A-1 Photo Services was a specialty lab providing confidential custom photographic materials for insurance agencies and lawyers. They processed and printed client's film, made copy negatives and prints from client's original materials, and had an experienced photographer available for high quality studio or location shooting.
The services of A-1 Photo were indispensable for the business of determining awards, damages and adjustments. Insurance investigations and personal injury lawsuits can take months or years to sort out, making it impractical and usually impossible to maintain access to physical evidence throughout the long process. For example, the site of a car accident is quickly cleaned up and the road reopened to traffic, the vehicles involved are either repaired or eventually scrapped, and the injuries of survivors will, over time, heal. In almost all cases, photography can serve to document and illustrate those scenes, things and people involved in any given incident for later reference, while simultaneously reformatting the information into easily manipulated slips of paper that can be conveniently stored in a filing cabinet or shipped anywhere overnight. A-1, at least while I worked there, never had a shortage of work.
The real cash flow though for a forensic laboratory is found in two formalities of law - discovery and the right of appeal. Discovery is a part of the proceedings of civil law that basically stipulates that any evidence or information the representatives of one side of a dispute possess, the other side can request equal access to - usually in the form of a copy. This meant A-1 had to print multiples of the exact same photos for every party involved in a case - sometimes as many as six sets, with everyone getting a bill at the end of the day. And, if a case went all the way to trial, the jury's or the judge's decision was sometimes appealed - stretching the proceedings out for years - during which time representation often changed or the photographs were lost or damaged. Either way, it meant that when the case was preparing to go back to court, everything had to be printed all over again.
Another big money maker for A-1 was blow-ups: enlargements of particular images for use as illustrations during a hearing or trial, either to point out certain details or to dramatize a narrative. A-1 offered these in various sizes from 11x14 inches to 30x40 inches. When a big case came up the lab would be hit with large orders for blow-ups, sometimes rushed overnight, as the strategy of a trial developed or changed.