

Today, photo booths are often used for fun occasions, but some other uses for them include using them at police stations for mug shots and photos of visiting family members in jails. A mobile photo booth for mug shots was conceptualized, but was too heavy for easy transport.

Technology has made photo booths more accessible than ever before. Electronic photo booths have also taken off in shopping centers and malls. Some can even make picture drawings of participants for low cost!

No matter the time period, photo booths are a widely popular tradition that continue to attract patrons and bring treasured memories together with a single photo strip.