Monday, March 17, 2008

Coin. Smile. Click!


By JOHN STRAUSBAUGH @ New York Times

ON a recent sunny but frigid morning, I strolled up Broadway through Times Square with Näkki Goranin, a visitor from Vermont making a pilgrimage through the swirling crowds and the sensory overload of all the signage. We stopped on the west side of Broadway between 51st and 52nd Streets. It looked nondescript to me, with the usual fast food, souvenir shop, gym and drugstore.

But Ms. Goranin, a photographer whose book “American Photobooth” (W. W. Norton) has just been published, declared it “a landmark in photo history.” Because, she said, in 1926, roughly where the gym is now, a Jewish inventor from Siberia named Anatol Josepho (shortened from Josephewitz) opened a photo-booth concession, the first Photomaton in the world.

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