FALLOWFIELD, JONATHAN (1856–2005)
English chemist and photographic chemical supplier
Jonathan Fallowfield was born in 1835 and established himself as a chemist. By 1856 he was advertising as a ‘photographic chemical and material warehouse.’ From the early 1870s the business primarily sold cameras and photographic materials for use with the wet-collodion and, later, dry plate processes offering professional and studio equipment such as portrait cameras and carte- de-visite lenses. In 1885 the Fallowfield premises and business was valued at £18,000. Jonathan Fallowfield had a reputation for hard work and he recalled that dur- ing one period of twenty-four years he only took one week’s holiday. He died in London on 23 February 1920 leaving an estate of £51,360 13s 7d.
In 1888 the business was purchased by F W Hindley (1856–1925) who significantly expanded its retail ac- tivities and in 1890 the business moved to 146 Charing Cross Road, London, where it remained until 1923. From the early 1890s the firm expanded the range of equipment offered by it and commissioned products which it retailed under its own name, most significantly the Facile camera patented by Frank Miall in 1889, which was produced in several models until the end of the 1890s. It is unlikely that it undertook any extensive manufacturing on it’s own account.
After the 1919 the firm concentrated on retailing equipment made by the major equipment and sensitised materials manufacturers and its own brand cameras and equipment disappeared. Jonathan Fallowfield became a limited company in 1921 and by the 1930s the firm had diversified into selling radio equipment. During the 1950s it began to concentrate on British wholesale and export orders only.
The company remained a wholesale photographic
business becoming part Sangers Photographics Whole- sale Ltd in 1987 and Sangers Ltd in 1996. The Fallow- field company exists in name only as part of Quadnetics Group plc.
FAMIN, CONSTANT ALEXANDRE (FRENCH, 1827–1888)
Constant Alexandre Famin (sometimes confused with Charles Famin, a painter) was a French photographer who operated two studios in Paris (5, rue de Fleurus; 20, av. d’Orléans). Famin primarily photographed land- scape and rural subjects, and was among the group of photographers to work in the forest of Fontainebleau and its environs in the late 1850s, 1860s, and 1870s. His rural photographs, and in particular his studies of peasants and farm animals, may have been intended as aids for painters, but even among these, Famin’s eye for complex, intriguing composition and his sharply detailed prints distinguish his work from that of other photographers of rural life. He also appears to have made architectural photographs at Bourges and Paris. The bulk of Famin’s known work is represented in the Bibliotheque Nationale, Paris, where, under the rule of the Dépôt Légal, he made two large deposits of his work in 1863 and 1874. Though he primarily produced albumen prints from collodion negatives, a group of stereoscopes deposited in 1859 at the Bibliothèque Nationale, Paris, under the name J. Tongue but now thought to be by Famin, suggests a greater diversity to his output than previously acknowledged.
FARADAY, MICHAEL (1791–1867)
Michael Faraday was closely associated with some of the most important pioneers of photography. He worked hard to improve Britain’s glass production, es- pecially important for large lenses. He also discovered phenomena related to the optical behavior of materials that became of use in the 20th century. He is, however, more remembered as the single person most respon- sible for the modern technology for the generation and management of electric power. He also made many contributions to chemistry. But his greatest importance for photography was arguably his work on the relation between electricity and magnetism. While this was fun- damental to the generation of electric power it was also the basis on which James Clerk Maxwell (1831–1879) built his theory of electromagnetic waves, which ex- plains much of the behavior of light and its relatives, radio waves, infrared, microwaves, ultraviolet, x-rays and gamma-rays.
Faraday was born to a father who was in trade as a blacksmith, and had a short term of formal education, which included essentially no mathematics. He appren- ticed to a bookbinder at age 13 and became increasingly interested in chemistry and electricity. Eventually he was able to construct experimental equipment, based on what he had read, using extremely simple materials. By 1812 he had constructed, for example, a machine to generate static electricity and accumulate an electric charge, as well as a voltaic pile, what we would now call a battery.
In the winter of 1810–11 Faraday attended a series of public lectures on chemistry. He took careful notes, which he illustrated. He presented these to his employer, and not long after a patron of the store noticed them and took Faraday to a public lecture at the Royal Insti- tution by its laboratory director, Sir Humphrey Davy (1778–1829), one of the most well known physicists of the time. Faraday was enthralled, and when his ap- prenticeship was up some months later he handed his notes of the talks to Davy and requested employment as Davy’s assistant. Some months later Faraday was hired and began his career at the Royal Institution, his main affiliation until his death.
A year after Faraday was hired he accompanied Davy on a tour of major science laboratories on the Continent. Faraday met scientists in Germany, France and Italy, including Ampere, Humboldt, Gay-Lussac, and Volta, the inventor of the voltaic pile. The people he met he remained in contact with upon his return to the Royal Institution.
The Royal Institution was a learned society es- tablished in 1799 to promote organized research and disseminate new knowledge. The former goal was supported by the creation of a laboratory and a set of research professorships, and a major research library.
The diffusion of knowledge was to be carried out both by courses offered by the research professors. Faraday founded a series of six talks at Christmas time for juve- niles and carried them out himself for 19 years.
Faraday’s work for the first several years was largely in chemistry. He performed analyses for Davy and pub- lished a number of short papers on them.
In 1820 Oersted, a Danish physicist discovered that an electric current flowing in a wire would orient a compass needle at right angles to the wire. Repeating Oersted’s experiment re excited Faraday’s interest in electricity and magnetism, one which he eventually became heavily involved with.
In 1821 Faraday married Sarah Barnard. He applied for and received an addition to his rooms in the Royal Institution. The couple occupied these rooms for the rest of his career.
The same year he showed that a magnetic needle could be made to rotate around a wire carrying an elec- tric current. This is the principle of the electric motor, though it took some years for practical designs to follow, mostly because no source of large amounts of electric power existed. Such sources awaited Faraday’s discov- ery of the electric generator idea a decade later.
In the years immediately following he performed mostly chemical experiments, including the 1825 dis- covery of Benzol, which later became the basis of a number of the aniline dyes, which still later came into use as photographic sensitizing dyes.
Faraday became involved with glass production in the following way. In the early 1800s the British had domi- nated the supply of high quality optical glass and the instruments, such as camera obscuras, telescopes and microscopes, made from it. But in the 1810s and twen- ties a new supplier, a young German named Fraunhofer, began to produce much better glass of considerably larger diameters, and through using the glass in large prisms discovered that the spectrum of the Sun was a rainbow crossed by dark lines at fixed colors (founding modern spectroscopy). These lines in turn he was able to use as high precision sign posts to measure the qual- ity of his glass, and to give it precise specifications for his customers. Fraunhofer became the world leader in supplying large lenses and prisms.
This naturally concerned the British and the Joint Committee of the Board of Longitude and the Royal Society for the Improvement of Glass for Optical Purposes was established in 1824. It at first included a number of well-known physicists, such as Humphrey Davy, Thomas Young, and Sir John Herschel as well as lens maker George Dolland and glassmakers Pellat and Green were added. Faraday was engaged to do a chemical analysis of samples of Fraunhofer’s glass. This he did and handed the derived compositions to the glassmakers, working on the assumption that this