Where it all began...

Like many success stories it had a modest start with Alfred Harman making Dry Plates in the basement of his house in Ilford. However, this was just the beginning of what was to become one of the oldest and most recognised brands in the photographic industry.

Alfred Harman

Alfred Harman

The story was not without its highs and lows. Harman sold what was then the Britannia Works Company in 1897 due to ill health before the ILFORD name was first officially introduced in 1902.

ILFORD Ltd was then incorporated into Selo Ltd in 1920 and as the company grew over the decades that followed it went through several changes of ownership including ICI, Ciba, International Paper Corporation of America and Doughty Hanson.

The introduction and growth of digital photography beginning in the late 1990’s and early 2000’s impacted the photographic film industry with many established companies suffering. ILFORD was no exception and in 2004/05 the company went into administration and HARMAN technology was formed.

2005 management buyout - HARMAN technology Limited trading as ILFORD PHOTO based at Mobberley, Cheshire, England.

HARMAN technology Ltd was officially formed in 2005 by former managers of ILFORD Imaging UK Limited. The Harman name was used in recognition and honour of the founder of the original ILFORD company and the goal was to keep black and white film photography alive.

At the same time the company began trading as ILFORD PHOTO and acquired the facilities in Mobberley, Cheshire, England (formerly the Rajar factory which was originally purchased in 1928 and had been the UK headquarters of ILFORD since 1983).

2005 new ILFORD MULTIGRADE Cooltone and Warmtone Developers introduced
2006 GDS FB
2007 HARMAN technology Limited acquires Kentmere Photographic Limited
2007 Re-introduction of ILFORD SFX 200 film.
2008 ILFORD ILFOSOL3 film developer is announced
2008 HARMAN technology Ltd announce a distribution arrangement with Paterson Photographic products
2010 HARMAN Direct Positive Papers introduced
2011 ILFORD MULTIGRADE Art 300 paper launched.
2011 HARMAN HOLO FX holographic plates introduced
2011 HARMAN TiTAN 4x5 Pinhole Camera and ILFORD Pinhole Photography Kit introduced
2012 Black & White Single Use Cameras re-introduced
2012 35mm Cassette manufacture commenced at Mobberley, England
2013 HARMAN TiTAN 8x10 Pinhole Camera introduced
2013 Obscura by ILFORD 4x5 Pinhole Camera introduced
2013 ILFORD Imaging Switzerland is declared bankrupt – ILFORD brand is bought by CR Kennedy and Chugai
2013 Free darkroom community website, localdarkroom.com is launched
2013 ILFORD PHOTO announce new and improved 5th generation MULTIGRADE FB paper and a brand new COOLTONE FB paper to complement the existing MULTIGRADE FB WARMTONE.
2015 HARMAN technology/ILFORD PHOTO purchased by Pemberstone Ventures Ltd. The investment and backing of Pemberstone ensures the continued growth and commitment to black and white film photography as well as the exploration of new technologies and applications.
2016 ILFORD Photo release their first ‘ILFORD Inspires’ content with printer Chuck Kelton
2017 HARMAN technology Ltd announce the appointment of Roberts Distributors, LP as their new distributor for the United States of America.
2018 HARMAN technology launch the ILFORD Simplicity range of convenient photo chemicals
2018 Kentmere film and paper packaging gets a new look
2019 HARMAN technology announces new Matt surface HARMAN GDS baryta paper for digital enlargement
2019 HARMAN technology announces 5th generation ILFORD MULTIGRADE RC PAPER
2019 ILFORD ORTHO film is released for the first time in 135 and 120 formats
2019 ILFORD & Paterson team up to release a Film Processing Starter Kit
2019 HARMAN announce a reusable camera which is sold with 2 x Kentmere Pan 400 Film
2019 To celebrate 140 years since the founding of the original ILFORD company by Alfred Harman, ILFORD Photo launch a silver ticket campaign
2020 Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, HARMAN technology temporarily cease production at their Mobberley site for 10 weeks from Wednesday 1st April 2020.
2021 A new and improved ILFORD MULTIGRADE RC PORTFOLIO darkroom paper is launched using their 5th generation MULTIGRADE emulsion
2021 ILFORD Photo announce a Pop-Up Darkroom

2021 ILFORD Photo release a limited-edition ILFORD 35MM GIFT CALENDAR
2021 ILFORD & Paterson combine again to release a Darkroom Starter Kit
2022 Kentmere Pan 100 and 400 films are released in 120 format
2023 HARMAN Photo release HARMAN Phoenix 200, the first ever colour film made from emulsion to cassette in Mobberley

HARMAN Phoenix the world newest colour film