|Dates: ||1815 - 1905|
Dr. Woods was appointed vaccinator for Parsonstown, adjacent to Lord Rosse’s Irish estate in 1841, and by 1890 he was the longest-serving medical practitioner in the area — he remained in service for some time after that. While we do not know when Woods first took an interest in photography, he was a friend of Lord and Countess Rosse, and their interest in daguerreotypy dates to at least 1842. In 1844 Woods presented the first of his new photographic processes. His awkwardly but descriptively named Electrolysotype and Catalysotype papers produced photographic negatives on paper using iron salts. Talbot felt these were functionally the same as his calotype, and he and Woods battled verbally in the scientific press. Woods is not known to have ever exhibited his photographs, but he continued his researches into the collodion period. In 1861 he developed a method for producing precise micrometers photographically. Woods dedicated his 1860 book, The Existence of the Deity, Evidenced by Power and Unity in Creation, from the Results of Modern Science, to Lord Rosse.
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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