Magazine Article


Happy 70th Anniversary PTN!

PTN cover
PTN cover
PTN cover
PTN cover
PTN cover
PTN cover
PTN cover
PTN cover
PTN cover

In Roy's memory, as well as from the entire PMA staff here in Jackson, Michigan, and throughout the world, congratulations to for its dedicated support to the photo imaging industry.

A Retrospective Look at the Photo Industry in the Last 70 Years

By James L. Chung, Industry Statesman

This article can only cover the important highlights of the last seven decades. Otherwise, it would take a book to document all the activities of the last 70 years.

Seventy years ago, Fuji Photo Film Company was founded at Ashigara, Japan, to manufacture motion picture film. In 1939, research labs were established at the same location—and color photographic systems were among the research projects at the time. Dr. Shin Fujisawa was the first director of research. He sowed various seeds, designed to produce a crop of new photographic products. The Japanese have a proverb: "If you do not plant seeds, there will be no harvest." Dr. Fujisawa's foresight resulted in the company enjoying the successes it does today.

According to Herbert Keppler, VP of Popular Photography & Imaging and American Photo magazines, "From its beginning, our industry has dedicated itself to helping photographers, from family snap-shooters to scientists, preserve what they see or create using the magic of a lens and a means of making the images permanent. Those privileged to serve in it have a special calling and joy in their work and value what they do. And when any find themselves outside this magic, all they wish is to find a welcoming door to get back in."

During WWII, the Japanese optical industry made great strides producing optical instruments for the military. After the war, the optical industry was forced to look upon the camera markets for survival. The Japan Camera Industry Association was established in 1953 and led by an aggressive young member of the Japanese Diet (Congress), Kinji Moriyama. Japan Camera Information and Service Center was also established in New York City to promote Japanese optical products and cameras.

Donald Franz, publisher of Photo Imaging News said, "For the first 65 years, traditional photo-imaging companies enjoyed an almost uninterrupted period of growth. While this produced significant profits over that period, it also led to complacency and a lack of preparedness for the rapidity with which digital imaging captured the support of consumers worldwide, and for the entrance of so many consumer electronics companies into the overall photo-imaging market."

Former Kodak chairman/president/CEO Daniel A. Carp redefined the photographic industry as the Infoimaging industry on August 6, 2002, as a $385 billion industry created by the convergence of image science and information technology made up of three inter-related markets: devices, infrastructure, and service media.

The new year 2006 may well be the year of real prosperity for the imaging industry.

70 Years of Innovations

By Henry Froehlich, Chairman, MAC group

Exactly 70 years ago I bought my first box camera with four German marks at a local apothecary. Thus my first Agfa camera hooked me on taking pictures.

When taking the exposed roll of 120 film back to the apothecary, I learned to wait several days to pick up the prints—and marvel at the B&W results, which I promptly framed.

Things have changed a little since then. I brought the Agfa Box camera with me to America in 1940, along with another folding 120 camera—both of which led me to be in the camera business.

It was Rudy Maschke, who was a youngster boarding with my late brother, Max Froehlich, in a home in Philadelphia, who also had a hankering for the photo business and became involved in trade publications.

In the late '50s my brother—after serving in the U.S. Army—became the representative for several European photo magazines, including the English edition of Leica Fotografie.