Between the 1970s and the turn of the century, industrial laboratories developing and printing images experienced their true golden age.
After the appearance of the Instamatic in 1963, colour printing on paper became the standard in amateur photography. In order to cope with the massive sales of colour film and the ever-growing numbers of users, industrial laboratories underwent significant growth. At first, photography shop owners acted as intermediaries, sending the films to be developed and receiving the prints. Later on, some laboratories offered their services to customers directly by mail. By removing the photography shop intermediary, the work could be delivered very quickly and at much lower prices.
The advent of the digital camera dealt a fatal blow to this entire market. Only one such laboratory remains today in Europe.