Look to the future
Tom O’Halloran, staff photographer for US News & World Report, had a problem with bulky 4×5 negatives and transparencies. But he was not alone. It was 1965, and photojournalists from Vietnam to the Congo were all shooting in 4×5 format. Even though 35mm transparencies and negatives were smaller and more convenient, no archival quality preservers existed to catalog, store, and review 35mm work.
O’Halloran contacted a firm called National Packaging Supply Corp. in Fairfax, Va. He explained to the firm’s owner, Ed White, what he needed to work more efficiently with 35mm film.
Ed White was the right man to see for he was an expert on polyethylene packaging and had a sharp eye for a market in need of a product. Working with O’Halloran, he developed a prototype that would help revolutionize press photography by making 35mm a standard format in the field.
The new product, 35-7B negative preserver, changed the course of White’s career. Over the next few years, he produced more photographic preservers, continuously expanding his line so serious photographers would have clear polyethylene preservers for negatives, prints, slides, and transparencies. He called his product line, “Print File.”
Today the quality parameters White insisted on for his early photographic preservers have been defined by the American National Standards Institute (ANSI) as “archival quality,” suitable for “the preservation of records having permanent historical value.”
White marketed his line of Print File Archival Preservers through direct mail and ads in national photographic magazines. One day Sy Edwards, a photo album representative, saw White’s top-quality Print File products and convinced him to sell his products through an established distribution network.
Edwards soon joined White in Virginia and White discovered Edwards was right: Print File products quickly proved their value to distributors who saw how quickly they sold in camera stores across the country. Soon it grew to be the only such product with nationwide distribution.
We seek quality and look to the community
In 1978, White relocated his operation to Central Florida, just north of Orlando. Two years later, he custom built a 22,000 square foot plant, which enabled him to direct and control every step of the manufacturing process, from extrusion to printing to sealing. For White, always the perfectionist, he was his own quality control inspector from beginning to end.
In January 1984, Ed White died. Prior to his death, his family arranged for Henry Amat, White’s CPA, to run the company. Since his death, as president and CEO, Amat continued Ed White’s commitment to quality and product line expansion.
In 1985, other preservers were developed to meet the expanding needs of both professional and serious amateur photographers. And now our catalog offers many different products. Moreover, we continue our research and product development to stay abreast of the future demand for photographic archival products.
In 1987, Print File achieved such national recognition that we changed our name to Print File, Inc. We went international, and today, in addition to U.S. and Canadian distributors, we have distributors in many countries around the world.
In the area of research, we use independent laboratory testing to measure factors like accelerated aging, deterioration in heat and yellowing in ultraviolet light, as well as the presence of pH and chemicals that might harm stored film.
In the tradition of White’s concern for the needs of photographers, Amat concentrates on his own commitment to the preservation of photography. “Archival storage is not a sideline with us,” explains Amat.” “For more than a quarter of a century, we have focused all our attention and expertise to the preservation of images.”
Print File is also attentive to the academic community, providing educational kits, and archival literature to photography students in high schools and colleges around the country.
In 2016 Print File celebrated 50 years of providing the highest quality line of archival storage products.