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Agfacolor Photography Negatives - Savoy Camera Stores - 1970s and 1980s

The following images contributed by Laboni Mukherjee are photography negatives of the

Agfacolor series. The photographs were developed by the Savoy Camera Stores in Kolkata.

Image Contributor: Laboni Mukherjee

To know more about Laboni, follow her Instagram profile @chako_boni

Agfa, or Aktien-GelleschaftfürAnalinFabrikation, was a manufacturer of dyestuffs from Berlin.

It had later entered the photography industry in 1898 and become a major player as a motion

picture film stock maker. (Enticknap 18) Agfacolor, or Agfa Colour, was one of their colour film

products which became popular for still photography after World War II.

The Savoy Camera Stores was established in 1918 by Amar Nath Biswas and is currently

owned by his son Arjun Biswas. Situated at 4, Chowringhee Road, Kolkata 700013, it is

one of the oldest photography shops in the city.

Negative Sleeves of Agfacolor and Savoy Camera Stores. Laboni Mukherjee.

Agfacolor Negative sleeves in unfolded position. Laboni Mukherjee.

Inside face of Agfacolor Negative Sleeves. Laboni Mukherjee.

The first three images are of negative sleeves from 1983 and 1986-87, both developed by the

Savoy Camera Stores in Kolkata, India. The one with blue text on white background is of the

Savoy Camera Stores while the other one with black and blue text on an orange background

 is a set of Agfacolor negatives sold by the same shop. The later two images portray the unfolded

negative sleeves with their front and back sides.

Negative book of Savoy Camera Stores. Laboni Mukherjee.

The fourth image is of a negative book from the Savoy Camera Stores. In her description

of the negative book, Laboni Mukherjee writes:

“[It] is from the 1970s. It is a negative book, each page storing a single negative (not having the perforations seen in rolled film negatives, and not having the characteristic brown tinge of later colour negatives)... Even though the negative book advertised the use of Agfa Brovira paper for development of photographs, it cannot be ascertained if the film stock is also from Agfa…”

Additional Resources:

Enticknap, Leo, Moving Image Technology: From Zoetrope to Digital, London, 2005, p. 18.

Neary, David. “On the Agfacolor Process.” New York University,


Acknowledgement: Sincere thanks to Mr. Arjun Biswas for providing the information

about the establishment of the Savoy Camera Stores.

[Detailed Descriptions of Images: The first image is of two sets of photography negatives from

the Savoy Camera Stores, one of them being from the Agfacolor series. The two of them have

been placed on a red cloth background. One of the sets is white in colour with deep blue text

on it. The text reads “Savoy Camera Stores” in capitalized letters along with “Calcutta” below

it, capitalized in a smaller font size. The set also contains scribbles by the photographer

(Laboni’s father) on the top in orange which read “Delhi, Lucknow, Agra” and “1983. Oct-Nov”.

Placed diagonally on the edge of the above set is the Agfacolor one which has an orange and

peach boxed background (four boxes, each colour diagonally placed to its pair). It contains the

Agfacolor logo (name in deep blue colour with an oval enclosure open below the curves of ‘g’

and ‘f’) such that the text “Your Agfacolor negatives” runs across the top orange and peach

boxes in deep blue cursive. The orange segment below it contains the text “Savoy Camera

Stores” in deep blue capitalized letters along with the text “Next to Metro” capitalized and

inside brackets.

Other text includes “Latest Air-Conditioned Dark Room” and their address “4, Chowringhee

Road, Calcutta-13”. The left bottom striped peach box contains the Agfa logo with white text

inside a deep blue rhombus-shaped background along with a white outline having small text.

The second image contains the Agfacolor set described above with the negatives inside the

sleeves unfolded below it. The dark perforated negatives can be discerned inside the

translucent negative sleeve paper.

The third image contains the same Agfacolor set with the inside face visible. Above the

unfolded negative sleeves, the backside of the sleeve cover can be observed as having a

numbered list of instructions/suggestions in small deep blue text with the heading “A Few

Hints for Good Agfacolor Pictures” in capitalized deep blue text with the text “Agfacolor”

being the brand logo.

The fourth image is mainly of a negative book from the Savoy Camera Stores. The image

contains three items; the first is the folded front page of the negative book containing the text

“Savoy Camera Stores” along with their store addresses (“4, Chowringhee Road, Calcutta -13.

Phone: 23-4836” and “25, Bhupendra Bose Avenue, Calcutta-4. Phone: 55-6087”) in deep blue

text (and “FULL” in orange scribbling at the top). The second item is a negative image of

(possibly) a Durga Puja scene having the idols of the goddess and her accompanying four

children, all placed behind a railing/barricade. The third item is the actual negative book in

an open position containing the negatives in sleeve-like translucent pages. As mentioned by

the contributor, the negatives are not perforated at the edges.]