|Dates: ||1829 - 1883|
|Active: ||Great Britain|
As a young chemist Keith was intrigued by photography, joining the Liverpool Photographic Society and soon becoming its secretary. In an 1854 presentation to the society “Mr Keith described the calotype process, in which he had been very successful,” but he soon turned away from paper negatives. That same year Keith sent a collodion-on-glass view to Prince Albert, receiving a reply from Mr. Ernst Becker, librarian to the prince and a founding member of the Photographic Society, and at an 1855 meeting of the society he demonstrated his apparatus for enlarging by gas-light. Keith began offering “Photographic Chemicals of known purity” and in 1857 introduced “Keith’s Collodion,” offering testimony that the chemicals were “prepared exclusively by himself, and have in the course of his extensive practise produced the most splendid pictures.” In the 1861 and subsequent censuses Keith listed himself as “Photographer.”
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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