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HomeContentsTimelines > 1851-1860

Political • Cultural • PhotographyPrevious Next


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1851Europe • FranceMissions Héliographiques established in France with Édouard Baldus, Hippolyte Bayard, Gustave Le Gray, Henri Le Secq and Auguste Mestral recording the architectural patrimony of France.
1851Europe • Great Britain 
Frederick Scott Archer
Frederick Scott Archer 
1855 (ca)
Frederick Scott Archer publishes his invention of the wet collodion process in a copy of The Chemist. Although a more complex process than Daguerreotype it has finer detail and a faster exposure time. It was the basis for the ambrotype and the tintype that became popular later in the decade. (March 1851)
1851Europe • FranceLouis-Désiré Blanquart-Evrard (1802-1872) opens a photographic print making firm in Lille. The Maxime Du Camp work Egypte, Nubie, Palestine et Syrie that starts to appear in instalments from September 1851 onwards is the first book it produces the plates for.
1851Europe • FranceThe Societé Héliographique is founded in Paris. Headed by Baron Jean-Baptiste-Louis Gros (1793-1870) the society includes Gustave Le Gray, Henri-Victor Regnault, Henri Le Secq and the painter Delacroix. (January 1851)
1851Europe • France 
Eugene Piot
Florence: Santa Maria del Fiore. Détails du 1er et du 2e ordre. 1296 et 1425 
[L'Italie Monumentale] 
The photographs of Eugène Piot are used for the first French book illustrated with photographs - Italie Monumentale. (May 1851)
1851Europe • Great Britain 
David Brewster
Fig. 115 David Brewster 
1864 (published)
Queen Victoria is presented with a deluxe stereoscope by David Brewster beginning the craze in stereographs.
1853Europe • France 
Nadar (Gaspard-Félix Tournachon) opens a photographic studio in Paris that rapidly becomes the leading portrait studio for the cultured elite of Parisian society.
1853North America • USA 
George N. Barnard
Fire in the Ames Mills, Oswego, New York 
1853, July 5
Two photographs are taken of the burning Mills at Oswego, New York by George N. Barnard who would become one of the great photographers of the American Civil War (1861-1865). (5 July 1853) [Read about]
1853North America • USA 
Platt D. Babbitt
[Joseph Avery stranded on rocks in the Niagara River] 
1853, July
Platt D. Babbit photographs events leading up to the tragic death of Joseph Avery at Niagara Falls. Babbitt was awarded a monopoly to take Daguerreotypes at the Falls in 1853, using the Horseshoe Falls as his setting, and sells his plates to tourists. (July 1853) [Read about]
1853North America • USA 
Unidentified photographer/creator
Hancock House, Boston: An original Crystallotype or Sun Picture 
Homes of American Statesman is published and is the first American book containing a photograph. The photograph is a tipped in salt print frontispiece of John Hancock's Boston house.
1853Europe • Great BritainPreliminary meetings are held with a view to forming the Photographic Society of London. The first public meeting takes place on 20th January 1854. Roger Fenton is the Honorary Secretary for the group and Charles Eastlake the first President.
1853North America • USA 
Washington Lafayette Germon
Quarter plate Mascher Stereo Daguerreotype by W. L German, Philadelphia. 
John Frederick Mascher of Philadelphia, USA patents a stereo viewing apparatus consisting of a case with a fold-out set of lenses. These are now known as Mascher stereo cases.
1854Europe • France 
André Adolphe-Eugène Disdéri
André Adolphe-Eugène Disdéri 
André Adolphe-Eugène Disdéri is granted a patent for carte-de-visite. Eight poses were made on a single sheet and then they could be cut down to 2 1/4 x 3 1/2 inches and mounted on a 2 1/2 x 4 inch card.
His studio was established using the dowry of his wife Elizabeth who was also a photographer and his business partner. (McCauley, Elizabeth A., 1985, A.A.E. Disderi and the Carte De Visite Portrait Photograph, Yale University Press) (November 1854)
1854Asia • IndiaPhotographic Society of Bombay is founded
1854Europe • Great BritainAt the first exhibition of the Photographic Society in London Roger Fenton explains the photographs to the royal party of Queen Victoria and Prince Albert.
1854North America • USA 
Fred Church
George Eastman on board S.S. Gallia 
1890, February
George Eastman (1854-1932) is born in Waterville, New York. (12 July 1854)
1854Europe • Great Britain 
Philip Henry Delamotte
Statues of the Egyptian pharaoh Rameses II were copied from the temple of Abu Simbel 
[Crystal Palace] 
1859 (ca)
Philip Henry Delamotte photographs the opening ceremony of the Crystal Palace at Sydenham. This is the culmination of his study of the entire rebuilding process and is one of the first examples of photojournalism. (10 June 1854) 
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1854Europe • Great Britain 
Isaac A. Rehn
Family Group 
Ambrotypes (collodion positives) make their first appearance having being invented by Frederick Scott Archer (1813-1857) with the assistance of Peter Fry. Being a negative on a glass base they were cheaper than the Daguerreotype but retained the clarity of detail.
1854Europe • Great BritainGeorge Swan Nottage (1823-85) founds the London Stereoscopic Company. The company has the motto "a stereoscope in every home" and within a few years boasts over 100,000 views in circulation.
1854Europe • Great BritainFirst public meeting to found the Photographic Society of London.
"A number of Gentlemen engaged in Photographic pursuits having met together at different periods of the Spring and Autumn last year, formed themselves into a provisional Committee, with a view of organizing a Society of those to whom such a re-union would be acceptable. The labours of this Committee were carried on until the beginning of the present year, when it was determined to call a Public Meeting, for which purpose Circulars were issued on behalf of the Committee by Mr Roger Fenton, the Honorary Secretary, and Advertisements were inserted in the Papers....
A Public Meeting to inaugurate this Society will be held at the house of the Society of Arts, John Street, Adelphi, on THURSDAY, the 20th January, at 4 pm.
[From the Journal of the Photographic Society of London on the founding of the society. The first Committee of the Society included John Dillwyn Llewelyn, Rev Calvert Jones and Philip Delamotte.] (20 January 1854)

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