The Rise and Fall of Seattle FilmWorks

Certainly! Seattle FilmWorks, originally known as American Passage Marketing, was a pioneering mail-order photographic film processing company founded by Gilbert Scherer in 1976. At the height of its operations in 1997, the company employed around 800 individuals and processed approximately 20 miles of film daily within their 65,000 square foot lab. Notably, Seattle FilmWorks sold re-spooled 35mm motion picture film suitable for still photography, which required the ECN-2 processing method, distinct from the standard C-41 process used for color negative film. The company was also innovative in offering services like “prints and slides from the same roll” and early forms of digital image archiving. However, due to its aggressive marketing strategies and the transition to digital photography, Seattle FilmWorks faced legal challenges and was eventually rebranded as PhotoWorks before closing down. Want to know more? Check out this killer overview video from Analog Resurgence on YouTube!

Seattle FilmWorks 1976 Vintage Men’s T-Shirt

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