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742.01 Legal > John Arrowsmith's Diorama, or Method of Exhibiting Pictures - British Patent No. 4899, 10 February 1824
John Arrowsmith's Diorama, or Method of Exhibiting Pictures, British Patent No. 4899, 10 February 1824
The Invention consists in placing the pictures or painted scenery (which are intended to form the exhibition) within a building so constructed that the saloon or amphitheatre containing the spectators may be caused to revolve at intervals, as may be desired, for the purpose of bringing in succession two or more distinct scenes or pictures into the field of view, and without the necessity of the spectators removing from their seats. From this arrangement of the revolving saloon the scenery or pictures themselves may remain stationary, and they will therefore admit of the application of the said improved method of distributing or directing the daylight upon or through them, so as to produce the effects of varying the light and shade in a more pleasing manner than has been hitherto accomplished, the said variable effects of light and shade being performed according to the said improved method, by means of a number of coloured transparent and moveable blinds or curtains, some of which said blinds are placed behind the picture or scenery, for the purpose of intercepting and changing the colour and shade of the rays of light, which are permitted to shine or pass through certain semi-transparent parts of the said picture or scenery, and thereby effect many curious changes in the appearance of the colours in proportion as the said coloured blinds are moved up and down, which motion is performed in a particular order. by the aid of certain lines or cords connected with suitable machinery, as will be herein-after more particularly described; others of the said coloured transparent blinds or curtains are situated above and in front of .the said pictures or Scenery, so as to be moveable by the aid of cords or lines as aforesaid, and by that means to distribute or direct the rays of light which are permitted to fall upon the face of the picture, at the same time the rays of light in passing through the said coloured blinds effect many surprising changes in the appearance of the colours of the painting or scenery, and thereby form the pleasing exhibition herein-before denominated a diorama...
742.02 Legal > Patenting of M. Daguerre's Process in England (2 November 1839)
Mechanics’ Magazine, 2 November 1839, Vol. 32 (No. 847), p.77-78
Patenting of M. Daguerre's Process in England [reprinted from The Athenæum]
It has excited some surprise that, after the eager and natural curiosity of the public respecting the discovery of M. Daguerre while it yet remained a secret, so little interest should now be taken in the subject. The truth is, that the public were led to believe that the process was so extremely simple, that once known it could be practised without difficulty — so simple, indeed, that M. Daguerre could not be protected by patent rights, and therefore the French government consented to grant him an annuity. Whereas, without meaning in any way to undervalue the discovery or its important consequences, it now turns out that the process is very delicate and complicated, requiring great skill and care in the manipulator ; and so easily can M. Daguerre protect his interests, that he has had a patent taken out in England in the name of Mr. Miles Berry, of Chancery-lane, not only for the manufacture of the Daguerreotype, but for the use of the instrument. How far such a proceeding was contemplated by the French government — how far it can be justified by the letter of the agreement — how far such a patent can, under the circumstances, be maintained, we must leave others to determine ; we merely state as a fact what has been much and generally disbelieved. Persons, indeed, to whom M. Daguerre was known, and who had read the trumpeting in the foreign journals of the liberality of the French government in making this discovery public for the benefit of the civilized world, could not be persuaded that he was a party to such a proceeding, and therefore addressed a letter to him on the subject ; but his answer, which we now publish, is conclusive :—
“18th Oct. 1839.
It is a curious fact, and further illustrative of this extraordinary proceeding, that Daguerreotypes, which cost from 20 l [20 L=20 Pounds]. to 25 l [L]., have been sent direct to this country by manufacturers who profess to pay a commission to M. Daguerre himself ; and yet, though so sold and sent by his own agents, and to his own profit, the parties purchasing must not even use them if these patent rights can be sustained. Mr. Cooper, indeed, at the Polytechnic Institution, has thought it advisable to protect himself by obtaining the sanction of the patentee, by whom Mr. St. Croix, at the Adelaide Gallery, was for a time stopped ; though, under advice, he has now resumed his exhibition. —
“Sir,—In answer to your letter of the 4th instant, respecting the process of the Daguerreotype and the patent obtained in England for the same in the name of Mr. Miles Berry, Chancery-lane, previous to any exhibition thereof in France, I beg to state that it is with my full concurrence that the patent has been so obtained, and that Mr. Miles Berry has full authority to act as he thinks fit under proper legal advice.
“18th Oct. 1839.
“I would add that if you will take the trouble to read attentively the articles of the agreement between me and the French government, you will see that the process has been sold, not to the civilized world, but to the government of France for the benefit of my fellow countrymen.
“I thank you for your good wishes and flattering letter, and with esteem for your high talent as an artist, and desire to have good-will and assistance in England as well as in France, I remain, Sir, your obedient servant, (Signed) “DAGUERRE.”
