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ABBE, ERNST (1840–1905)
German-born Ernst Abbe was one of the pioneers in op- tical physics. In 1866, while a Professor at the University of Jena, he met Carl Zeiss, later becoming Director of Research at the Zeiss Optical Works in Jena.
Abbe and Zeiss later became partners (1875), and were responsible for the development of many innova- tive optical systems for the microscope, and for develop- ments in optical design which were far-reaching—none more so than the development, with Otto Schott, of the world’s first apochromatic lenses (1886), the first to eliminate chromatic aberration.
Abbe’s command of optical theory was a significant factor in the establishment of the worldwide reputation of Zeiss optics, as all his lens designs were based on precise, and theoretically sound calculations. Together with Otto Schott, who he met in 1881, Abbe played a significant role in the evolution of new formulations for the manufacture of optical-quality glass.
One of Abbe’s many significant contributions to the understanding of how lenses worked was his system of ‘Abbe numbers’ which gave a numeric value to the extent to which glass disperses light of different wavelengths. These figures varied from around 25 for flint glass, to over 60 for crown glass—the lower the number, the greater the loss of quality due to refractive dispersion.

Vhichen (1820–1902), Kevork (1839–1918).
and Hovsep (1830–1908)

Vichen Abdullah was an Ottoman Armenian who began his photographic career touching up photographs at the studio opened by Rabach in Istanbul in 1856. When his brother Kevork returned from studying at the Murad-Raphaelyan School in Venice in 1858, together with a third brother, Hovsep, they took over Rabach’s studio, which became known as Abdullah Fréres.
The brothers became official royal photographers after taking a portrait of Sultan Abdülaziz (1830–1876) in 1863.
They took portrait photographs of Edward, Prince of Wales, who visited Istanbul in 1869, and Empress Eugénie (1826–1920) of France.
The Abdullah brothers were masters at both studio and outdoor photography.
When the Ottomans were defeated in the Ottoman- Russian War of 1877–1878, the Russian army made its headquarters at San Stefano near Istanbul on 26 Febru- ary 1878. Grand Duke Nicholas (1831–1891) commis- sioned Kevork Abdullah to take a group photograph of 107 people. Angered by this, Sultan Abdülhamid II prohibited the brothers from using the royal monogram and keeping the portraits of the sultan they had taken.
In 1866, at the invitation of the Khedive of Egypt, Tevfik Pasha, Kevork, and Hovsep opened a branch studio in Cairo.
In 1890 Sultan Abdülhamid II restored the right of the Abdullah brothers to use the royal monogram, and the studio flourished once again.
In 1895 the brothers closed down the Cairo studio, and at the end of 1900 they sold the Istanbul studio to Sébah and Joaillier.

English photographic scientist

Abney was born in Derby, England on July 24, 1843, the eldest son of the Rev. Edward Henry Abney and Cath- erina Abney (formerly Strutt). His father was the vicar of St Alkmands, Derby (later the prebendary of Lichfield). Through his mother, Abney was the great great grand- son of Jedediah Strutt, a partner of Richard Arkwright, inventor of the waterframe spinning machine.
Abney was educated at Rossell school and then the Royal Military Academy, Woolwich. He was com- missioned as a Lieutenant in the Royal Engineers in 1861 and served in India until invalided home in 1867. As photography’s practical applications became of increasing value to the army, Abney was encouraged to develop his boyhood interest in the subject, which had become a serious study as early as1862. In 1871 he was appointed Assistant Instructor in Telegraphy at the School of Military Engineering at Chatham but within a year was transferred to a similar post with sole responsibility for chemistry and photography. Abney produced a small pamphlet, Instruction in Photography, as an aid in his classes. This was later to become the basis of an invaluable guide for innumerable students of the art beyond the army. In 1873 he developed the papyrotype photolithographic process and was promoted to Captain in the same year. In 1874 Abney was selected to organise the photographic observation of the transit of Venus in Egypt. His book, Thebes and its Five Great Temples (1876), was written following this trip. Abney left Chatham in 1877 to become a Civil Servant in the Department of Science and Art. However, he was not formally retired from the army until 1881 and continued to be known as Captain Abney until he was Knighted in 1900.
On joining the Department of Science and Art in 1877, Abney became an Inspector of Schools and soon became a respected figure. He was promoted to Assistant Director for Science in 1884 and Director for Science in 1893. One of his major tasks was the organisation of grants for the establishment of school laboratories. He was convinced that practical instruction in the sciences was a vital component of a modern education. He later claimed that this period was largely “missionary work” for science Abney retired in 1903, following changes brought about by Balfour’s Education Act.
During his time as a Civil Servant, Abney was based at the South Kensington Museum in one of the of the metal buildings know to Londoners as the “Brompton Boilers.” It was from his laboratory here that he under- took most of the scientific and photographic work for which he is remembered. He made important investi- gations into the alkaline development of photographic images in 1877 and in 1880 he introduced hydroquinine as a developing agent. More significant was his work on the improvement of photographic emulsions along with the development of printing processes and of photographic printing paper. With Charles Bennett and D.B.van Monkhoven, he was largely responsible for the widespread introduction to England of the rapid
gelatin emulsions that made so called ‘instantaneous’ photography possible. In 1881 Abney introduced the gelatino-citrochloride emulsion printing process that later became the basis of POP (Printing Out Paper), an immensely popular product in the growing amateur market. Abney also found time to publish Emulsion Pro- cesses in Photography (1878), later retitled Photography with Emulsions and the popular Treatise on Photography (1878) which reached its tenth edition in 1905.
Other investigations included tests on the speed and efficiency of shutters and probably the first quantitative density measurements of a photographic image. This latter work was to lead him to question the accuracy of the experiments of Hurter and Driffield. As Editor of the Photographic Journal however, he considered their investigations important enough to be published and was content for the matter to be judged by his peers. Abney also undertook work in colour analysis and colour vision, which naturally led to an interest in colour photography. In 1905, he introduced a tricolour system of colour photography, which employed three separate lenses and colour separation positives. Abney later published Trichromatic Theory of Colour (1914) which was based on his original research.
Abney’s achievements in science extended beyond photography. His work on emulsions led him to pro- duce a photographic emulsion sensitive to the infrared region of the electromagnetic spectrum. This allowed him to record the infrared spectrum of the sun. More importantly, with Robert Festing, he studied the absorp- tion spectra of chemical compounds, work that was to play a key role in the development of spectroscopy. He made numerous contributions to other sciences and was elected a Fellow of the Royal Society in 1876.
Abney’s interests in the aesthetics of photography were overshadowed by his contribution to its science. Nevertheless, he did not ignore the artistic aspects of the subject as is evident from his publications. He was a keen traveller and produced many fine photographic views both in England and in the Swiss and Italian Alps. Abney was also a competent watercolorist.
Abney held prominent positions in several scientific societies and served as President of the Royal Photo- graphic Society in 1892–94, 1896, and 1903–1905. He published over twenty books and innumerable articles and papers. He promoted a national collection of photo- graphic history at South Kensington, which later became the Science Museum Photography Collection, the fore- runner of the National Media Museum at Bradford.
Abney was a taciturn but charming man who despised snobbery in any form. He married Agnes Mathilda, daughter of Edward William Smith of Tickton Hall in Yorkshire in 1864. They had one son and two daughters. Following Agnes’s death in 1888, he married Mary Louisa, daughter of Rev. Eward Nathaniel Mead of East Barnet, Hertfordshire. The second marriage produced one daughter. For many years, Abney lived in South Bolton Gardens, close to his South Kensington labora- tory, but moved to Folkstone in 1920 because of failing health. He died there of bronchitis and kidney failure on December 2, 1920.

