Agfaphoto is a prominent brand in the photography industry that is renowned for manufacturing top-quality film and photographic equipment. Its history dates back to the 19th century and has undergone several transformations over the years.

Agfaphoto was originally founded in 1867 in Germany under the name Aktiengesellschaft für Anilinfabrikation, which roughly translates to "Corporation for Aniline Production." The company was founded by Paul Mendelssohn Bartholdy, a member of the well-known Mendelssohn family, who had previously worked in the dye industry.


Paul Mendelssohn Bartholdy


At the time of its founding, the company primarily produced dyes and other chemicals. However, in 1879, it entered the photography industry with the introduction of a new photographic paper. The paper, which was coated with gelatin, was much easier to use than the previous wet-plate process, and it quickly became popular among photographers.

In the early 20th century, Agfaphoto continued to innovate and expand its product line. In 1909, it introduced its first roll of Agfaphoto film, which was a significant advancement in photography. Roll film allowed photographers to take multiple shots without having to reload their cameras, making photography more accessible to a wider audience.

During World War II, Agfaphoto suffered significant damage to its factories and infrastructure, and it was forced to rebuild in the post-war era. Despite the challenges, the company continued to innovate and introduce new products, including color film and a range of other photographic equipment.

In the 1960s, Agfaphoto expanded its product line even further, introducing a range of consumer electronics products, including radios, tape recorders, and television sets. The company also began to invest heavily in research and development, with a particular focus on developing new photographic technologies.


Agfaphoto vintage ad


In the 1980s and 1990s, Agfaphoto underwent a series of mergers and acquisitions that significantly changed the nature of the company. In 1982, it merged with Gevaert, a Belgian photography company, to form Agfa-Gevaert. The new company continued to produce a wide range of photographic equipment, but it also began to expand into other areas, including healthcare and graphics.

In the early 2000s, Agfaphoto began to experience financial difficulties, and in 2004, it was declared bankrupt. The rights to the Agfaphoto brand were acquired by a consortium of investors, who formed a new company called Agfaphoto Holding GmbH - although this has since become a tangled web of legal issues.

Today, Agfaphoto is known for its high-quality photographic equipment and its commitment to innovation and quality. The company continues to innovate and develop new technologies, although it has mostly stepped away from supporting analogue film and developing.

In conclusion, Agfaphoto has a long and storied history that dates back to the 19th century. The company has undergone many changes over the years, but it has remained committed to producing high-quality photographic equipment and developing new technologies.