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HomeContents > People > Photographers > Tanner

Active:  UK

Preparing biographies

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

In 1857 the editor of the Liverpool and Manchester Photographic Journal recalled, ďupon the first appearance of Mr. Talbotís calotype patent, the late Mr. Robert Murray sent a brief account of the specification to his friend, Mr. Tanner, who was at that time on the continent. Mr. Tanner soon found that with foreign paper it was not possible to adhere to the directions given by Mr. Talbot, whose experiments had of course been made on English paper. Mr. Tanner, being a chemist, was soon enabled to modify Mr. Talbotís process in such a way that French and German papers could be used.Ē Tannerís adaptation was claimed to be more sensitive to light than Talbotís original, but, frustratingly, no further personal details are revealed. The account continued, ďportraits were taken from time to time and sent to England, to the astonishment of some few who considered the calotype to have become of doubtful utility, as far as portraiture was concerned.Ē Tannerís identity may have been buried: the same editorial claimed that Tanner taught Louis Blanquart-Evrard his process and was later surprised to see Blanquart-Evrard publish it as his own. 
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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