William de Wiveleslie Abney was born on July 24, 1843 in Derby, England. He was given a scientific education at the Royal Military Academy in Woolwich. The army also encouraged him to develop a boyhood hobby of photography and he later instructed officers and men in the subject. Abney became a Civil Servant in 1877 and from his laboratory at the back of the South Kensington Museum undertook most of the work for which he is remembered today. He undertook significant researches into the nature of gelatin silver halide emulsions at a time when they were being widely adopted by photog- raphers. His most important practical innovations were the introduction of hydroquinone as a developing agent in 1880 and silver gelatin citrochloride emulsions for printing-out paper (POP) in 1881. However, Abney was at the forefront of many aspects of photographic research during a period of great innovation in photography. He devised new techniques of photomechanical printing and conducted significant researches in the fields of colour photography, photochemistry and spectral analysis. Abney published prolifically throughout his career. He was instrumental in establishing what became the Science Museum Photography Collection, now at the National Museum of Photography Film and Television at Bradford. Artefacts relating to Abney are preserved at Bradford and in the Science Museum, London. Abney died in Folkstone on December 2, 1920.

ACKLAND, WILLIAM (1821–1895)
English optician and photographer

William Ackland was connected for nearly forty years with the firm of Horne and Thornthwaite up to his death. He directed the optical works of the firm and in later years gave much attention to equatorial stands and reflecting telescopes.
Ackland was the author of several pamphlets on photographic matters including How to take stereo- scopic pictures (1857) and Hint’s on Fothergill’s Pro- cess (1858) which were all published by Horne and Thornthwaite. He also wrote on the collodion process on glass in 1857 in Horne and Thornthwaite’s catalogue. As part of his wider involvement in optics he wrote Hints on Spectacles. When to wear and how to select them (1866).
Dr Ackland became a member of the Photographic Society in 1869 and was for many years a member of the Society’s Council. Shortly before his death he was made an Honorary Fellow. From 1856 he wrote several articles for the Journal of the Photographic Society mainly on different processes and was an active participant in the Society’s meetings. He was a Fellow of the Institute of Chemistry.
His interest in photographic matters continued throughout his life and he designed a Photographic Exposure Scale, a form of exposure calculator, in 1888. He applied for a patent for this in 1891 under the title ‘Registering Photographic Expsoures’ (British patent number 12409) which was subsequently abandoned.
Ackland died in Brixton aged 74 on 30 March 1895.

ACRES, BIRT (1854–1918)
American photographer

Born in the U.S. to British parents, 23 July 1854. Trained in art and science in Paris and was a frontiersman on the North American plains. Moved to Britain in the early 1880s. In 1888 Acres lectured on the use of isochro- matic (color sensitive) plates for correct representation of tones, projecting his own examples to acclaim. His slide subjects included European cathedrals, boats, and the sea. Married Annie Elizabeth Cash, 1891. Working as a photographer, he eventually became manager of Elliott & Son, photographic plate manufacturers in Brent, north London. Long interested in representing motion by photography, in 1893 he patented a slide changer for projecting a sequence of slides in quick succession, simulating movement. The patent also al- lowed for the device to be used for photography. In 1892 his “Story of a Cloud” (showing changing formations) was projected with the rapid slide-changer to the Royal Photographic Society.
Acres apparently made sequence photographs on 23⁄4 inch unperforated celluloid c.1894. In association with engineer Robert Paul he eventually achieved motion picture success with a camera using perforated 35mm film. He left Elliott & Son in 1895, but the partner- ship with Paul quickly ended in acrimony. Acres made films in Germany in 1895, was the first to project a film publicly in England, and gave Britain’s first Royal Command Film performance in July 1896. His 1895 films include “Oxford and Cambridge Boat Race,” “Rough Sea at Dover,” and “The Comic Shoeblack.” He later designed the first small-format home movie system, the Birtac, marketed in 1898. Unhappy with the showbusiness (rather than educational) exploitation of motion pictures, Acres concentrated on filmstock manufacture and processing in later years, but suffered severe financial setbacks. Bankrupted twice, he died 26 December 1918.


