This Salvage Business Just Discovered a Haul of Brand-New 35mm Film Processing Machines from 2003


Storage units can be treasure troves for people who purchase the contents of units who have lapsed in payment on their lease, allowing the storage unit company to sell the contents to the general public.

PetaPixel reports that two business partners were lucky enough to stumble upon one of those rare storage unit finds, and what a find it is indeed. The pair purchased an industrial lot with all of its attendant storage and items only to find one truck contained multiple, brand-new circa 2003 35mm film processing machines worth an estimated $USD 40,000 a piece.

The author of the article, Ben Carufel, describes the shock his friend felt when he uncovered a fleet of brand new Kodak 35mm film processing machines in one trailer, saying the man “knew enough about cameras to be dangerous.” The machines were apparently obscured behind piles of otherwise worthless electronic equipment.

The author of the article is a photographer and has even worked in film processing, so he was somewhat familiar with the equipment his friend described to him. Imagine his surprise when he discovered that not only was his friend’s description accurate, but also that there were 30 “brand-new, palletized C41 film processors” which weighed approximately 50 lbs a piece.

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Not only was the equipment brand new, many of the units were factory shrink wrapped and had spare parts still attached to them.

But the story does not stop there. It just gets more interesting.

Apparently the lot of film processing units that Ben’s friend discovered were the remnants of a long-dead collaboration between computer giant HP and Kodak called Phogenix Imaging. The collaboration’s goal was to produce an inkjet minilab. The units were ordered in 2003 by Phogenix Imaging Lab at the above stated $USD 40k per unit but shortly after the collaboration between HP and Kodak collapsed, leaving these units in the lurch, some of which were sold as surplus units.

Ben Carufel plans on refurbing the units and using them for processing of his own. You can read all about his plans for his discover over on PetaPixel by clicking here.

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Kehl is our staff photography news writer and has over a decade of experience in online media and publishing and you can get to know him better here

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