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HomeContents > People > Photographers > Robert Charles Ransome

Dates:  1830 - 1886
Active:  UK

Preparing biographies

Approved biography for Robert Charles Ransome
Courtesy of the Metropolitan Museum of Art (New York, USA)

The Ransome family of Ipswich made its fortune in the discovery of chilled cast iron, a hardened metal important to early-nineteenth century agriculture; then expanded into metalworking and eventually into steam engines. Educated at Quaker schools and entering his grandfather’s business at the age of sixteen, Ransome stood out, as noted in Public Men of Ipswich . . . , for his “marked individuality” and for being “less of a specialist” within this estimable family. Early in his career he acted as the representative for its Orwell Works, traveling both to the Continent and to the colonies. By the time Ransome became a full partner, the firm had more than a thousand employees. He specialized in developing the overseas business, giving him ample opportunity to travel. In the 1854 and 1855 exhibitions of the Photographic Society in London, Ransome displayed Talbotypes of architectural views in the Ipswich region. For his contribution to the 1857 Photographic Album he remained devoted both to the calotype and to Ipswich. In spite of an early judgment by Public Men of Ipswich and East Suffolk that in Ransome “geniality did not seem to come by nature,” at thirty-seven he was elected the mayor of Ipswich and went on to take an active role in encouraging education for artisans. 
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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