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HomeContentsTimelines > 1840-1859

Political • Cultural • PhotographyPrevious Next


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1840Europe • AustriaFirst lens designed specifically for photographic purposes by Hungarian-born Jůzeph Petzval (1807-1891).
1840North America • USAAlexander Simon Wolcott and John Johnson open the world's first Daguerreian Parlor in New York. (March 1840)
1840North America • USA 
John William Draper
John William Draper (1811-1882) takes the first Daguerrian plate showing the solar spectrum.
1840Europe • Great Britain 
Julia Margaret Cameron
Sir John Frederick William Herschel, Baronet, Collingswood 
1867, 7 April
John Herschel successfully fixes sensitized paper using his 1819 discovery of hyposulphite of soda dissolved in silver salts still used today called hypo.
1841Europe • Great Britain 
Antoine Claudet
William Henry Fox Talbot 
1844 (ca)
Henry Fox Talbot patents the calotype process. It is a negative-positive process that has advantages over the Daguerreotype positives of which there was only ever a single copy. Calotypes were also called Talbotypes though the inventor never approved of this. (February 1841)
1841Europe • Great BritainHenry Collen opens the first Calotype studio in London under a license from Henry Fox Talbot and uses the portraits as a starting point for miniatures. (August 1841)
1841Europe • Ireland 
Beard Studio
Portrait of Richard Beard 
1860 (ca)
The first Daguerreotype studio in Ireland opens in Dublin above "the Rotunda". It was probably under the auspices of Richard Beard but this is not certain. On 23rd April 1842 an advertisement appeared announcing that Le Chevalier Alexander Doussin Dubreuil had commenced practice at this address. (23 October 1841)
1842Europe • France 
NoŽl Marie Paymal Lerebours
Excursions daguerriennes : vues et monuments les plus remarquables du globe. (Title page, vol. 1) ([1841]-1842) 
[Excursions daguerriennes : vues et monuments les plus remarquables du globe] 
Excursions Daguťrriennes, by NoŽl Marie Paymal Lerebours is published; it is the first travel book illustrated with engravings from original daguerreotypes.
1842Europe • Germany 
Hermann Biow
[The destruction of the Hamburg fire of 1842] 
The devastation of the Hamburg Fire is captured on daguerreotype plates by Hermann Biow and it is probably the first news event ever photographed. (5 May 1842) [Read about]
1842Europe • Great Britain 
Richard Beard
Signature of Daguerreotypist Richard Beard 
Richard Beard opens his public portrait studio for Daguerreotypes on the roof of the Royal Polytechnic Institution in London. (23 March 1842)
1843Europe • Scotland 
Hill & Adamson
D.O. Hill 
1843 (ca)
The partnership of Hill & Adamson (David Octavius Hill and Robert Adamson) forms in Scotland. They jointly produce outstanding portraits until the premature death of Adamson in 1848. 
View exhibition 
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1843North America • Mexico 
Unidentified photographer/creator
Izamal, Gigantic Head 
John Lloyd Stephens (1805-1852) was one of the great explorers of the Mesoamerican archaeological sites of Yucatan in Mexico. For the discoveries he described in his book Incidents of Travel in Yucatan (1843) Dr. Cabot took daguerreotypes.
1844North America • USA 
Mathew B. Brady
Business card for Brady's Daguerrean Galleries 
Mathew Brady (1823Ė1896) establishes a photographic studio in Washington. 
View exhibition 
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1844Europe • Great Britain 
Henry Fox Talbot
Cover for The Pencil of Nature by William Henry Fox Talbot 
[The Pencil of Nature] 
Henry Fox Talbot publishes the first part of The Pencil of Nature which is one of the first books containing photographs. It comes out in an instalment of six parts between 1844 and 1846 and contains 24 photographs in total. 
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1844Asia • China 
Jules Itier
Groupe pris dans une rue de Canton 
1844, November
Jules Itier (1802-1877) with the French customs service on a commercial mission to China takes what may be the earliest photographs of Macao [Macau] and wrote:
"I spent the last two days capturing the most interesting features of Macau on daguerreotype; the people on the streets respond with greatest kindness to all my demands, and many Chinese allowed photographs to be taken of them, but I had to show them the inside of the apparatus and the object reflected on the polished glass."
As the head of the French trade commission in China he takes a Daguerreotype of the signing of the Sino-French peace treaty. (24 October 1844)
1845Europe • Great Britain 
Henry Fox Talbot
Book cover for "Sun Pictures in Scotland" by William Henry Fox Talbot 
[Sun Pictures in Scotland] 
Henry Fox Talbot publishes Sun Pictures in Scotland that includes locations associated with the novelist Sir Walter Scott (1771-1832). [Read about]
1845North America • USA 
William Langenheim
Frederick Langenheim Looking at Talbotypes 
1849-1851 (ca)
Langenheim & Langenheim , the two brothers William and Frederick, take a panorama of Niagara Falls using five separate Daguerreotypes. (July 1845)
1845Europe • France 
Armand Hippolyte Fizeau
Fig. 13. M. Fizeau 
1864 (published)
Armand Hippolyte Fizeau (1819-1896) working with Lťon Foucault (1819-1868) takes the first photograph of the sun.
1847Europe • Great BritainThe Calotype Club is founded in London.
1847North America • USA 
Thomas Easterly
Daguerreotype of a Streak of Lightning taken June 18th 1847 at 9 o'clock P.M. By T.M. Easterly St. Louis Mo. 
1847, 18 June (taken) 1874-1878 (cabinet card)
Thomas Easterly makes what may be the first ever photograph of a streak of lightning on a daguerreotype plate. (18 June 1847)

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