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HomeContents > People > Photographers > John Wiggin

Dates:  1819 - ?
Active:  UK

Preparing biographies

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

Wiggin was an enterprising pharmaceutical and analytical chemist in Ipswich. By 1869 he was offering scientific apparatus, patent medicines, oils, and colors. Wiggin seems to have established his firm just about the time that his interest in photography became public. In the 1855 exhibition of the Photographic Society in London, Wiggin showed three waxed-paper views, two taken in Ipswich and one of Baylham Hall in Suffolk, formerly a residence of Anne Boleyn. In the 1856 exhibition Wiggin again showed waxed paper views, one listed in the exhibition catalogue as being “near Ipswich,” and the other of the cathedral in his native Peterborough. An undated broadside in a private collection written by him lists “pure photographic chemicals, lenses, and apparatus of every description.” Wiggin also offered to take views of gentleman’s seats, landscapes, and statuary, and was prepared to give full instructions in “the various processes.” Curiously, Wiggin mentioned nothing about collodion or glass in this otherwise complete advertisement. He did advertise “waxed, albumenized, iodized, and other papers of the best French and English makers.” Albumen paper and wet collodion were introduced almost simultaneously in the early 1850s, so the exclusion of glass processes must have been a deliberate choice. 
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. 
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