The researches of Ferdinand Hurter (1844–1898) and Vero Charles Driffield (1848–1915) in the 1880s and 1890s established the basic principles of densitometry and sensitrometry that they applied to photographic exposure measurement. Their work was based on exten- sive observation and experimentation and was the first attempt to systematically relate light intensity and the density of exposure on the photographic plate. It was not the first attempt to produce a method of determining exposure by calculation or measurement but it allowed commercial manufacturers to produce photographic plates of consistent sensitivity to a widely adopted standard that allowed exposure measurement devices to become practical.
The first photographic exposures tables were pub- lished by C.F. Albanus in 1844 and journals and manuals would often include such tables as a guide to exposure. They were usually based on observation and were sub- jective and susceptible to variants in the sensitivity of photographic emulsion, optics and geography, as well as the rigour with which the author conducted his tests. W.K. Burton issued a comprehensive series of tables
based on practical tests in 1886 that were still in use at the end of the century.
Antoine Claudet produced his Photographometer to measure the intensity of light details of which were published in March 1849 of the Art Journal. The device was also exhibited at the 1851 Great Exhibition and mentioned in several contemporary handbooks. Formal measurements were first conducted and published by Bunsen and Roscoe in 1858 which connected sunlight with the position of the sun to time of day and year. This work was expanded and developed by Hurter and Driffield who published extensive tables in 1888. Their work produced a H&D number that was used to indicate sensitivity and crucially they showed that each dry plate could be allocated a number which could form the basis of an exposure calculation. The commercial outcome of this work was their Actinograph, a calculator, which was patented in 1888 (British patent number 5545) and sold from 1892 by Marion & Co for a range of different latitudes and longitudes.
A range of other calculators appeared after this. J.A. Scott of the Britannia Works Co (later Ilford Ltd) patented a disc form calculator (British patent number 17642) and this became the main form of this type of calculator until their demise in the later 1950s. Hurter and Driffield refined their Actinograph in 1897 to a flat disc design. Cadett and Neall claimed sales of 10,000 for its own calculator by November 1897 and sales of nearly 20,000 for Dibdins exposure meter by July 1899.
Actinometers, also known as tint-meters, relate the time taken to darken a piece of light-sensitive paper to match a standard tint. A variant is to expose the paper for a fixed time under an optical wedge with steps of increasing density. The strength of the light is then in- dicated by the densest step under which exposure has taken place. W.H.F. Talbot noted the idea for an acti- nometer on 30 March 1840 to measure the time required to print out a negative and the idea was put to good use with many such devices in the later nineteenth century, especially for the carbon and platinum processes where the progress of printing could not be inspected directly as it could with ordinary silver printing.
Formal experimentation and measurement of light was published by Bunsen and Roscoe in a series of papers from 1858 to 1862 read to before the Royal Society and they established a standard grey tint of one thousand parts of zinc and one part soot. Earlier devices using a standard grey colour on silver chloride paper were produced by Jordan and Malagutti in 1839, Heeren in 1844, Hunt in 1845, Claudet in 1848, and Schall in 1853.
It was the work of Bunsen and Roscoe together with more consistent commercially produced sensitised materials that aided the spread of reliable actinometers. Before the mid-1860s paper and plates were coated with sensitised chemicals that had been made by the photographer or commercially in small quantities. Their sensitivity varied until more consistent chemical production, larger production batches and consistency between batches and standardisation of lens apertures allowed reliable exposure measurement devices became feasible.
Louis Bing’s provisional British patent of 13 Sep- tember 1866 described an improved mode of and ap- paratus for determining the actinic power of light. In this actinometer a sheet of sensitised paper was exposed under a grid of mica squares of varying thicknesses for a standard time. The intensity of light was gauged by the number of mica layers through which it had passed. The patent was produced commercially as Bing’s Uni- versal Self Registering actinometer from 1866. Vogel’s Photometer of 1868 was used as a printing meter and Woodbury’s Photometer of 1879 was a comparison actinometer where a darkening strip of sensitised pa- per was compared against six standard tints. The time taken to match a particular density, chosen on the basis of previous experimentation gave an indication of the required exposure.
By the 1880s watch-form actinometer’s gave ex- posure measurement a more practical air. Green and Füidge’s 1884 actinometer (British patent number 14457) gave seven comparison tints and a transparent aperture behind which was a disc of sensitive paper that was exposed for one minute. Both this and the Woodbury actinograph required the photographer to calibrate his plates to the meter. Stanley and Sargeant’s actinometer (British patent number 4624) of 1886 was designed to be suspended from a watch chain and held a ribbon of photographic paper sufficient for 500 measurements.
The two most commercially successful actinometers of the later nineteenth century was Alfred Watkin’s Standard meter of 1890 (British patent number 1388) which was a short tube containing sensitised paper next to a standard tint which was exposed for one minute using the time the cap on a pendulum chain completed it’s swing. The exposure was determined using a series of rings on the outside of the barrel. The Watkins meter was refined into the 1895 watch form and Bee meter from 1902 that was available up to 1939 and sold in very large numbers. The main competitor to the various Watkin’s meters was G F Wynne’s Infallible meter of 1893 (British patent number 10,617) which was in the form of a pocket watch containing a disc of sensitised paper and scales to determine the exposure. Variants of these basic designs appeared in Germany, France and the United States.
Although actinometers were popular there were other forms of determining exposure that saw some success in the nineteenth century although many of these re- emerged in the twentieth century to greater commercial
success. Visual or extinction meters worked by viewing the subject to be photographed through a variable den- sity filter. The last point where the subject could be seen gave a number which could be applied to a calculator to determine the exposure.
One of the first visual meters was demonstrated to the Société Français de Photographie in 1856 by Lanet de Limenci. His Lucimètre used a series of squares of dif- ferent density number 1 to 16. The first successful such meter was J Decoudin’s meter (British patent numbers 13332 of 1887 and 11578 of 1888) which was widely available. Others appeared usually in the form of tube that was held to the eye. The disadvantage of all visual extinction meters was the subjective nature of determin- ing the reading to be applied to the calculator.
One alternative that found some favour was the com- parison photometer where the brightness is measured against a standard light source. Leon Warnerke’s (died 1900) device described by Eder as ‘the first practically serviceable device for measuring exposures’ was the subject of British patent number 185 of 1880 and was placed in the market in England. It used a disc of phos- phorescent material activated by light and the extinction principle was used to determine a numeric value. Other devices such as H D Taylor’s Photometer of 1885 used a candle. Wernerke’s Actinometer as it was called allowed dry plate manufacturers and photographers to obtain a precise measurement of the sensitivity of silver bromide plates rather than the guesswork which had been com- mon until thenand it was adopted as a standard in 1881. The Warnerke sensitometer was displaced in 1894 by rotating wheel densitometers.
With the precise measurement of sensitivity given by Warnerke’s device to a common standard, later supplemented by the longer-lasting H & D and German Scheiner scales (adopted from 1899) a clear basis had been established to determine exposure by calculator, extinction or comparison methods, culminating in the twentieth centuries ASA and ISO measure of film sensitivity.


French sculptor and photographer. Born at La Ferté-sous-Jouarre, Seine-et-Marne,
Adam-Salomon was destined for a mercantile career when in his youth he entered the Fontainebleu factory of Jacob Petit as a modeler. When his talent for sculpting was discovered, he received an official scholarship to study in Paris. Salomon turned to photography in mid- life and continued to practice both art forms. By the time his portrait work came to public attention at the Paris International Exhibition of 1867, Salomon had already been practicing photography for eight or nine years, accumulating 15,000 negatives of the most estimable sitters. His portraits, three-quarter length figures, and some full-length, reveal his marvelous arrangement of light and shade.
Working in a 10 5/8” × 8 1/4” format, Salomon’s prints were renowned for their deep rich blacks, pure whites, and continual tonal gradations between these ex- tremes. Discussed in terms of their “brilliancy, boldness, and relief,” his portraits often took one hour to pose, fifteen-seconds to shoot, and up to three hours to print. Salomon observed, “It is far more difficult to produce a good photographic portrait than a painted portrait.”
Solomon used special lighting techniques which may have accounted for his rich graduated tonal range. In his studio, even overall light emanated from the ground-glass ceiling and light from clear-glass sides could be modulated by a curtain. Equally, his inventive props adjusted to the subject’s height making the sit- ter comfortable and the pose appear more natural. His illustrious client list included: the architect Charles Garnier, French philologist, Joseph Ernest Renan, the dramatist Emile Augier, and journalist and novelist Alphonse Karr. He was praised and photographed by his contemporary Nadar.

