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HomeContents > People > Photographers > Thomas Cadby Ponting

Dates:  1819 - ?
Born:  England, Wiltshire, Devizes
Active:  Great Britain / Ireland

Preparing biographies

Approved biography for Thomas Cadby Ponting
Courtesy of the Metropolitan Museum of Art (New York, USA)

Born in Devizes, not far from Talbotís Lacock Abbey, Ponting started his career as a druggistís assistant in London. By 1852 he had his own chemistís shop in Bristol. He does not appear in the 1851 census. He may have been in Ireland, for his calotype contributions to the 1854 Photographic Society exhibition in London were all of Ireland. His only other known surviving calotype was taken in Wales about 1850. By 1856 Ponting was styling himself as chemist to the queen and had a booming business manufacturing collodion. He claimed he had spent three years developing the formula and that many amateur and professional photographers in the west of England had used it for two years. Ponting continued to exhibit and to photograph; not surprisingly, all his subsequent work is in collodion. 
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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