We found this vintage matchbook from Ansco endorsing Super Anscochrome Tungsten Color Film back in the '50s. It came with an exposure guide for using the film with household light sources such as—you guessed it—matches! Talk about a hot promo concept.
The New York-based photographic brand from 1841 (pre-Kodak, take note) introduced a low-light sensitivity Super Anscochrome Tungsten color film in 1958.
To promote it, Ansco came up with a neat marketing item: a little matchbook with an exposure and light source guide for 22 available light exposures, including the matches that came with it!
The matchbook was mailed in a foil-lined envelope with the phrase “Something HOT from Ansco.” Printed inside were the adverts for the film, and on the back were the guides for clear flash exposures and household lighting like lamps, bulbs, and candle light.
Ansco suggested using an exposure of 1/5 second at f2.0 while holding a lit match about 6 to 10 inches from the subject’s face. The tungsten film had an exposure index of 100 ASA .
While the company no longer operates, Ansco produced some of the most inexpensive cameras during the early 20th century. The Minolta-built Ansco model was the first 35mm camera in space.
Why don’t you try this old school lighting technique next time you shoot a tungsten roll? Just be careful when you play with fire!
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