Anscochrome and Ansco color transparencies slides

In the years just before the second World War, Agfa in Germany invented a color slide film called Agfa Color. The American affiliate of Agfa was Ansco, and when war broke out, Ansco was placed under the control of an administrative board for the duration. Ansco did not have full information about the manufacturing process, however it was decided to persue the project because of the military value of a color film which could be processed anywhere. (Kodachrome required factory processing, which took weeks). The Ansco color film project was successful and the new film was first demonstrated on July 23, 1942. During the war, all the film that the company could produce was requisitioned by the military. Ansco Color slides film became available to civilian photographers after the war was over.

This rare example of pre-war Agfacolor was taken at an Italian ski race and shows teams from Switzerland, Italy and Germany. Nazi swastika flags are visible. The sign says “Traguardo” which means goal. Note the edge numbering for half frame cameras, like the German Robot. Kodak did not use half-frame numbering until 1963.

Ansco slides are found in mounts provided by processing labs rather than the Ansco factory. The whole point of this film was to enable any lab to process it. The only factory mounts that I have ever seen were Ansco advertising samples.

Generally speaking, slides that say Ansco Color are 1940s and slides that say Anscochrome are 1950s or later.

.about 1948




about 1957

about 1950

textabout 1947


above: Ansco factory advertising sample

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