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May 27, 2023

30 Vintage Portraits of Pretty Young Women With Hats in the Photobooths From Between the 1920s and 1940s

It all started in 1925 when a Siberian immigrant named Anatol Josepho unveiled the world’s first fully-automatic photographic machine on Broadway and 51st near Times Square. He crowned his invention the Photomaton, costing him $11,000 to make. People wound all the way around the block waiting for hours at the chance to have their likeness captured.

Even though the original concept for a photo booth came about during the Belle Epoque at the 1889 World’s Fair in Paris, it was Anatol who was able to produce a self-sufficient machine printing high-quality images. It was such a success that Jospeho received $1 million – around $14 million in today’s money – plus future royalties for his invention.

Photomatons soon began to pop-up across the country. A Photomaton concession placed next to the Strand Theatre on Broadway in 1932 was so successful it kept the owner’s extended family employed throughout the Great Depression. At the cost of a quarter you would receive a strip of eight images – of you, a loved one, you and a loved one – in a process that took roughly 8 minutes.

Over the next few decades, artists, actors, Presidents and citizens alike flocked to photo booths to have their pictures taken. Here’s a collection of 30 vintage portraits of pretty young women with their hats posing in the photobooths from between the 1920s and 1940s.


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