Agfa is a brand of German origin that has played a fundamental role in the history of photography, as an innovator and producer of photographic material and as a manufacturer of equipment.

Agfa is a company that was created in Germany in 1867 with the initial purpose of producing anilines and dyes, but later it was transformed and dedicated to the production of chemical compounds for photography (which had been invented a few years ago).

His story began with the association in Berlin between chemists Paul Mendelssohn Bartholdy and Carl Alexander von Martius who formed a company called Gesellschaft für Anilinfabrikation mbH (Limited Company for the manufacture of aniline).

Five years later they bought a chemical factory and gave rise to the Aktien-Gesellschaft für Anilin-Fabrikation (Stock Company for the manufacture of Aniline). However, in 1897 they decided to change their name to AGFA and decided to dedicate themselves to the production of chemical compounds for photography.

On the other hand, in Antwerp (Belgium) in 1890, Lieven Gevaert, when he was just 22 years old, established his own workshop to produce calcium paper for photography. Then in 1894, he received financial support from businessman Armand Seghers to form the company: L. Gevaert & Cie. A year later, they established their first branch abroad: Blue Star Papers in Paris. Then, in 1904, because the factory facilities in Antwerp were small for a rapidly growing business, Mortsel decided to relocate it. In 1920, this company changed its name to Gevaert Photo Producten NV . After the Second World War, he positioned himself as a manufacturer of various products for X-rays, plates and films for scientific works (infrared photography, micrography, astronomy, nuclear physics, etc.

In 1916, Agfa began to produce materials for color photography and in 1936 launched its color film 'Agfacolor Neu', which allowed to achieve images with more vivid colors and facilitated its processing by the photographers themselves. Also In 1938, he launched his photographic paper in color and a 16-millimeter film film. At the end of the 1950s, Agfa launched the first fully automatic 35mm camera.

In 1964, 125 years after the invention of photography, the two companies merged to form Agfa-Gevaert AG, as it is known today. As such, in 1971 he brought to the market a photocopying machine based on xerographic technology (the first produced in Europe). Currently Agfa-Gevaert AG has been transformed, adapting to the trends of digital products such as: digital printing plates, industrial inkjet systems, computerized and digital radiography, among others, for which it has acquired various companies and performs actions of Research and Development.

Significant data:

  • Current name : Agfa-Gevaert N.V.
  • Original name : Gesellschaft für Anilinfabrikation mbH and Gevaert & Co
  • Year of foundation : 1867 (Gesellschaft für Anilinfabrikation mbH), 1894 (Gevaert & Co)
  • Country : Belgium
  • City : Mortsel
  • Website :

The history of Agfa goes back to the nineteenth century and is a long and illustrous record of innovation and technological leadership. A Belgian ‘photo products’ business and a German color dye manufacturer joined forces and grew into an internationally renowned company in the graphic and healthcare industries.

Agfa web

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