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HomeContents > People > Photographers > William Harcourt Ranking

Dates:  1814 - 1867
Active:  UK

Preparing biographies

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

As a surgeon in Norwich, Ranking was well placed to join the newly formed Norwich Photographic Society. In its 1856 exhibition he showed twelve waxed-paper views of architecture and scenery in the Norwich area. According to the Norfolk News, his “many specimens by this process . . . display alike artistic and photographic skill.” One of his entries was of Costessey Hall, suggesting a possible connection with John Blowers, an amateur photographer and the manager of the estate. The few surviving examples of Ranking’s work indicate that he was a master of the waxed-paper process, employing it successfully even for church interiors. He was to become the second president of the society. He is best known in medical circles for his editorship of The Half-Yearly Abstract of the Medical Sciences
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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