742.03 Legal > Patent: To Richard Beard. of Earl-street, Blackfriars, Gent., for improvements in the means of obtaining likenesses
About this photographer | Photographs by this photographer
Richard Beard was one of the pre-eminent Daguerreotypists in London in the 1840s and recognized the potential for adding colour to photographs. In 1843 he took out a patent for his methods:
To Richard Beard, of Earl-street, Blackfriars, Gent., for improvements in the means of obtaining likenesses and representations of nature, and of other objects, being a communication. [Sealed 10th March, 1842.]
This invention consists in various modes of coloring the pictures produced by the "Daguerreotype" process.
By the first method, the object is obtained by reducing the colors to an impalpable powder, and depositing them upon different parts of the picture, in succession; the extent of each color being determined by a pattern or screen, resembling a stencil plate.
The mode of operation is as follows: The Daguerreotype picture is first placed in a rectangular frame, which is formed with a projecting edge, of about one-twentieth of an inch in thickness. Over this frame a piece of glass or mica is laid, and a tracing is made upon it, with coloring matter, of the shape of those parts of the picture that are to be colored. From this tracing a number of patterns or screens are formed, one for each color. Each screen consists of a light rectangular frame, covered with tracing paper, upon which all those parts that are required to be of one color are traced, and the space included between the traced lines is cut out; so that when the screen is placed upon the picture, the tracing paper will cover its surface, except those parts which are required to be of a uniform tint.
The colors are prepared by grinding them to an impalpable powder, with a weak solution of gum-arabic, isinglass, starch, or other similar material; they are then dried in a stove, (kept at a heat somewhat less that 212o Fahr.,) and, after being passed through a fine sieve, are ready for use.
In applying these colors, a number of boxes, of a size sufficient to admit the picture, are employed, and into each box, the number of which varies according to the tints required, a few grains (say about fifty) of color are deposited. The color is agitated with a large soft brush, until a dust is created in the box, and the picture, covered by one of the screens, being then introduced, the particles of color settle upon the screen, and upon those parts of the picture that are not covered by it. After this operation, the picture is withdrawn, the screen taken off, and the color removed from the shaded parts, by means of a small pair of bellows; the remainder of the color is then attached to the picture by breathing upon it, which partially dissolves the gum, and the process is completed.
The second improvement consists in mixing the colors with gum-water, and applying them, with a hair pencil, to the underside of the glass that covers the picture; so that when the later is seen through the glass, it will present the appearance of a colored picture.
The third and last method consists in using the colors in a dry pulverized state, as in the first improvement, dotting them on to the picture, with small brushes, in a similar manner to stippling; the colors are then fixed by being breathed upon. [Inrolled in the Inrolment Office, September, 1842.]
742.04 Legal > Frederick Langenheim: Patents for Coloring Daguerreotype Plates
About this photographer | Photographs by this photographer
In January 1846 an American Patent was issued to Frederick Langenheim of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, for a method in colouring daguerreotype plates:
22. For an Improvement in Coloring Daguerreotype Plates, by fixing the Colors thereon; Frederick Langenheim, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, January 30.
The patentee says, "In the invention of Isenring, for coloring plates, for which letters patent have been obtained, a difficulty arose in making the colors adhere, and it was found in practice that after a little handling, the color came off, and the picture was thus defaced. To remedy that defect is the object of my improvement.
"Either before the plate receives the color, or at the same time, I cause an impalpable powder of gum damarum,or other suitable resinous gum, to cover the parts to be colored, in the manner described in the patent granted to me as the assignee of Isenring, viz: by placing the plate in a close vessel, face up, with those parts covered that are not to be colored, and then filling the atmosphere contained in said vessel with the powder of gums above named, and allowing a sufficient quantity to settle, for the purpose intended : after the color is laid on the plates I submit it to a sufficient degree of heat to fuse the gum, which causes the color to adhere."
Claim. "Having thus fully described my improvement, what I claim therein as new and desire to secure by letters patent, is fixing the colors on the plates by means of gum, applied substantially in the manner and for the purpose set forth."
"23. For an Improvement in Coloring Daguerreotype Plates", American Patents, Journal of the Franklin Institute of the State of Pennsylvania, and American Repository, February, 1847, p.105-106. Patent was issued in January, 1846.
23. For an Improvement in Coloring Daguerreotype Plates; John B. Isenring, of Switzerland, assigned to Frederick Langenheim, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, January 30.
The patentee says, "The nature of my invention consists in coloring a daguerreotype picture by agitating a quantity of highly pulverized mineral, or other suitable color in a box, and then placing in said box the plate to be colored, having only such parts exposed as are to receive the color, the rest being covered by a stencil or other similar device, where it remains until the color settles upon it in sufficient quantities."