ADAMSON, JOHN (1809–1870)
British photographer and physician

As a member of the British scientific community in the 1840s, John Adamson was an early innovator in photog- raphy, producing the first calotype photographs in Scot- land and making key technical changes to stabilize the process and improve results. Though he never practiced photography professionally, Adamson instructed and encouraged many others, helping establish the primacy of Scottish photography in the medium’s early years. Most notably, in training his younger brother Robert Adamson, he contributed to the celebrated collaboration between Robert and David Octavius Hill that set the standard for artistic achievement in photography.
Adamson was born in Fife, Scotland in 1809, the first of 10 children to Alexander Adamson and Rachel Mel- ville, farm owners from Burnside, Scotland. He studied medicine at St. Andrews University and the University of Edinburgh from 1826 to 1829 and concluded his studies in Paris in the early 1830s. After working as a ship’s surgeon in Asia, he returned to Scotland to open a medical practice in St. Andrews in 1835. He befriended the eminent scientist Sir David Brewster while lecturing part-time in chemistry and natural science at Madras Col- lege, St. Andrews University, between 1837 and 1840.
It was probably as a member of the St. Andrews Lit- erary and Philosophical Society—founded by Brewster in 1838—that Adamson first became acquainted with photography. As a confidante of photography inventor William Henry Fox Talbot, Brewster showed early ex- amples of Talbot’s “photogenic drawings” at meetings of the learned society in 1839. In May 1841, Talbot disclosed the details of his recently-patented calotype

Adamson, John, “Portrait of woman seated in profile.” From the album “Photographs A.A. Bell.” 27 mounted and 9 unmounted prints. Courtesy: The J. Paul Getty Museum, Los Angeles. © The J. Paul Getty Museum.

process to Brewster and, since Talbot’s patent did not extend to Scotland, Brewster shared the information with his St Andrews colleagues. Adamson immediately embarked on learning the process.
Although he had already taken photographs with the rival daguerreotype process, for the first few months neither Adamson nor his colleagues had much suc- cess with calotypy, despite numerous experiments. By autumn, Adamson had produced several negatives but still encountered difficulties in making durable positive prints. Nonetheless, Brewster found Adamson’s work promising enough to send several examples to Talbot in November.
It was not until May 1842 that Adamson executed a satisfactory calotype print, which was not only the first such photograph made in Scotland, but also one of the earliest accomplished by anyone other than Talbot. A very faint half-length portrait of his sister Melville, Adamson noted it required a two-minute exposure in “bright sunshine [... with a] temporary camera obscura made with a common small lens or burning glass” (Michaelson, 34).
The breakthrough encouraged Adamson to undertake further experiments and in his enthusiasm he taught the process to his brother, Robert, an engineering student who soon envisioned becoming a professional photogra- pher. The pair collaborated closely on many experiments and photographic excursions throughout the summer of 1842 and into the beginning of 1843, by which time Robert felt skilled enough in the process to move to Edinburgh and open a commercial studio.
Unlike Robert’s eventual business partnership with Hill, the Adamson brothers’ collaboration was an amateur effort as concerned with resolving the techni- cal shortcomings of Talbot’s fledgling process as with producing visually stimulating compositions. The coop- eration between the two brothers during this short, but intense period, resulted in crucial improvements to the process that served as the means to Robert’s stunningly rich prints as a professional.
Adamson sent a small presentation album of his and his brother’s best work to Talbot in November, 1842, perhaps to gain the inventor’s approbation for his brother’s professional aspirations. Another album (in the collection of the National Museums of Scotland) is organized like a working notebook and clearly illustrates the technical and aesthetic evolution of their pioneering achievement. Amidst considerable discrepancies in print quality, Adamson’s accompanying notes document the constant chemical and procedural improvisations that marked their efforts.
The Adamson brothers made family portraits, archi- tecture studies and even some scenes of local fishermen that acknowledged the older Adamson’s medical con- cern with sanitation reform among fishing communities.
These possibly served as the source for Robert’s later series with Hill on the fishing families of Newhaven. Many of the photographs, like “The Priory and the West Gable of the Cathedral” (c.1842), exhibit a flattened perspective and awkward framing that suggest they were made primarily to work out photo-processing problems, but the more inventive framing found in images like “A Farm House” (c.1842)—with its elevated and angled view—attests to the brothers’ growing awareness of compositional issues.
Even after Robert’s partnership with Hill was well- established, Adamson continued making calotypes and may have had more than a passing relationship with the Edinburgh studio, perhaps even aiding the partners on occasion. As it were, even after two years of working with Robert, Hill still saw the brothers as a formidable pair when he conjectured that “both from [Robert] and his brother [John] much new improvements may yet be expected” (Stevenson, 54).
Upon Robert’s untimely death in 1848, Hill briefly may have hoped to engage the older Adamson brother as successor. Despite an enduring interest in the medium, Adamson never considered it as a full-time profession and was not willing to sacrifice his established medi- cal practice for the uncertainties of running a studio. Nonetheless, he remained on good terms with Hill and pursued portrait photography on a more modest scale, both individually and in conjunction with his former student and photography assistant, Thomas Rodger, who owned a studio in St. Andrews.
Adamson’s photograph of a bare-chested athlete (c.1850) demonstrates an artistic talent that he perhaps too often ignored in pursuit of his scientific inquiries. The subject’s determined stride and flexed muscles project a classical strength verging on the heroic. Though such striking images were the exception in his work, even as late as 1867 he was producing personal portraits of his family for a commemorative album for his nephew, in perhaps his last project before his death in St. Andrews in 1870.
While Adamson’s contributions to photography were significant, especially in its technical development, his amateur status and public diffidence left him relatively neglected in subsequent histories of the medium. It is only since the early 1980s that his work has received greater consideration, not only in its importance to the achievements of his brother and others, but on its own terms.

John Adamson was born in Fife, Scotland in 1809 and studied medicine at the University of Edinburgh, St. Andrews University and in Paris (1826–early1830s). He was a professor of chemistry and natural science at St. Andrews University and served as a medical of- ficer for the town of St. Andrews, publishing a study of local public sanitation measures. He took up calotype photography in 1841 and taught his brother Robert, as well as Thomas Rodger and likely others. He produced Scotland’s first calotype in May 1842 and collaborated extensively with his brother on perfecting the process. Although his efforts slowed once his brother opened a professional studio with David Octavius Hill in 1843, he remained involved in photography and took portraits individually and with Rodger until shortly before his death. He contributed photographs to the Edinburgh Calotype Club in the 1840s and was a member of the Literary and Philosophical Society of St. Andrews, serv- ing as its museum curator from 1838 until his death. He was married to Esther Alexander and had a daughter, Tetty. He died in St. Andrews, Scotland, in 1870. His work is in the National Museums of Scotland, the J. Paul Getty Museum, the St. Andrews Preservation Trust and the St. Andrews University Library.


