ADOX Dr. C. Schleussner GmbH was founded at Neu-Isenburg, in 1860, being world's first photochemicals factory. Since 1880, Schleussner made dry plates and, since 1903, roll film. Some films, such as KB-14 and KB-17 (first single thin layer films, R-17 was KB-17 sold in rolls) were amongst the first developed, and they are still under production: their current names are ADOX CHS 25 and CHS 50.

ADOX was always a family-run business: founder Dr. C. A. Schleussner was granted with an Honoris Causa by Frankfurt's Goethe University for his contributions to radiology. Two of his sons were part of the management, one as Head of the Board of Directors, and another as responsible for the technical area. Founder's wife, Irene Schleussner, took as her duty the social aspect of the company, enabling access to a physician for employees, or creating a Foundation aimed to guarantee retirements and health care.

When the company had nearly 500 employees, factory burnt the night of December 22, 1943. Whatever was left with some value was rescued from beneath the ruins, and moved to Dresden. Bad luck once more: by the end of 1944 and when everything was again almost ready for resuming production, the city was bombed. Again, the few machines and parts that survived were rescued and moved again, this time to the Turingia, a region situated in the center part of Germany. Resources were few, raw materials not enough, but against all odds they managed to resume production, initially with X-Ray film, one of the priorities of that after-war time. Meanwhile in 1945, around 80 people - mostly old employees - rebuilt the previous facilities at Neu-Isenburg. Meetings between Hesse, East Germany and Russian authorities allowed for three russian technicians to travel to Neu-Isenburg, managing to build some machines even with the few resources available. Again a drawback, when on January 9, 1947, one of the machines took fire, fortunately controlled without too much trouble. By then, the company employed 2000 people, 300% more than 10 years before.

ADOX was one of the targets of the Marshall Plan, and thanks to it the company was able to build new facilities and upgrade the ones at Neu-Isenburg. The factory at Köln, in charge of manufacturing plate cameras, was also rebuilt.

In 1956, the efforts of around 40 engineers resulted in ADOX presenting their first color film (based upon the chromgenic development, as published by R. Fischer in 1911), and two years later the C-15, their first slide film. What was called to be the last evolution of this family sold by ADOX, the C-18, had 7 layers, 3 of them for colour management, which provides a moderately well balanced response. Processing was made at ADOX laboratories, the "ADOX Umkehranstalt". NC-17, negative color film, could be developed at home using the E-NC kit sold by ADOX.

Between the 30s and 50s, ADOX manufactured cameras at Wiesbaden (Germany), at the factory that once was property of the Wirgin brothers.

The ADOX Golf (a medium format folding camera) and ADOX Polo (a 35mm camera) were two of the references for the brand. The former received glass from Will Wetzlar rebadged as "Adoxar", whilst the latter had Schneider-Kreuznach lenses. World's first camera with interchangeable casettes for film was created by ADOX, their model 300.

ADOX was bought by DuPont in 1962, and since 1965 no cameras have been produced. In 1972, many of the machines as well as licensing rights for manufacturing the original ADOX film emulsions were granted by purchase to a (by then) Yugoslavian company, Fotokemia. Agreement ended in the 90s, as did the license for using the ADOX brand. But film using those old formulations is still manufactured, under the EFKE brand.

<< Back