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HomeContents > People > Photographers > Theodore Smith Redman

Dates:  1811 - ?
Active:  UK

Preparing biographies

Approved biography for Theodore Smith Redman
Courtesy of the Metropolitan Museum of Art (New York, USA)

In a letter to Sir John Herschel in March 1840, Redman, a chemist in Peckham, outlined his own methods of preparing photogenic paper and fixing the results in a letter he had been prompted to write by Joseph Bancroft Reade. Herschel was apparently interested in knowing more about Redmanís techniques. In the summer of 1839 Redman had conducted an extensive series of tests and had finally concluded that silver nitrate and ammonium chloride produced a paper both sensitive and capable of deep blacks. Herschel, immersed in his own extensive photographic studies, wrote back that he was ďsurprised . . . how . . . you have been able to get a depth of shadow sufficient for such a very sharp re-transfer is to me marvellous.Ē John Werge, a daguerreotypist and author then living in Peckham, might have been one of Redmanís customers but in any case took credit for -teaching him photogenic drawing. When his pupil excelled with his own methods, Werge, according to his own memory, was the one who suggested he write to Herschel. Four of Redmanís 1839 photogenic drawings and a later calotype portrait are included in Richard Willatís album. By 1846 Redman had moved to Fleet Street and was not only advertising daguerreotype portraits but also giving lessons in the calotype and supplying chemicals for the process. He began selling packets of iodized paper for the waxed-paper process. His Fleet Street studio was taken over by Jane Nina Wigley, Londonís first woman daguerreotypist. Redman continued in a succession of London photographic studios well into the 1860s. 
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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