In general photography was no different to other manu- facturing and retailing sectors in the way it approached its advertising. Different methods were adopted for advertising throughout the nineteenth century reflecting
the different markets for photographic products and the changing nature of photography itself. The methods that the photographic studio used to advertise itself directly to the general public were different to that adopted by photographic manufacturers who were appealing to pro- fessional photographers and, later, directly to amateur photographers and a wider public.
The announcement of the daguerreotype in 1839 generated an enormous amount of editorial coverage in newspapers and more specialised Victorian periodicals. The Times newspaper, Art Journal and publications such as the Athenaeum regularly reviewed photography, covered developments and the activities of, mainly, London-based photographers. From the early 1850s this coverage declined rapidly as photography became established as a trade and there were fewer significant technical developments of interest to the general pub- lic. The growth of specialist photographic journals and a trade press from 1853 and 1854 respectively meant that these developments could be dealt with internally. Throughout the rest of the century photography was only of limited editorial or news interest and photographers had to undertake more extensive marketing activities to promote their business.

The principal studios in London and other cities and towns from the early 1840s regularly advertised. They made use of newspaper and periodical classified adver- tisements, directories and more specialist publications such as Bradshaws railway timetables to maximise their audience reach and to ensure that new visitors would have awareness of them. This was increasingly impor- tant with the rapid growth in the number of studios from the early 1850s. Often these advertisements were simple text, but with more commercial success or more creative copy writing the text would carry recommendations, details of patrons or mention of medals and prizes won by the photographer.
The growth of an affluent middle class and eager consumerism from the 1850s and a depression in de- mand for photographs in the mid-1860s all provided an added impetus for photographers to promote their services. Price cutting was used to increase sales and claims exaggerated to create demand. As early as the late 1850s, a number of photographers were spuriously claiming royal patronage, which was recognized as supporting a studio’s commercial success and prestige. It was not until 1895 that the issuing of Royal warrants was firmly regulated.
Other more subtle forms of advertising was under- taken, for example, the offering of free sittings to mem- bers of society, statesmen, literary figures and celebrities whose portraits could then be sold as carte de visite or

cabinet cards. The resultant publicity, both free and paid for, could generate sales of tens of thousand for a single carte, each carrying the photographer’s details on its back. The carte de visite craze and new standard styles of presenting photographs supported a specialist station- ary trade supplying customized mounts, envelopes and studio paperwork branded with the photographers name and studio details. Marion & Company and the London Stereoscopic Company both of London and Percy Lund & Company of Bradford were perhaps the best known. The growth of chains of studios in the later nineteenth century, such as A & G Taylor which had twenty-five branches across Britain by 1880 offered the public fa- miliarity and, perhaps, a consistency in the style of work produced. Such studios advertised extensively.

Photographic manufacturers and retailers
If the photographic studio was focused on reaching the general public, then photographic manufacturers and retailers from 1839 until the later 1880s were more interested in reaching photographers, photographic studios and the serious amateur or art photographer to sell equipment, sensitized materials and photographic requisites. Occasional advertisements in specialist art journals were used but manufacturers often used more targeted means of reaching their markets. The specialist photographic press would carry advertisements (which were frequently discarded when the loose issues were bound) and year books carrying formulae and reference material which would be kept for longer periods of time carried extensive advertisements from the 1860s especially as the photographic trade began to specialize. Some firms such as Horne & Thornthwaite, J.J. Griffin and others had their catalogues bound into the back of photographic manuals or books; in some cases the company would commission the book or a staff member would write it. Firms such as Negretti and Zambra, Fal- lowfield and Houghtons amongst many issued their own separate catalogues particularly from the later 1860s. By the end of the century some of these were over 1,000 pages carrying thousands of different products.
The later 1880s and especially the 1890s saw the advertising of cameras and photographic goods in more mainstream publications and targeted at the consumer. This was partly facilitated by the growth of a popular press able to print with lithographed illustrations. The Illustrated London News and Punch for example, all carried extensive display advertising. The key driver for this change in emphasis was the growth of popular photography epitomised by the Kodak camera of 1888 which by the early 1890s was extensively advertised outside of the traditional photographic press directly to an amateur audience. The company saw branding as essential in ensuring that a consistent, familiar, image
was given to its customers: everything from the Kodak name itself to its retail shops was part of this. In the late-1890s George Davison, Kodak’s managing direc- tor in Britain, asked designer George Walton to style its shops. The Kodak girl was introduced in 1901 to appear in advertising to emphasise style and the simplicity of Kodak photography. Other manufacturers moved some of their advertising into more mainstream publications: the main British companies of Lancaster, Thornton- Pickard, Houghton and Butcher all targeted the amateur directly with their cameras and photographic products before the century was over. Well-known illustrators were used to prepare advertisements.
The photographic trade’s early focus of mainly target- ing professionals and the serious amateur had, by the end of the century, broadened into a much wider con- sumer strategy as the amateur and family photographer began to grow in commercial importance. Cameras and sensitized materials were being mass-produced and sold directly to the consumer and advertising played a key part in this process.


During the late nineteenth century, manufacturers began placing visual images in the mass media to create and promote brand-name products. Advertisers began to un- derstand that images could be designed to sell products and services by making irrational appeals to consumers’ needs and desires. Photography’s aptitude as a factual and persuasive tool to sell goods and services to potential customers, grounded in the perceived “truth” of camera images, is what gave the medium such potential to be coupled with advertising text.
Photography in service of product illustrations and sales aids had its earliest beginnings in daguerreotypes, calotypes, and in the collodion era, ambrotypes, cartes de visites, cabinet cards, and stereographic cards. The precedent for illustrating product through photography appears in Louis Jacques Mande Daguerre’s Still-Life, 1837 and Shells & Fossils, 1839, daguerreotypes of objects arranged in his studio. Equally, the calotype process provided opportunities for documentary product photography in the early days of the medium. In The Pencil of Nature, published between 1844 and 1846, William Henry Fox Talbot had demonstrated that the camera was an excellent tool for documenting sculpture, china and glassware, and even a sample of lace. In es- sence his serial publication was an advertisement for the calotype process of photography itself.

