In the mid-1850s, John Traill Taylor published extracts from his “Manuscript Photographic Journal,” a compendium that circulated among his friends (until the original was stolen in a burglary). Taylor obviously knew Jones, a contributor to the extracts, but did not otherwise identify him, and his background and residence remain a mystery. In 1857 Jones contributed his design for a portable camera for paper negatives; looking forward to a summer holiday tour, he had come up with a camera that would hold any number of prepared sheets within its confines. With his 1858 contribution, however, Jones left no doubt about his photographic loyalties: “Were I in a South Sea Island I should be tabooed; were I in India I should be a Pariah, but being in England I feel my position as degraded as if I were both. I, nothing but wax-paper, while all around me rejoice in the Brahminism of collodion.” If any of his photographs survive, none have been identified.
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.
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