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HomeContents > People > Photographers > Isaac Weld Taylor

Other: Weld Taylor 
Dates:  1812 - 1891
Born:  England, Liverpool
Active:  UK

Preparing biographies

Approved biography for Isaac Weld Taylor
Courtesy of the Metropolitan Museum of Art (New York, USA)

Born in Liverpool to Philip Meadows Taylor, an Anglo-Indian agent, artist, and author, Isaac used the professional name Weld Taylor. He was a painter and lithographer in London. None of his photographs are known to have survived, but in 1853 he began a series of contributions on waxed paper to the discussion journal Notes and Queries. In the spirit of many early photographers, he was eager to share his approach, and he commented in that publication, “as I have experienced the excellence of these preparations, I hope they may be useful to your photographic students.” His formulation involved using Canson Frères paper, potassium cyanide, and walnut oil. Revealing another common quality of early photographers, contentiousness, George Shadbolt immediately declared Taylor’s process “perfectly unintelligible.” Taylor vigorously defended his method, touching on another common problem of photographers of the period, the inconsistencies of papers, and pointing out that Canson’s was much thinner and harder than Whatman’s, which Shadbolt employed. Taylor’s last published communication was in February 1853. Shortly afterward he became a drawing teacher, living in Wimborne Minster, Dorset, for the rest of his life. 
Roger Taylor & Larry J. Schaaf Impressed by Light: British Photographs from Paper Negatives, 1840-1860 (Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, 2007) 
This biography is courtesy and copyright of the Metropolitan Museum of Art and is included here with permission. 
Date last updated: 4 Nov 2012. 
We welcome institutions and scholars willing to test the sharing of biographies for the benefit of the photo-history community. The biography above is a part of this trial.
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