Bierstadt, Charles. Point View, Niagara, New York.
Courtesy: The J. Paul Getty Museum, Los Angeles. © The J. Paul Getty Museum.

Photography’s earliest influence upon illustrative art for print media was exerted through the process of the woodcut. The photograph’s initial role relating to advertisement during the mid-nineteenth century was to serve as a template for wood engravers to make a wood block print. Later photomechanical printing techniques such as the woodburytype and photolithography attempted to reproduce the appearance of the continuous range of tones found in a photograph. Interim printing processes such as the collotype and photogravure all required photography to be separately printed and mounted or tipped into the text.
From the mid-nineteenth century on, photographic images were coupled with advertising on posters, trading cards, and stereographs or in promotional volumes such as trade albums, patterns books, and business directories. An early application concerned the sale of real estate property around Paris. In 1854, La Lumière reported new applications of photography when the Bisson Brothers’ photographs of residences for sale were attached to promotional posters and hung in train stations.
Ambrotype views by Mrs. Bethia Mead formed the basis for engravings to promote commercial real estate in Chicago. In 1857, her photographs of the prestigious Iron Block Buildings along the city’s Lake Street busi- ness district appeared reproduced in the elite journal Chicago Magazine.
By 1858 the British photographic team of Padbury and Dickins, specializing in product photography, re- corded centerpieces, church furniture, and toast racks on stereographic cards. Photography in this practice was a benefit to the middlemen, traveling salesmen, as they could show their potential customers product images instead of carrying around heavy samples.
In 1865 cartes de visites were affixed to wanted post- ers advertising the $100,000 reward for the capture of
President Abraham Lincoln’s murderers: John Wilkes Booth, David C. Harold, and John H. Surrat. The post- ers were commissioned and distributed by the United States War Department.
By the 1870 and 1880s cabinet cards promoted dis- parate product such as weaponry as in L. Lafon, Rapid Fire Hotchkiss Cannon, 37mm, for Hotchkiss Arms and scientific laboratory apparatus for the Wood & Comer Ltd. (with a printed guarantee on the reverse) Various kinds of trade albums and business directories survive. In 1870 the French photographer Lafon was com- missioned to document the Hotchkiss line of military equipment. Lafon’s work differs from many product albums of the day as his showed the goods in service; his photographs showed French soldiers and sailors demonstrating the operation of guns. Another promo- tional album, the Illustrated Catalogue of Locomotives, Philadelphia: J. B. Lippincott & Co., 1871, featuring locomotives built by the Baldwin Locomotive Company of Philadelphia illustrates the many types of products enhanced by photography.
In the same city, the Gallery of Arts and Manufactur- ers of Philadelphia, a directory illustrating the wares of fifty-six businesses, issued in 1871 by the photographic firm of Wenderoth, Taylor & Brown, and publisher William Ritter, constitutes an advertising project on a grand scale. Products represented in the Gallery, luxury goods such as jewelry, watches, and perfume and utility items, drugs, chemicals, sewing machines, dental tools, and stationary, were featured with city businesses, for instance, Wanamakers and Brown’s Oak Hall, one of the nation’s first department stores, and the Continental Hotel, one of the first in the country to install an elevator and electricity. Traveling salesmen carried the bound album of albumen silver prints surrounded by advertis- ing text to show prospective customers the availability of products and services.
The creation of business directories integrating pho- tographs of city streets, establishments, and shops signs became a viable method for promoting local merchants. An outstanding example of the photographically illus- trated business directory is Isaiah W. Taber’s View Album and Business Guide, of San Francisco, Photographi- cally Illustrated, published around 1884. An example of Taber’s promotional cabinet card couples an interior factory view of San Francisco’s largest printing firm, Schmidt Label and Lithographic Co. with architectural renderings of their three-story structure before, during, and after having recovered from an 1884 fire. Taber linked much of his photographic work to the tourist trade. His two album set, California Scenery and Cali- fornia Scenery and Industries, were part of a commercial endeavor and contained images from Taber’s extensive files linked to advertising text.
The introduction and practical application of the half-tone printing process by the 1890s revolution- ized print illustration and established photography in its practical and preeminent role as illustrator for the advertisement industry. In 1897 the New York Tribune became the first publication to reproduce halftones daily. In its much perfected state, the half-tone was capable of nearly faithful reproductions of the tonal ranges and shadows of the original photograph for magazine and newspaper prints.
At the turn-of-the-century, the history of photography and advertising history coalesced yet further with the proliferation of cheap widely distributed magazines, and their ability to bring advertised product directly to the customer. McClure’s, Munsey’s, and Ladies Home Journal, as well as a score of other magazines emerged in the late 1890s based on the literary principle that individuals could be encouraged to buy and read maga- zines if the content was designed to catch their inter- est. Principally, the larger circulations gave impetus to manufacturers to advertise their products and publishers began to realize 80% of their income from advertising revenues. Halftone brought new creative freedom to layout design by making it possible to seamlessly com- bine photography, line drawing and typography into a unified composition.
During the last decade of the nineteenth century, with the rise of manufacturers prone to want their ar- ticles shown worn or used by living models, in prefer- ence to drawings or lithographs, studio photographers discovered advertising photography to be a profitable business. For his or her role in the imaging of products and services, the photographer needed to make everyday objects aesthetically pleasing and marketable. Many
photographers came to advertising from portrait studios and found they could enliven the object with the addition of a human presence.
By the 1890s product photography shows the indus- try preference for live models demonstrating product benefits such as the Munsingwear advertisement for Northwestern Knitting Co. and Smith’s Bile Beans.
In an era when few women ventured into photography as a profession, Kate Matthews of Pewee Valley, Ken- tucky, located a short distance from Louisville, made a name for herself when her photographs were used in advertisements of the Old Flour Mill Company and the J. B. Williams Company. Likewise, Chicago photogra- pher Beatrice Tonnesen successfully entered the field of advertising photography as an extension of her portrait photography beginnings. Tonnensen’s advertising work began in the late 1890s when a manufacturer sought out her photography skills to produce a corset ad. From these auspicious beginnings Tonnesen ran a successful studio for nearly a quarter of a century photographing products ranging from butter to lawnmowers, always using attractive models, young women and children, to enhance the subject being advertised.
As the demand for “realism” in advertising images grew, the new industry of modeling agencies sprung up to support photography’s role in advertising. Equally, the demand on the part of the manufacturer to continually show a “pretty woman” and the perceived importance of a “fresh face” to demonstrate the benefits of their products and services required modeling agencies to continually look for new models. To solve this problem photographer Beatrice Tonnesen operated her own modeling agency, one of the country’s largest—providing easy access to new subjects for her growing advertising business.
The early history of advertising photography remains a verdant field for further examination. In archival col- lections, advertisement photographs have quite often been hidden from view as they were typically not signed and end up buried along with other still-lifes or scenic views. To protect and promote their enterprises, some in the industry like Chicago photographers Beatrice Ton- nesen and J. Ellsworth Gross stamped the lower corner of their photographs with a copyright.
Leading trade journals, Printer’s Ink and Progressive Advertising, began publication in 1891 and continued to advance the advertising industry well into the twentieth century.

