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HomeContents > People > Photographers > William Coussmaker Anderson

Dates:  1822 - 1893
Active:  UK

Preparing biographies

Approved biography for William Coussmaker Anderson
Courtesy of the Metropolitan Museum of Art (New York, USA)

The son of a Hereford solicitor, Anderson received a classical and mathematical education at Abingdon School, Oxfordshire. In 1839, the year photography was introduced, he was accepted as a cadet in the Bengal Army. Passing his examination in the Hindustani language, he was appointed as an interpreter and assigned to the Revenue Survey. In spite of his relatively innocent-sounding position, Anderson was cited for bravery in frontline action and saw service against piratical tribes on the Persian coast. By 1852 he had been raised to the rank of superintendent of the Revenue Survey and presumably then found time to take up photography as an amateur, becoming a corresponding member of the Photographic Society of Bombay. For its meeting of March 11, 1856, the Liverpool Photographic Journal reported that “Captain Anderson produced a portfolio of negatives in Talbotype and waxed paper, some of very excellent character, also a number of prints of the same, well developed and of a fine rich tone.” Anderson was ultimately promoted to the rank of general. 
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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