Anitec, Binghamton, 1999

Anitec (formerly GAF - Agfa Ansco - Ansco) facility in Binghamton, New York
Images provided by Bob Chaffee and Tim Traver.
My thanks also to Vern Carmon for his site annotation.

Wikipedia says "Ansco was the brand name of a photographic company based in Binghamton, New York State, which produced photographic films, papers and cameras from the mid-1800s until the 1980s. In the early 1920s, Agfa (in Germany) purchased Ansco to allow Agfa to compete in the worldwide photographic market like its competitors, Kodak and Zeiss. In the months after the bombing of Pearl Harbor (in WW2, December 1941), the US Government seized Agfa-Ansco. The business continued to survive, but as a hostile alien property (under government control) into the 1960s. During this period, the organization was renamed GAF (General Aniline & Film Corporation). GAF operated the Binghamton facility from 1942 to 1981.

Anitec Image Technology Corporation, a US based manufacturer of graphic arts materials took over GAF at their Binghamton site, in 1981. In September 1987, the International Paper Company acquired Anitec in a stock swap valued at almost $300 million. In 1989, Ciba-Geigy sold Ilford Ltd to The International Paper Company. The two groups merged to become Ilford Anitec in 1990.

Kodak Polychrome Graphics LLC acquired the Anitec operations from International Paper during February 1998 and subsequently closed operations at the Binghamton facility. International Paper, who had retained ownership of the site itself, transferred title of the property to Sound Properties, LLC during December 1999. During February 2000, Brandenburg Industrial Services Co. of Chicago, Illinois began the process of demolishing all above and below ground structures.

Bob tells me the pictures below were ".......taken in 1999, shortly before it was ripped down".

Tim Traver has e-mailed (February 2017) to say "I was hired by Anitec in July of 1982. In 1987 I bid on and was awarded a job in their Clinton Street warehouse. In 1989 all warehousing operations moved to the former Savin building on Airport Road in Binghamton to accommodate the purchase of the Ilford product line. The combined Anitec-Ilford product line was huge, as was the building. With a crew of over 50 people in the warehouse and an office staff of that many as well. We warehoused both products lines until the sale of Ilford to Doughty Hansen (1998). The Anitec product was sold off and the Ilford Imaging USA unit was then separated from Anitec. Anitec was sold to Kodak. We were Ilford Imaging USA until it was dissolved around 2005 with no buyers found (Ilford Photo in the UK emerged from a UK management buy-out in early 2005). The entire Ilford inventory was sold to a group out of New York City area and I was let go in 2006. I was one of the last 10 employees of Ilford Photo USA . So between all the company mergers and purchases I had 24½ years of service, just shy of my 25 years. I enjoyed my job and made good money considering I have no college (post-school education). I miss it and think of it often and the people I worked with".

Tim has supplied me with pictures taken during and shortly after site demolition, scroll down to the end of the page.

 
Downtown Binghamton is in the middle on the far left hand side of the picture immediately below.
The building housing the white 'Anitec' water tank is where emulsions were prepared. To the right is a co-generation plant (CHP; combined steam heat and electrical power) erected by Anitec to derive additional revenue.
The building in the right hand foreground was the research facility.
The buildings in the center of the image are where film coating machines 1 & 2 and 5 & 6 were located along with finishing facilities.
At the far left is the color paper coating machine.

       
Vern Carmon has now (January 2015) sent me an annotated version of the above picture. Vern worked for Anitec in various posts for 32 years.

       

The building shown in the picture below was the main Administration Building (Building 42; ref: Vern Carmon).  Every building had a number. The official site address was 40 Charles Street, Binghamton.
This building had a great art deco entrance which lead from street level up to the top floor where the bosses offices were located.
The building had 4 floors.
For a number of years Bob Chaffee worked on the 2nd floor where X-Ray Technical Services were located.
The grey structure, at ground level on the right hand side of the image, housed a very powerful industrial X-ray generator.

Vern Carmon comments "the main entrance was changed from the door you see (below) to a new modern entrance that served as a connector between the Engineering Building, #43, and the Administration Building".

       

Below the water tank bearing the name 'Anitec', was the tallest building on the site, which housed the Emulsion Manufacturing department.

Typical of most photographic manufacturing facilities, the buildings had very few windows.

       
Below are pictures sent by Tim Traver, taken at various times, but especially during, and shortly after, site demolition (1999-2000).


The picture above is labelled 'Photo by John Risdon, 1928'.
The smokey chimney in the left background confirms a time of low environmental control and coal burning. Tim Traver confirms that coal burning remained in use ("along the railroad tracks on Clinton Street")
until the CHP was installed in the 1980s.
In 1928 the site would have been under the control of Agfa Ansco.

The photograph to the right seems to show the site while still in operation.
I'm not familiar with American cars, but the ones in the foreground look as if they date to the 1960s.
The view pre-dates the 1980's installation of the adjacent CHP power plant.

       


Possibly Building 105 (housing the Coating Machine) in Bob Chaffee's images, above.

       

       
Tim Traver comments ".....they levelled every single building on the property except the co-gen (CHP) power plant up on West Street, built in the 1980's. It is still used today and the electricity produced is sold to the local electric company. The owners of the old Anitec site have erected a new building on it for a local engineering firm".
       

To the left is shown an aerial view of the old Anitec site, outlined in yellow.
It is now (2017) all levelled, apart from the 1980s CHP power plant (lower left hand corner) and a new building (see light coloured roof) erected by the current site owners for a local engineering firm.

Above are three of the original early 20th century Ansco (or Agfa-Ansco) buildings.
They are believed to be labelled Buildings 10, 11 and 12.
They were sold off separate from the rest of the plant as they were a street away (opposite side of Charles Street, directly opposite the CHP plant) from the main site and were not included in the sale.
These are used by a local furniture store and are still in good conditon.
       

The page last updated: 28th February 2017