Claim. "What I claim as my invention and desire to secure by letters patent, is the process of depositing the color thereon, substantially as herein described, by causing the finely pulverized particles of color to float in the air over where the plate is placed, which, as they settle, are deposited on the uncovered portions of the plate, in the manner and for the purpose herein described.
"I also claim, in combination therewith, covering the picture with a stencil, as set forth, constructed in the manner and for the purpose described."
742.05 Legal > Harding's Patent Photograph Album
742.06 Legal > Patent illustrations
742.07 Legal > François Willème: Photosculpture
About this photographer | Photographs by this photographer
French sculptor François Willème (1830-1905) used and patented a system of his own invention for taking multiple simultaneous photographs of three-dimensional objects or people from different standardized distances around the subject. Alden Scott Boyer acquired a number of photographs that were based on the work of François Willème and photohistorian Beaumont Newhall described in a 1958 article how he had worked in his studio in the nineteenth century:
Inside, a silver plumb bob hung from the very center of the skylight. Directly beneath it was a raised circular platform with numbers 1 to 24 printed on it. The walls of the gallery were carved with carved pilasters into twenty-four panels, in the centers of which were handsome statues, supported on carved brackets or consoles. Not a camera was in sight.
François Willème patented his invention in the United States and it was used to create sculptures of Admiral Farragut and Ulysses S. Grant.
The sitter was posed on the dais, with his head directly beneath the plumb bob. He was instructed to hold the pose for ten seconds - and that was all there was to having one's photosculpture taken. Compared with the hours upon hours of tiresome sitting for the orthodox sculptor, the new invention promised to be a great success.
Unseen by the sitter, twenty-four pictures of him had been taken by twenty-four miniature cameras, cleverly hidden inside the consoles. Each camera had a shutter, and these were synchronized by a system of cords controlled by an operator. The photographs which resulted were only a means to an end, and themselves possessed no artistic quality. As Boyer pointed out, all the paraphernalia and clutter of the studio was recorded - headrests and all. But the set of negatives contained sufficient information to enable François Willème to make a statue with a minimum of skill of hand and effort.
The second operation was to make lantern slides from the negatives.
The workroom where the photographs were transformed into three-dimensional sculptures presented as unusual an appearance as the studio. A battery of lantern slide projectors stood in a line, their lenses focused on translucent screens approximately six fee high. Beside each screen was a stout workbench on which there was a revolving platform divided exactly like the posing dais into twenty-four numbered sections. Modeling clay was piled on this platform and roughly shaped by hand into the size and form of the final statue.
The next step was to transfer the outline thrown on the screen by the magic lantern to the clay. This Willème did by means of a pantograph, adapted from the draftsman's instrument for reducing drawings. Four levers are so joined together in a parallelogram shape that the movement of the end of one lever is exactly reproduced by the other end but in reduced degree. Willème fastened a modeling tool at one end of his pantograph, which was arranged vertically, and a stylus at the other. As he traced the outline of the projected photograph, the modeling tool bit into the clay. After tracing the outline, Willème next traced the secondary features - eyes, nose, mouth.
Now a second slide was put into the projector. The translucent screen, which could be adjusted vertically and horizontally, was moved until a mark in the center was exactly opposite the plumb bob. The revolving platform holding the clay was turned to correspond to the number of the photograph, and the process was repeated.
After the twenty-four photographs had been traced, the result was a statue, which simply needed to be smoothed off before being cast into a more permanent form.
742.08 Legal > Patents for photographic backgrounds and foregrounds
There were a number of patents for supporting frames for photographic backgrounds and foregrounds.
- US Patent No: 875,006. Lafayette W. Seavey: Supporting frame for photographic background.
Described in "The Photographic News", Vol.XXXII, No.1581, January 13, 1888, p.28
- US Patent No: 362,390: Morgan's Improved Multiplex Photographic Background Frame
G.W. Morgan held patents in Great Britain, France and America), Patent No: 362,390, Patented May 3, 1887 is described in "Background Arrangements" by G.W. Morgan in "The Photographic News", February 10, 1888, p.92
- US Patent No: 149,724. Cassius M. Coolidge: Processes of Taking Photographic Pictures, Issued: 14 April 1874
Cartoonist and artist Cassius Marcellus Coolidge (1844-1934) is credited with creating comic foregrounds which was the forerunner of the comic boards with holes that people can place their heads through for a candid shot becoming part of life-size caricature.
