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HomeContents > People > Photographers > John Rogerson

Dates:  1816 - ?
Active:  UK

Preparing biographies

Approved biography for John Rogerson
Courtesy of the Metropolitan Museum of Art (New York, USA)

Rogerson seems to have had an interest in the production of large photographs. Frustratingly, in the myriad references made to him he is always “Mr. Rogerson.” Given his location and personal accomplishments, he seems most likely to have been John Rogerson, an engineer and millwright in Manchester who advanced through his skills to the title of mechanician. Rogerson was a member of the Chorlton Photographic Association from at least 1857 and was clearly an experimenter. He attempted to apply electricity to the photographic plate, with no success, and commented frequently in journals on the approaches of others. Rogerson was elected a member of the larger Manchester Photographic Society in 1860 and remained active throughout that decade. He experimented with enlarging small negatives, writing in 1859 that his “attention was first drawn to the subject by being called upon to make large negatives, at times when it was utterly impossible to do so, from the feebleness of the light.” However, he was primarily a master of the large waxed-paper negative, an accomplishment for which he was highly praised. At an 1860 meeting of the Manchester Photographic Society, according to Photographic News, Rogerson “exhibited several very large pictures — 23 by 18 inches — taken by the turpentine waxed-paper process, which were very much admired, being remarkably sharp, and full of half-tone, and force.” In 1860 he built an “exceedingly small and compact” stereo camera, and in 1865 he was commissioned by joseph sidebotham to make a camera. None of Rogerson’s large photographs are known to have survived. 
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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