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HomeContents > People > Photographers > W.B. Francis

Born: William Bransby Francis 
Other: William Francis 
Dates:  1814 - ?
Born:  UK, Suffolk, Beccles
Active:  UK
A surgeon and photographer. His early photograph of bladder stones in the Eaton Album taken ca. 1845 is thought to be one of the earliest medical photographs ever printed on paper. Elected Vice-President of the Norwich Photographic Society for the years 1856 and 1857. In the Society’s 1856 exhibition he showed two photographs, printed from waxed paper negatives, of Beccles Church.

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Approved biography for W.B. Francis
Courtesy of the Metropolitan Museum of Art (New York, USA)

Nothing is known of Francis beyond his membership in the Norwich Photographic Society and the two waxed-paper views of Beccles Church that he placed in their 1856 exhibition. Beccles was a Suffolk market town known widely for its extensive clockmaking and watchmaking traditions. Another waxed-paper view, titled simply Paysage, by a photographer named only as “Francis,” was loaned to the 1856 exhibition of the Manchester Photographic Society by R. P. Greg, Esq. 
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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