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Photography

The invention of silver gelatine based photography changed the world as profoundly as any invention, including the printing press, railroads, airplanes and the personal computer. Silver gelatin media launched photography as a tool of creativity that expanded into a medium that became a powerful component of the world. As with all great discoveries and technological advances, it came from discoveries leading up to its use and the thousands of applications that followed. The Silver Hall of Fame recognizes individuals who contributed to silver’s amazing role in the history of the world.

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Archer, Frederick Scott

Photographers
United Kingdom

1813 — 1857
Frederick Archer was an Englishman who apprenticed as a bullion dealer and silversmith. He moved on to work as a sculptor creating busts of well known people. In 1847 he began using photography as an aid for this work. He was unsatisfied with the calotype process and the paper negative. In 1849 he made a breakthrough when he coated a glass plate with a collodion solution and exposed the plate while…

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Beard, Richard

Photographers
United Kingdom

1801 — 1885
Richard Beard was an entrepreneur who profitably established himself in the coal trade in London. With his entrepreneurial spirit, in 1841’ he paid Louis Daguerre 150 pounds for a license to use his technology. He set up photography as a business speculation and opened the world's first photographic studio. It was set up in a glasshouse on the roof of London's Royal Polytechnic Institution to provide…

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Bennett, Charles Harper

Photographers
United Kingdom

1840 — 1927
Charles Bennett was an English photographic pioneer. He improved the gelatine silver process developed by Richard Leach Maddox. In 1873 he created a method of hardening the emulsion, making it more resistant to friction, and larger. In 1878 he discovered that by prolonged heating the sensitivity of the emulsion could be greatly increased. This increased sensitivity enabling shooting at 1/25 second,…

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Bingham, Robert Jefferson

Photographers
United Kingdom

1824 — 1870
Robert Bingham was an English pioneer photographer, mainly active in France, making portraits and reproductions of paintings. He had a background in chemistry and was particularly interested in photographic processes and published a treatise on this subject in 1848. He later became the first writer to outline the possible use of collodion in photographs and the self-proclaimed 'Inventeur du procédé…

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Blanquart-Evrard, Louis Désiré

Photographers
France

1802 — 1872
Louis Désiré Blanquart-Evrard was a cloth merchant from Lille, France who learned the calotype process from his druggist, a student of the inventor of the calotype, William Henry Fox Talbot. He developed a method of bathing the paper in solutions of potassium iodide and silver nitrate rather than brushing the chemical baths on the surface. In 1850 Blanquart-Evrard published the Albumen Print also…

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Claudet, Antoine

Photographers
France

1797 — 1867
Antoine Claudet was a French businessman who moved to London to open a glass warehouse. The daguerreotype process quickly attracted his interest and he returned to Paris to be taught its fundamentals by the creator himself, Louis-Jacques Daguerre.  Returning to England, with an operating license, he focused on creating and selling daguerreotypes. He was able to speed up the daguerreotype exposure…

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Daguerre, Louis-Jacques-Mandé

Photographers
France

1787 — 1851
Louis Daguerre, was a French painter and physicist who invented the first practical process of photography, known as the daguerreotype. The first permanent photograph from nature was made in 1826/27 by Nicéphore Niépce but it was of poor quality and required eight hours exposure time. Niépce partnered with Daguerre in his research but died before Daguerre developed his process which required only…

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Eastman, George

Photographers
United States

1854 — 1932
George Eastman was an American entrepreneur who founded the Eastman Kodak Company. His invention of the Kodak camera, a name he coined, was a major reason for making photography accessible to the public. In 1878, when he was 24  he bought a photographic outfit with all the paraphernalia of the wet plate days.The camera was like a big box. He carried a tent so he could spread photographic emulsion…

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Edison, Thomas

Photographers
United States

1847 — 1937
"I am experimenting upon an instrument which does for the eye what the phonograph does for the ear, which is the recording and reproduction of things in motion …."--Thomas A. Edison, 1888 Edison, an incredible creator, patented 1,093 inventions. These included the phonograph, the kinetograph (a motion picture camera), and the Kinetoscope (a peep-hole motion picture viewer). Motion pictures became…

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Herschel, Sir John Frederick William

Photographers
United Kingdom

1792 — 1871
Sir John Herschel was a scientist and astronomer, like his father, Sir William Herschel, who discovered Uranus. He floundered in his early schooling before focusing on math and at the youthful age of 21 he was elected as a fellow of the Royal Society of London. He worked on a variety of projects including carrying on his father’s astronomical work studying the heavens with powerful telescopes. As…

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Johnson, John

Photographers
United States

1813 — 1871
John Johnson was born at Saco, Maine, U.S.A. in 1813.   He was brought up in New Hampshire and, for a time, worked as an assistant to a jeweller and watchmaker in New York. He formed a business partnership with Alexander Simon Wolcott (1804 -1844), a New York instrument maker. 1839 was the year that Louis Daguerre, of France, in efforts to finance his developments, went public with his photographic…

