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HomeContents > People > Photographers > James Matthews Duncan

Dates:  1826 - 1890
Active:  Great Britain
 
  

Preparing biographies

Approved biography for James Matthews Duncan
Courtesy of the Metropolitan Museum of Art (New York, USA)

 
  
In some circles, Dr. Duncan is best known for being the first person rendered insensible by chloroform, a distinction he had the opportunity to gain as the private assistant to the pioneering Scottish obstetrician Sir James Young Simpson. Born in Aberdeen, Duncan studied medicine in Edinburgh and Paris and earned distinction in both scientific theory and actual practice. With this brace of skills, it is not surprising that he took up photography. A member of the Edinburgh Photographic Exchange Club, Duncan contributed four waxed-paper photographic landscapes to the 1858 exhibition of the Photographic Society of Scotland. 
  
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. 
  
SHARED BIOGRAPHICAL INFORMATION PROJECT 
  
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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Portraits 
  
If you have a portrait of this photographer or know of the whereabouts of one we would be most grateful. 
  
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Family history 
  
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