Prior to the advent of airplane flight early in the 20th century, the only means of obtaining aerial photographs was via birds (mainly carrier pigeons), flying devices (balloons, dirigibles kites, gliders, or rockets), or by elevating the camera itself through various means such as artificial structures—ladders, cranes and buildings—, or geographic features such as hills and mountains. Aerial photography today is most often associated with powered aircraft flying at altitudes usually starting at 1,000 feet. Air photography today incorporates two types of orientation to the ground: vertical and oblique. Rupert Martin and other photo historians argue that the vertical aerial photograph and an appreciation of it as an aesthetic art form is a modernist viewpoint reflected in society’s consciousness of powered flight. The oblique aerial photograph as an aesthetic convention extends back to the very first photographs taken by Daguerre in 1839. His daguerreotype, “Boulevard du Temple, Paris,” looking down at the street from within or on top of a building is also heralded as the first to capture a human figure. Another version of the daguerreotype exists in which the man is not visible and a wagon or cart appears parked opposite the shoeshine stand. Daguerre also took several other daguerreotypes of Paris from an aerial per- spective. Some photographers even experimented with a vertical perspective when appropriate such as views down geyser holes or mineshafts, and early pioneers in balloon photography and aerial photogrammetry such as France’s Nadar (Gaspard-Félix Tournachon) worked on the problem of stabilizing the camera in a vertical position. He patented a device in 1858 to maintain the camera in a vertical orientation.
While innovative photographers such as Nadar and the Boston photographer James Wallace Black took great personal risks in balloon photography, historians
acknowledge that aerial photography in the 19th century from anything other than artificial, fixed structures or geographic features was more of a novelty than a reality. Nadar took the first aerial photographs from balloons in 1858 at heights ranging from 262 feet (his first show- ing the village of Petit Bicêtre) to 1,600 feet (the one most often published showing Paris). He was honoured for this achievement by his cartoonist friend Honoré Daumier (1808–1879) who produced a satirical illustra- tion titled in English “Nadar Raising Photography to the Height of Art.” Nadar, in addition to devoting consider- able energy towards solving some of the problems of aerial photography by manned balloon, also promoted aerial travel. He founded the Société d’encouragement pour la navigation aérienne and published his own maga- zine L’Aéronaute. His famous and short-lived passenger balloon Le Géant (The Giant), which made only two ascents from Paris in October 1863, included a two- story passenger compartment along with a photographic darkroom. On 31 July 1868 the French magazine Le Petit Figaro published a reproduction based on an aerial pho- tograph Nadar took which showed the Arc de Triomphe.
Nadar was not the only photographer conducting experiments with cameras and balloons, both unmanned and controlled remotely from the ground. James Wallace Black took the first photograph from a balloon in the U.S. of Boston on 13 October 1860 at a height of 1,200 feet. One early book on the history of ballooning credits the British scientist aeronaut James Glaisher (1809- 1903), accompanied by balloonist Henry Coxwell, with the first unsuccessful attempt on 5 September 1862 to photograph a cloudscape from above the clouds. This was on the historic ascent on which they reached the highest yet elevation in a balloon and nearly perished from oxygen deprivation: around 37,000 feet (7 miles). Photographer Henry Negretti (Negretti & Zambra) chartered Henry Coxwell’s balloon Mammoth in 1863 for a flight near London. Due to the gondola’s rotation, none of the wet-plates were successful. English inventor Walter Bentley Woodbury patented a camera in 1877 which could be controlled from the ground through an electric cable. Inventors in other countries such as the Russian Viacheslav Sreznevskii also designed aerial photography cameras; whether this was in 19th century is not clear. The introduction of dry-plate technology and better camera equipment meant photographers could concentrate on image taking rather than the preparation time for taking a photograph. The French photographer Jean Nicolas Truchelut is credited with taking the first photographs using a dry-plate camera on a balloon flight over Paris in 1879; his name is sometimes misspelled as Triboulet. Other early French successes in aerial photography with dry plate technology are credited to photographer Paul Desmarets in 1880 over Rouen and the work of writer and photographer Gaston Tissandier in the mid-1880s. The earliest known air photograph from a balloon taken in Canada was taken in 1883 via remote control by Royal Engineer Captain Henry Esdale in Halifax, Nova Scotia, in August 1883. This image is a vertical, not an oblique, perspective from an altitude of 1,500 feet. Upon his return to England he continued to experiment with balloon photography. The English pho- tographer C.V. Shadbolt also took vertical photographs of London from a balloon in 1883. J.M. Bacon credits himself and J. N. Maskelyne with patenting a late 19th century (prior to 1902) aerial photography invention: “a small captive [balloon], carrying aloft a photographic camera directed and operated electrically from the ground.” By the early 1890s with even more sensitive dry plates and smaller cameras, photographers such as Philadelphia’s William Nicholson Jennings boasted of excellent results given the right weather conditions and a tethered balloon.

Black, James Wallace. “Boston, as the Eagle and the Wild Goose See It.” Courtesy: The Metropolitan Museum of Art, Gilman Collection, Purchase, Ann Tenenbaum and Thomas H. Lee Gift, 2005 (2005, 100.87) image. © The Metropolitan Museum of Art.

