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HomeContents > People > Photographers > Thomas Gulliver

Dates:  1822 - ?
Active:  UK

Preparing biographies

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

Other than the fact that he was a native of Oxfordshire, nothing is known about the first decades of Gulliver’s life. By the late 1850s he was resident in Swansea and was apparently already an experienced photographer. Gulliver was a fan of paper negatives because of their practical value and wrote to Photographic Notes in 1858 that he “was engaged to take 14 views in the town of Cardiff, to be used as evidence before a Committee of the House of Commons, in order to obtain a local act for the improvement of the Town.” Glass negatives failed him, but, Gulliver revealed, the “Paper process . . . is quite a Pet process of mine.” He interleaved the sensitized paper with damp towels, asserting, “The papers prepared this way will keep near a week. They can be easily changed in a small portable tent made to fit over the camera stand.” How long Gulliver remained loyal to his “pet” process of paper negatives is not known, but he continued as an active professional photographer in Swansea at least into his eighties. 
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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