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HomeContents > People > Photographers > John William Draper

Other: J.W. Draper 
Other: John Draper 
Dates:  1811, 5 May - 1882, 4 January
Born:  Great Britain, Liverpool
Died:  US, NY, Hastings-on-the-Hudson
Active:  US
American scientific photographer who in 1839 is reputed to have made his assistant the subject of the world‘s first photo portrait. He worked with Samuel F.B. Morse and they set up a Daguerreotype studio at the University of New York. In 1842 he took the first Daguerreian photographs of solar spectra. 
Stereographs project 
Business locations 
Boston, MA, US 
[John William Draper] Early dag. worker, pioneer in making photomicrographs. B. England 09; immigrated to U.S. 32; D. 82 
T.K. Treadwell & William C. Darrah (Compiled by), Wolfgang, Sell (Updated by), 11/28/2003, Photographers of the United States of America, (National Stereoscopic Association)
Credit: National Stereoscopic Association with corrections and additions by Alan Griffiths and others.
NOTE: You are probably here because you have a stereograph to identify. Please email good quality copies of the front and back to so we can create reference collections for all.

Preparing biographies

Further research

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John William Draper
John William Draper 
1864 (publication)
Family history 
If you are related to this photographer and interested in tracking down your extended family we can place a note here for you to help. It is free and you would be amazed who gets in touch.

Visual indexes

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Visual indexes for this photographer are available for subscribers.There is so much more to explore when you subscribe. 

Internet biographies

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Getty Research, Los Angeles, USA has an ULAN (Union List of Artists Names Online) entry for this photographer. This is useful for checking names and they frequently provide a brief biography. Go to website

Internet resources

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Hastings Historical Society 
The Hastings Historical Society (The Historical Society of Hastings-on-Hudson, NY, 407 Broadway, Hastings-on-Hudson, NY 10706 - 914/478-2249) has two important connections with photography. One is some of the later work of Lewis Hine who was resident in the town and the other is the collection on the Draper family. 

Printed biographies

The following books are useful starting points to obtain brief biographies but they are not substitutes for the monographs on individual photographers.

• Auer, Michele & Michel 1985 Encyclopedie Internationale Des Photographes de 1839 a Nos Jours / Photographers Encylopaedia International 1839 to the present (Hermance, Editions Camera Obscura) 2 volumes [A classic reference work for biographical information on photographers.] 
• Capa, Cornell (ed.) 1984 The International Center of Photography: Encyclopedia of Photography (New York, Crown Publishers, Inc. - A Pound Press Book) p.154 
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