Besides its use as a novel viewpoint for photogra- phers adventurous to take flight, there were three main categories of aerial photography from balloons: survey- ing, military observation and exploration, including scientific observation. François Jean Dominique Arago, the man who publicly announced Daguerre’s invention,
Black, James Wallace. “Boston, as the Eagle and the Wild Goose See It.” Courtesy: The Metropolitan Museum of Art, Gilman Collection, Purchase, Ann Tenenbaum and Thomas H. Lee Gift, 2005 (2005, 100.87) image. © The Metropolitan Museum of Art.
first referred to the use of photography in 1840 for mapmaking or phototopography. Nadar around 1853 connected the use of balloons for aerial surveying or aerial photogrammetry. The first successful experiments in photo topography were conducted in 1849 by Colonel Aimé Laussedat (1819–1907), a French army engineer. Laussedat, simultaneously but separately from Nadar’s promotional work with aerial photography by balloon, experimented with aerial surveying using kites and bal- loons. At the Exposition Universelle, Paris in 1867 he exhibited the first map compiled from a stereographic aerial image. Laussedat’s work, along with that of other surveyor innovators in the 1860s and 1870s, was extended by the Canadian Dominion Lands Surveyor General, E.G.D. Deville (1849–1924) in the mid-1880s. He published the first book about the subject, Photo- graphic Surveying in 1889. His technique later proved far more efficient than traditional survey methods dur- ing an early 1890s international boundary survey in the southeast Alaska mountains. The term “photogramme- try” was coined in 1893 by Dr. Albrecht Meydenbaur (1834–1921). C.B. Adams, a U.S. Army officer, was granted a patent in 1893 for an aerial photogrammetry method involving two balloons and cameras to produce overlapping photographs which could be converted into topographical maps.
Military applications, while obvious to scientists, photographers and balloonists themselves, were not immediately apparent to many military officers. There does not appear to have been any attempt made by either the British-led allied army or the Russians to photograph from balloons during the Crimean War (1854–1856) which was the first international conflict closest to photography’s birth. The British balloonist Henry Coxwell failed to convince the British War Office to use balloons in the Crimea. The United States Civil War was the first large-scale military action in which bal- loons played a role on both sides. While their presence made no difference to the outcome of the war, the first and successful use of balloons by the Union (Northern) Army is inspired the Confederate (Southern) Army to establish its own balloon corps. There appears, however, to be disagreement on whether photographs were taken from balloons during the United States Civil War. F.S. Haydon, who published the first detailed study of mili- tary ballooning during the war, concluded that absence of evidence meant evidence of absence. Another author came to a another conclusion based on Union Army reports which described the use of aerial photography to create a map-like image used by ground commanders and the aerial observer.
The U.S. Civil War is acknowledged to be the source of British air power developed under the leadership of the Royal Engineers who also operated in Canada and elsewhere in the Empire. A Royal Engineer observer of balloon operations took his experience back to Eng- land. Because of the public expense and the somewhat impractical nature of maneuvering and transporting balloons, the British Army, of which the Royal Engi- neers is a part, only slowly yielded to the inevitable. It took nearly two decades for a balloon detachment to be incorporated into the British Army chain of command. With typical British thoroughness, however, in the early 1880s “The training of the aeronauts incorporated aerial reconnaissance, photography and signalling....” (Mead, 1983, p. 19). Like Great Britain, France also established a special school for instructing its military in ballooning and photography.
Military conflicts in which aerial photography was practiced or thought to have been used via balloons/di- rigibles, kites, gliders, rockets and pigeons were the 24 June 1859 French action under Napoleon III at the Battle of Solfernia, Italy; the Spanish-American War of 1898; and the South African (Boer) War of 1899–1902. Lord Baden-Powell, who invented a man-carrying kite, had a non-manned version used during the South African War at Modder River for photographic reconnaissance. A British Army balloon section was sent to China during the Boxer Rebellion in 1900 but saw no action.
One of the more unusual accounts of photography and ballooning occurred during the Siege of Paris in the Franco-Prussian War (1870–1871). Although Nadar was in charge of the balloon corps during this conflict, aerial photography by balloons does not seem to have been utilized. Microphotography, however, was employed in the Siege of Paris to reduce the size and weight of letters carried out by carrier pigeons. A Paris photog- rapher, René-Patrice Dagron (1819–1900), perfected the microphotography technique and was smuggled out of Paris with his equipment on 12 November 1870. The balloons, one of which held the microphotography equipment, were named Niepce and Daguerre. The first carrier pigeon camera was patented in 1903 by the Ger- man experimenter Julius Neubronner; he also developed a panoramic camera for the birds in 1912.
The most tragic association between ballooning and aerial photography is the story of the Swedish adventurer Salomon August Andrée’s fatal 1897 expedition in his balloon, the Eagle, along with two companions, to reach the North Pole by air. The remains of the expedition, including undeveloped photographs, were only discov- ered in 1930 on White Island, Spitzbergen. Some of the photographs taken by Andrée and his companions were developed by G. (or J.) Hertzberg, a detailed account of which appears in a book commemorating the journey. Expedition member Nils Strindberg, who was the prin- cipal photographer, built his own camera.
If photography from balloons can be considered a partial success in the 19th century, then photography from other aerial contrivances such as kites and rockets was, at best, even more of a novelty. The introduction of roll film by the Eastman Kodak company permitted further kinds of experimentation with aerial photography because cameras were considerably lighter. Kite pho- tography was primarily used for meteorological experi- ments and military observations, and were conducted to this end beginning in the 1880s. Amateur experimenters invented their own ingenious kite and photographic systems. In some cases the camera was triggered from the ground, and in other cases, particularly with early rocket photography, the camera was on a timer. The photographic results were completely unpredictable and mainly served as experimental evidence. Probably the most celebrated figure in kite photography is Arthur Batut (1846–1919) of Labruguière, France. He is some- times credited with being the first to take a successful photograph using a kite in either 1887 or 1888. Batut published the first book on kite aerial photography: La photographie aérienne par cerf-volant (Paris: Gauthier- Villars, 1890). The Musée Arthur Batut in Labruguière preserves his work and celebrates his genius. Other early kite photography experimenters were E.D. Archibald (England, 1886), Emile Wenz who worked with Batut (France, late 1880s), U.S. Army Lieutenant Hugh D.Wise (1895), the American William A. Eddy (1895), and Lord Baden-Powell (England, pre-1900). Early camera-carrying rockets include an 1888 model invented by Amedee Denisse (France) and another in 1897 by Alfred Nobel (Sweden). One of the first successful rocket cameras was patented in 1903 by Germany’s Alfred Maul.
Despite the considerable and often dangerous bal- looning activities experienced by photographers, high- altitude aerial photography from unpowered flying machines proved to be mainly a form of experimental photography and impractical until the advent of more stable aerial platforms (rigid airships or dirigibles, and airplanes) and more advanced photographic technology. The French engineer Henri Giffard flew the first self- propelled dirigible on 24 September 1852. Led by the English émigré Frederick Marriott (1805–1884), the first successful American experiment of a self-powered, rigid airship, the Avitor ̧ occurred in California in 1869. Captain Charles Renard and Captain Arthur Krebs,’ air- ship, La France, flew several times near Paris in August 1884. Count Ferdinand von Zeppelin’s self-powered, rigid airship, made its first successful flight at Lake Constance, Switzerland, in July 1900. None of these early dirigible experiments, however, appear to have involved aerial photography.
Aerial photography did not emerge as a separate, highly specialized branch of photography until it had fully proved its worth during World War One (1914– 1918). In North America, Canada is regarded as a leader in the peaceful application of aerial photography in the first two years after the war. Many of the men who flew the aircraft and staffed the special cameras in freezing conditions were war veterans.


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