SHORPY Historic Photo Archive & Fine-Art Prints
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About the Photos

Our holdings include hundreds of glass and film negatives/transparencies that we've scanned ourselves; in addition, many other photos on this site were extracted from reference images (high-resolution tiffs) in the Library of Congress research archive. (To query the database click here.) They are adjusted, restored and reworked by your webmaster in accordance with his aesthetic sensibilities before being downsized and turned into the jpegs you see here. All of these images (including "derivative works") are protected by copyright laws of the United States and other jurisdictions and may not be sold, reproduced or otherwise used for commercial purposes without permission.

© 2018 SHORPY INC.

[REV 25-NOV-2014]

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Sunset on Fotomat: 1978

Sunset on Fotomat: 1978

Bedford, Massachusetts, circa 1978. The end is near for this kiosk and many like them across the country. After the demise it turned into a video rental store; now it is gone. It was in the Bedford Plaza. All gone now. Taken on Ektachrome 35mm film. View full size.

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Fotomat Fotomate

I was a Fotomat Fotomate just a year before this! I had worked hard to train for it, and it was a pretty good job, overall. I had only worked there for a few months, though, when my husband graduated from college at BYU and we had to move to Lexington, Kentucky for grad school. Unfortunately, there was no Fotomat there. Only two years later, when we returned to Utah, Fotomat was just going under. I heard that the creator of it ran off with his secretary and the investor's money, or something on that order.

I thought the film was fine, and the service generally was, too. Sometimes, things were late coming back and people would yell at me, like they thought I had a darkroom in that little 6X6 building, and did the developing myself! There were dozens of imitators, for the few years that it was around. Every parking lot of any size had either a Fotomat or an imitator, for a few years, there.

SHORPY HISTORICAL PHOTO ARCHIVE | History in HD is a vintage photo archive featuring thousands of high-definition images from the 1850s to 1960s. (Available as fine-art prints from the Shorpy Archive.) The site is named after Shorpy Higginbotham, a teenage coal miner who lived 100 years ago.

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