742.09 Legal > Photobooth designs
- Λ 1843, "Richard Beard, of Earl-street, Blackfriars, Gent., for improvements in the means of obtaining likenesses and representations of nature, and of other objects", The London Journal and Repository of Arts, Sciences, and Manufactures, Conjoined Series, no. CXXXII, Recent Patents, 1843, pp. 358-360.
- Λ February, 1847, "22. For an Improvement in Coloring Daguerreotype Plates, by fixing the Colors thereon", American Patents, Journal of the Franklin Institute of the State of Pennsylvania, and American Repository, p. 105. Patent was issued in January, 1846.
- Λ Beaumont Newhall, May 1958, "Photosculpture", Image: Journal of Photography and Motion Pictures of the George Eastman House, no. 61, pp. 100-105
- Λ 9 August 1864, "F. Willeme: Photographing Sculpture", U. S. Patent No. 43,822,
Adamson, Keith, 1991, ‘Early British Patents in Photography‘, History of Photography, vol. 15, no. 4, pp. 313-323 [Δ]
Arrowsmith, John, 1824, 10 February, An improved mode of publicly exhibiting pictures on painted scenery of every description, and of distributing or directing the daylight upon or through them so as to produce many effects of light and shade, which I denominate a "Diorama", (British Patent, No. 4899) [Δ]
Mascher, J.F., 1853, 8 March, Daguerreotype-Case, (United States Patent Office) [Letters Patent No. 9,611; Reissued February 9, 1869, No. 3,291] [Δ]
Schimmelman, Janice G., 2002, American Photographic Patents: The Daguerreotype & Wet Plate Era 1840-1880, (Carl Mautz Publishing) isbn-10: 188769420X isbn-13: 978-1887694209 [Δ]
Tinsman, John W., 1887, 28 June (filed), Photographic accessory, (United States Patent Office) [Letters Patent No. 375,230; Application filed: June 28, 1887] [Δ]
Wood, R. Derek, 1980, January, ‘The Daguerreotype Patent, The British Government, and the Royal Society‘, History of Photography, vol. 4, no. 1, pp. 53-59 [Δ]
Woodward, David A., 1857, 24 February, Solar Camera, (United States Patent Office) [Letters Patent No. 16,7000] [Δ]
Readings on, or by, individual photographers
1843, ‘Patent: To Richard Beard. Of Earl-street, Blackfriars, Gent., for improvements in the means of obtaining likenesses… 1842, 10 March (sealed) 1843 (publication)‘, The London Journal and Repository of Arts, Sciences, and Manufactures, vol. Conjoined series, no. 132, pp. 358-60 Recent Patents [Δ]
Heathcote, Bernard & Heathcote, Pauline, 1979, October, ‘Richard Beard: an Ingenious and Enterprising Patentee‘, History of Photography, vol. 3, no. 4, pp. 313-329 [Δ]
Wood, R. Derek, 1979, October, ‘The Daguerreotype in England: Some Primary Material Relating to Beard's Lawsuits‘, History of Photography, vol. 3, no. 4, pp. 305-309 [Δ]
Langenheim, Frederick, 1847, February, ‘22. For an Improvement in Coloring Daguerreotype Plates, by fixing the Colors thereon - American Patents‘, Journal of the Franklin Institute of the State of Pennsylvania, and American Repository, p. 105 [Patent was issued in January, 1846] [Δ]
Langenheim, Frederick, 1847, February, ‘23. For an Improvement in Coloring Daguerreotype Plates", American Patents - American Patents‘, Journal of the Franklin Institute of the State of Pennsylvania, and American Repository, pp. 105-106 [Patent was issued in January, 1846] [Δ]
Mayall, 1855, October, Artificial Ivory for receiving photographic pictures, (British Patent No. 2381) [Δ]
Henry Fox Talbot
Talbot, Wm. Henry Fox, 1847, 26 June, Improvement in Photographic Pictures, (United States Patent Office) [Letters Patent No. 5,171] [Δ]
If you feel this list is missing a significant book or article please let me know - Alan - firstname.lastname@example.org
Berenice Abbott (1898-1991) • Rufus P. Anson • Richard Beard (1802-1885) • Albert Bisbee • René Patrice Proudhon Dagron (1818-1900) • George Eastman (1854-1932) • Charles H. Fontayne (1814-1901) • Johann Baptist Isenring (1796-1860) • Frederic E. Ives (1856-1937) • Frederick Langenheim (1809-1879) • Étienne Jules Marey (1830-1904) • Eadweard Muybridge (1830-1904) • John Plumbe Jr. (1809-1857) • Southworth & Hawes • Henry Fox Talbot (1800-1877) • J.A. Whipple (1822-1891) • Alexander Simon Wolcott (1804-1844) • Walter B. Woodbury (1834-1885)
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