We thought some of our Kansas City photo booth rental customers might be interested in how photobooths came into being. Well it all started in 1913, a young Russian teen of a mere 19 years, left his home in Siberia to head to the romantic town of Budapest to live his dream. With a fondness of photography he opened up a photography studio. At the time, only those with significant means could afford the luxury of a portrait. Our hero, Anatol Josepho had an itch that just had to be scratched. He envisioned a machine that would make portraits more efficient, cheaper and available to everyone. With WWII in full swing, he had more time than customers. He spent years developing a rough prototype and the chemical process necessary to make his dream a reality.
After the war, Anatol spent some time moving about and eventually ended up in New York. He persuading friends and family members to loan him the $11,000 he needed to create the first mobile photo booth. Though at nearly 1000 lbs, mobile is a bit of a stretch. Side note-in 1925 the average home cost around $2,500 so this was a significant gamble!
The worlds first photo booth was called “the Photomaton”.
Those early investors ended up doing well for themselves. Within a year, Anatol had opened up the Photomaton Studio on Broadway. Crowds often totaled 7000 a day ready to pay their 25 cents.
Anatol sold his machine and patents for 1 million dollars. Soon, photo booths were found in department and dime stores across the country. Photo booth mania had begun and lives on to this day. However, as early as the 1950s, complaints of naughty behavior in the booth started coming in. Seems like some where stripping off clothes for the private camera! Apparently some things never change.
So, that is a short history of how it all began from the very first photobooth to Booth Crazy photobooths in Kansas City. At Booth Crazy photo booths we just have to wonder, what would Anatol think of what the photo booth rental business today. A booth with props, big enough for a dozen, prints in seconds, all the crazy antics. We think he would smile!