Photo History

Modern photography began in the 1820s with the first permanent photographs.
Nicéphore Niépce's earliest surviving photograph
Nicéphore Niépce's earliest surviving photograph, circa 1826.

The first permanent photograph was an image produced in 1826 by the French inventor Nicéphore Niépce.Produced with a camera,the image required an eight-hour exposure in bright sunshine.

In 1829 the daguerreotype was the first publicly announced photographic process.
It was developed by French artist Louis Daguerre together with Joseph Nicéphore Niépce. Niepce had produced the first photographic image in the camera obscura using asphaltum on a copper plate sensitised with lavender oil that required very long exposures.
After Niépce’s 1833 death, Daguerre continued to research the chemistry and mechanics of recording images by coating copper plates with iodized silver, in 1835 Daguerre discovered—after accidentally breaking a mercury thermometer—a method of developing images that had been exposed for 20–30 minutes. Further refinement of his process would allow him to fix the image—preventing further darkening of the silver—using a strong solution of common salts. The 1837 still life of plaster casts, a wicker-covered bottle, a framed drawing and a curtain—titled L’Atelier de l'artiste—was his first daguerreotype to successfully undergo the full process of exposure, development and fixation.
The image in a Daguerreotype is formed by the amalgam, or alloy, of mercury and silver. Mercury vapor from a pool of heated mercury is used to develop the plate that consists of a copper plate with a thin coating of silver rolled in contact that has previously been sensitised to light with iodine vapour so as to form silver iodide crystals on the silver surface of the plate.
Exposure times were later reduced by using bromine to form silver bromide crystals, and by replacing the Chevalier lenses with much larger, faster lenses designed by Joseph Petzval.


Photo Gallery contains nearly 500
photos of Derby and Derbyshire.
The image is formed on the surface of the silver plate that looks like a mirror. It can easily be rubbed off with the fingers and will oxidize in the air, so from the outset daguerreotypes were mounted in sealed cases or frames with a glass cover.
When viewing the daguerreotype, a dark surface is reflected into the mirrored silver surface, and the reproduction of detail in sharp photographs is very good, partly because of the perfectly flat surface.


"Boulevard du Temple",taken by Louis Daguerre in late 1838 or early 1839, was the first-ever photograph of a person. It is an image of a busy street,but because exposure time was over ten minutes, the city traffic was moving too much to appear. The exception is a man in the bottom left corner, who stood still getting his boots polished long enough to show up in the picture.

Rose Cottage Clovelly Devonext
A modern day version of the daguerreotype photo.
Daguerreotype - Widely used from 1839 to 1855. The Daguerreotype was the first popular form of photography, images were captured directly on a thin piece of silver plated copper. Because no negatives were produced, copies could not be made so each image was unique.

1840 First American patent issued in photography to Alexander Wolcott for his camera.
1841 William Henry Talbot patents the Calotype process - the first negative positive process making possible the first multiple copies.
1843 First advertisement with a photograph made in Philadelphia.
1851 Frederick Scott Archer invented the Collodion process -images required only two or three seconds of light exposure.
Early 1893 photo
A photographer appears to be photographing himself in a 19th-century photographic studio. (c. 1893).
1859 Panoramic camera patented - the Sutton.
1861 Oliver Wendell Holmes invents stereoscope viewer.
1865 Photographs and photographic negatives are added to protected works under copyright.
1871 Richard Leach Maddox invented the gelatin dry plate silver bromide process negatives no longer had to be developed immediately.
1880 Eastman Dry Plate Company founded.
1884 George Eastman invents flexible, paper-based photographic film.
1888 Eastman patents Kodak roll-film camera.
First color image Maxwell 1861
First color image, Maxwell, 1861.
1898 Reverend Hannibal Goodwin patents celluloid photographic film.
1900 First mass-marketed camera—the Brownie.
1913/1914 First 35mm still camera developed.
1927 General Electric invents the modern flash bulb.
1932 First light meter with photoelectric cell introduced.
1935 Eastman Kodak markets Kodachrome film.
1941 Eastman Kodak introduces Kodacolor negative film.
1942 Chester Carlson receives patent for electric photography (xerography).
1948 Edwin Land markets the Polaroid camera.
1954 Eastman Kodak introduces high speed Tri-X film.
1960 EG&G develops extreme depth underwater camera for U.SNavy.
1963 Polaroid introduces instant color film
1968 Photograph of the Earth from the moon.
1973 Polaroid introduces one-step instant photography with the SX-70 camera.
1977 George Eastman and Edwin Land inducted into the National Inventors Hall of Fame.
1978 Konica introduces first point-and-shoot, autofocus camera.
1980 Sony demonstrates first consumer camcorder.
1984 Canon demonstrates first digital electronic still camera.
1985 Pixar introduces digital imaging processor.
1990 Eastman Kodak announces Photo CD as a digital image storage medium

Old Photo Dorchester

Old Photo Robins Hood Bay