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Land, Edward Herbert

Photographers
United States

1909 — 1991
November 26, 1848, marks a major day in the history of photography as American Edward Land  introduced his Model 95 camera which produced sepia-coloured prints in about one minute. It was the achievement of his efforts between 1943 and 1947 to create self-developing photography. Land called his company Polaroid: Polar, taken from the root of polarizer, and odium, which means to resemble. The camera…

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Le Prince, Louis Aimé Auguston

Photographers
France

1841 — 1890
Louis Aimé, who was born in Metz, France, studied chemistry and physics at university and then worked as a photographer and painter. By the 1880s he was one of many inventors trying to master the technology for what would become film. Le Prince's first camera had 16 lenses, which took "sequential photographs". He then moved on and used a single lens camera to film short sequences of people and carriages,…

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Maddox, Richard Leach

Photographers
United Kingdom

1816 — 1902
Richard Maddox was an English photographer and physician who invented lightweight gelatin negative plates for photography in 1871. Dry plate is a glass plate coated with a gelatin emulsion of silver bromide. It can be stored until exposure, and after exposure it can be brought back to a darkroom for development at leisure. The advantages of the dry plate were obvious: photographers could use commercial…

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Mawdsley, Peter

Photographers
United Kingdom

1824 — 1909
Peter Mawdsley invented the first photographic paper, the silver gelatin print, in 1873. It was the first photographic process that submerged exposed paper into chemicals, rather than using light, as the chief agent in developing an image. Due to its stability and ease of use, developing-out paper became the photographic process of choice and dominated the twentieth century in terms of amateur and…

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Niépce, Joseph Nicéphore

Photographers
France

1765 — 1833
Joseph Nicéphore Niépce, is credited as the inventor of photography. He was a French inventor, who first gained fame, with his older brother Claude Niépce, for their invention of the internal combustion engine. When lithography began advancing he experimented with this new printing technique. He coated pewter with light-sensitive substances in an effort to copy superimposed engravings in sunlight.…

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Rontgen, Wilhelm

Photographers
Germany

1845 — 1923
Wihelm Rontgen was a German physicist who was the first person to systematically produce and detect electromagnetic radiation in a wavelength range today known as X-rays or Röntgen rays. His discovery of X-rays was a great revolution in the fields of physics and medicine and electrified the general public. He named it X-radiation to signify an unknown type of radiation. His discovery earned him the…

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Schulze, Johann Heinrich

Photographers
Germany

1687 — 1744
Johann Schulze was a German physician and anatomy professor who made a significant discovery in the development of photography when he observed that silver salts darkened when exposed to sunlight. In 1725, while attempting to create a phosphorescent material by combining a slurry of chalk with nitric acid containing dissolved silver, he noticed that sunlight, and not heat, turned the substance black.…

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Sutton, Thomas

Photographers
United Kingdom

1819 — 1875
Thomas Sutton, who was born in Kensington, London, studied architecture before earring a Bachelor of Arts degree from Caius College in Cambridge. Photography first entered his life in 1841 when he posed for a daguerreotype portrait in Antoine Claudet’s studio. In 1855 he set up a photographic company in Jersey with business partner Louis Désiré Blanquart-Evrard that produced prints from calotype…

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Talbot, Henry Fox

Photographers
United Kingdom

1800 — 1877
Henry Talbot was an English polymath - a person whose knowledge spans a substantial number of subjects. His interest in photography led him to invent the salted paper and calotype process, also called talbotye, in the 1830s. In this technique, a sheet of paper coated with silver chloride was exposed to light in a camera obscura. A camera obscura is a darkened room with a small hole or lens at one side…

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Wedgwood, Thomas

Photographers
United Kingdom

1771 — 1805
Thomas Wedgwood, a son of Josiah Wedgwood of pottery fame, was an English inventor. He is the first person known to have created impermanent pictures by capturing camera images on material coated with a light-sensitive chemical. His practical experiments yielded only shadow image photograms that were not light-fast, but his conceptual breakthrough and partial success have led some historians to call…

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Wolcott, Alexander

Photographers
United States

1804 — 1844
Alexander Wolcott was an American experimental photographer, inventor, and maker of medical supplies and optical instruments. In 1839 he met John Johnson, a jeweller and watchmakers assistant. 1939 was also the year that Louis Daguerre, of France, in efforts to finance his developments, went public with his photographic process - the daguerreotype. Johnson was able to get the specifications and he…

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Zahn, Johann

Photographers
Germany

1641 — 1707
Johann Zahn, was inducted into the Silver Hall of Fame, not for his use of silver, but for his studies related to light and his interests in the production of the camera obscura, (latin for dark chamber.) Zahn, a German priest, was the author of Oculus Artificialis Teledioptricus Sive Telescopium. This book has many illustrations and sketches of both the camera obscura and magic lantern, along with…

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