World Library  
Flag as Inappropriate
Email this Article


Perforated ORWO projection film used in USSR
Magnetic tape packaging
ORWOChrom UT21 - 135 film for colour slides
1980s ORWOChrom slide taken in UK
ORWO Chrome Audio cassette tape

ORWO was an East German manufacturer of photographic film and magnetic tape. The basis for ORWO was the Agfa Wolfen plant, where the first modern colour film, with incorporated colour couplers, Agfacolor, was developed in 1936.

On 20 April 1945, following the defeat of Nazi Germany in World War II, the plant was taken over by US forces and important patents and other documents regarding the Agfacolor process were confiscated and handed over to Western competitors, such as Kodak and Ilford. As the plant was located in what was to become the Soviet zone of occupied Germany, the US forces then handed it over to the Soviet military administration, which dismantled large parts of the plant and moved it, with key German staff, to the Soviet Union, where it formed the basis for the Soviet colour film industry.

In 1953 the plant became the property of East Germany, and in a trade agreement settlement, the East German company, VEB Film- und Chemiefaserwerk Agfa Wolfen, was given the right to sell its products under the Agfa brand in Eastern Europe, while the newly re-established Agfa in West German Leverkusen had the right to the name in the rest of the world.

As the trade agreement seriously hampered the East German company's abilities to sell in the West, the ORWO trademark (for Original Wolfen) was introduced in 1964. ORWO branded 35mm colour slide film became available in the United Kingdom in the 1970s through magazine advertisements for mail order suppliers. It was a cheaper alternative to the mainstream brands available at the time.

Following the merger of East Germany and West Germany, the company was privatised in 1990. After two bankruptcies, a new company, FilmoTec GmbH, was formed in 1998, which continues to manufacture a reduced range of former ORWO products, specialising in cine film. Some products are re-branded and sold by Maco.

The cellulose triacetate base manufacturing plant of ORWO was sold to Island Pyrochemical Industries, Mineola, NY. The new company, located in the Chemiepark, Bitterfeld-Wolfen, Germany, produces high quality TAC (triacetyl cellulose, aka cellulose triacetate) for the LCD polarizer market and the polarized sunglasses market.

External links

Media related to ORWO at Wikimedia Commons

External links

  • ORWO films (in English or German)
  • See also BASF.
  • See also ORWO North America Website
  • See also ORWO North America VIMEO_Sample Films
This article was sourced from Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License; additional terms may apply. World Heritage Encyclopedia content is assembled from numerous content providers, Open Access Publishing, and in compliance with The Fair Access to Science and Technology Research Act (FASTR), Wikimedia Foundation, Inc., Public Library of Science, The Encyclopedia of Life, Open Book Publishers (OBP), PubMed, U.S. National Library of Medicine, National Center for Biotechnology Information, U.S. National Library of Medicine, National Institutes of Health (NIH), U.S. Department of Health & Human Services, and, which sources content from all federal, state, local, tribal, and territorial government publication portals (.gov, .mil, .edu). Funding for and content contributors is made possible from the U.S. Congress, E-Government Act of 2002.
Crowd sourced content that is contributed to World Heritage Encyclopedia is peer reviewed and edited by our editorial staff to ensure quality scholarly research articles.
By using this site, you agree to the Terms of Use and Privacy Policy. World Heritage Encyclopedia™ is a registered trademark of the World Public Library Association, a non-profit organization.

Copyright © World Library Foundation. All rights reserved. eBooks from World Library are sponsored by the World Library Foundation,
a 501c(4) Member's Support Non-Profit Organization, and is NOT affiliated with any governmental agency or department.