In 1904 the Chicago Ferrotype Company was formed in a small loft by brothers Manuel and Louis Mandel on a borrowed capital of $50. From these early beginnings the company grew to one of the biggest suppliers of street cameras.
The Chicago Ferrotype Company was located at 1457 West Congress Street, Chicago Illinois, and referred to in ads with post address the Ferrotype Bldg, Chicago or Congress and Laflin Streets, Chicago Illinois.
In 1907, it was noted that the brothers began to sale a large variety of one-minute picture-taking machines.
In 1909 they introduced the new Mandel-ette camera, a new one minute street camera that made finished pictures instantly inside the camera with a direct positive process.
The brothers developed a photo button machine called the Wonder Automatic. The word wonder was selected because the machine was capable of turning out finished button photographs at a rapid rate of 250 per hour.
In 1910, Shortly there after an improvement of the wonder camera was produced and the new camera called the New Cannon camera in documents, but also called the Wonder Cannon camera on the camera itself. This camera was patented Jan 22 1910, with a second patent Jan 26 1910. The name Cannon was selected because of the shape of the camera. This new machine was capable of turning out button photographs at a rate of 360 per hour.
Next came the Mandel Post Card Machine, which allowed the pictures to be produced directly on post cards without the need for plates or film, printing or the use of a dark chamber, and all within a minutes time. (patented Mar 3 1911)
In 1916 it was recorded that they were owners of two big plants and are incorporating for 1.3 Million dollars. The original located at the Ferrotype Bldg in Chicago and a second located in the Public Bank Building, 89-91 Delancy street, New York.
In 1921 the company was listed as being located at 1436 W. Randolf street, Chicago, Ill.
In 1926, the company was listed as being located at 2309 W. Erie street, Chicago, Ill.
Click Here for a listing of the Chicago Ferrotype Company cameras.
Ref: 1914 Dunn's review, p.100,
1916 The Amateur photographer's weekly
1909 The Assembly herald: Volume 15 - Page 234
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